Memorial Day weekend is here--and for many that means firing up the grill. Patch has gathered some grilling tips and recipes from local chefs to help you cook up some delicious holiday food.
Have other tips and recipes? Share them in the comment section below.
William Schroeder, owner of in Westminster, MD, suggests soaking wood chips in Natty Boh (beer) for two hours before using.
Schroeder also offers up his Drunken Chicken and Basic BBQ Rub recipes (see both recipes below). Try them out and let us know what you think.
Classically-trained chef Terry Pitt, founder of the , gives the following tips to create juicy meats on the grill:
- Allow the meat to come to rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes while the grill is heating. Season as you desire if it hasn't already been marinated in the fridge. If the meat goes to the grill directly from the fridge, the cold temperature will reduce the temperature of the grill and you will not get a perfect sear.
- Get your grill screaming hot!
- Place the meat on the grill presentation side first; that is, the best looking side of the steak or chop that you wish your guests to see on their plates. Sear the meat over very high heat, until you get deep grill marks. Turn the meat 90 degrees to form a cross hatch pattern. Flip the meat ONCE and do the same to the other side. The second side typically takes 40% less time to cook than the first.
- When the meat is cooked to your desired degree of doneness, remove and allow to rest, loosely tented with foil, for at least 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute within the protein.
- If you are making a pan sauce to accompany the dish, be sure to include the dripping from the resting meat!
Pitt also said poking a steak with a fork can allow vital juices to drain out. She gives the following advice for tools to use (or not use) for grilling:
- When you buy those handy BBQ tool kits, they typically come with a spatula, tongs and a fork. Do yourself a favor and throw the fork away (or recycle it!). A fork has NO business at the BBQ grill. It only allows mouth-watering juices to be wasted and turns your steak or chop into a very dry meal. Turn your meat with tongs.
- If you do not have a bimetallic or insta-read thermometer to test for doneness for steaks, use this trick (I use this all the time in professional cooking and it has never let me down!):
- Hang your arm straight down along your body. Shake your hand for a couple of seconds. With the other hand, use your thumb and pointer to lightly pinch between the thumb and pointer of the relaxed hand. This is what 'rare' feels like. Now, pinch one thumb's length higher and this is what 'medium' feels like. Now, touch the point of your nose. This is what 'well done' feels like. Use this technique when grilling steaks and avoid piercing the precious meat with a thermometer! Trust your finger!
- Remember, poultry must ALWAYS be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees! Although Health Department regulations have formal rules about beef (steak), a medium rare steak (My Favorite!) should come off the grill at 118-122 degrees. The carryover cooking will take care of the rest. Pork should come off at 140-145 degrees and burgers depend on how you like them cooked.
William Schroeder's Basic BBQ Rub
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
3 tbls black pepper
3 tbls Kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbls chili powder
1 tbls ground cumin
William Schroeder's Beer Can Chicken
1 Whole fryer 3.5 to 4 pounds
Basic BBQ rub (see above)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 can of beer
Liberally rub chicken inside and out with BBQ rub, insert can of beer with rosemary inside cavity of chicken, roast indirectly over charcoal for 15 min a pound, let chicken rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Terry Pitt's Grilled Corn
Peel back most of the outer husk, leaving a thin layer of husk on the corn. Remove as much of the silk as possible, as this will burn. Place the prepared ears on a medium grill and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, turning frequently. If the heat is too high, the ear will char. The protective husks also help the kernels to steam during the cooking process. Do not be alarmed if some of the kernels become dark brown. They are delicious!
IF you have leftover cornn (and I emphasize IF); remove the kernels from the cob into a mixing bowl. Add diced red bell pepper, minced jalapenos, minced red onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and add a few dashes of hot pepper sauce, to taste. This makes a delicious Roasted Corn Relish! Note: You can also stretch this dish by adding drained and rinsed black beans, diced cucumber, chick peas, etc. Your imagination is the limit!