BECOME THE COOKOUT CONNOISSEUR YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMED ABOUT
As the grilling season kicks into full gear, one of America’s leading chefs, Jim Coleman, helps you get ready to charbroil your best with a few grilling tips that will keep you from destroying the prime cuts you’ve spent hours prepping and turn you into the cookout connoisseur you’ve always dreamed of becoming.
• Before you begin grilling, be sure to take the fridge-chill off your protein, whether it’s chicken, beef or pork, for at least 20 minutes before putting it on the cooking surface. The same way you would need to stretch before a work out, the cells in your meat need to relax and expand. This is not as important with hamburgers and hotdogs and other ground or processed meats, but for cuts like pork chops, chicken breasts or steaks, you will achieve better results.
• Smoking is a great way to add flavor to food without extra salt, and smoking chips are easily available at most hardware stores. However, you want to be sure not to buy them too small because they will burn too fast. Always soak your wood before smoking and whether you’re using a smoke box, like the one available on the Dacor Epicure® Outdoor Grills, or an individual smoker, remember that the harder the wood the stronger the smoke and the less time you want to smoke your meat or vegetables. Just the same, the softer the wood the lighter the smoke and the longer you will need to smoke your food.
• Always have an escape plan for flare-ups on the grill. It may be a great idea to keep a few inexpensive disposable aluminum pans next to the grilling area. If there is a sudden flare-up, you can take your meat off the grill and drop them into the aluminum pan without removing them from the cooking surface. Your food will continue to cook but you will have eliminated the grease dripping into the grill, which causes the flare-up.
• Lastly, remember barbecue sauce is a finishing sauce. While there are a number of marinating and basting sauces, barbecue sauce should not be put on until the very end because the sugar in the sauce is going to cause the meat to burn. Wait until your food is done completely so you don’t end up with chicken that is burned on the outside and raw on the inside.
Chef Jim Coleman is the host of the long-running TV cooking series, Flavors of America®, which runs weekly on PBS and daily on cable network. He is also the host of the TV cooking series Healthy Flavors®, which debuted nationally to millions of health-conscious consumers in 2006 and shows the home chef how to eat more healthfully without sacrificing flavor.
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