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10 Tips & Tricks For Better Grilling


Photo by James Kloiber

Minnesota Monthly’s 4th Annual GrillFest is right around the corner, on May 16th and 17th! Summer is coming, and we’re back to hosting delicious barbeques outside for our family and friends. Here are some easy, useful grilling tips and tricks provided by Kitchen Window that’ll boost your barbeques to the next level, without all the hassle.

  1. When grilling, don’t try to move your food too quickly, the natural sugars in the meat need to caramelize before the food will release from the grill.
  2. To accurately test for doneness, use a thermocouple thermometer to measure temperature.  A dual probe is great for measuring the grill temperature and the temperature of the meat. 
  3. Be sure to adjust your cooking time/temperature for heat gain.  When food comes off of the grill it will continue to increase in temperature.  Plan ahead and pull it early.  Then let it rest.  Most food will increase in temperature 5-10 degrees.  The bigger the cut of meat, the greater the increase in temperature.  This will avoid over cooking your food.
  4. For better depth of flavor when grilling, use chipped or chunked smoking woods.  Soaking half of your wood chips or chunks in water will provide smoke for a longer period of time.  Some of the best woods are apple, cherry, hickory, cedar, birch, and maple.
  5. For charcoal grills use only a premium Natural charcoal, like Big Green Egg or Wicked Good.  A well processed premium charcoal will burn consistently, have little ash, and will provide superior flavor.
  6. Use silicone basing brushes for all your basting sauces and mops.  It keeps all of the bristles out of your food and makes clean up a breeze.
  7. When grilling kabobs, put all of the same food on the skewer.  Different meat and vegetables cook at different rates.  This will prevent part of your skewers from being over cooked.
  8. For grilling fish and vegetables, use a porcelain coated grill topper or basket.  This will keep the smaller and more delicate food from falling through the grates and provide better release from the grill.
  9. When grilling pizza, use a pizza stone on your grill.  The pizza stone will provide a barrier between the flames and the pizza and will allow you to use a greater variety of crust types while still getting that smoky flavor to come through.
  10. When grilling whole chickens, put the seasoning under the skin.  This will flavor the meat instead of just the skin.

For more useful tips, make sure to check out GrillFest's live grilling demonstrations taking place at 1:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. each day at CHS Field, the new home of the St. Paul Saints.

To purchase tickets and for more details, visit Grillfestival.com.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

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