How do you like your grilled steak?

Hot tips for the perfect barbecue evening

It's that easy to grill meat, fish and vegetables properly

Summer is returning, temperatures are rising and nothing could be nicer than spending the day in the fresh air. This also includes moving the kitchen outside and eating as many meals as possible in the countryside. Grilling is undoubtedly one of the most popular summer activities with family and friends, but it is often mistakenly mistaken for a great science.

Just like with cooking, you only need a solid basic knowledge to be able to stand at the grill with a little more self-confidence. First, you should understand exactly how your heat source works and then think about how to properly prepare steaks, vegetables, fruits and much more.

Dry steaks, burnt chicken wings or asparagus spears that have fallen through the grill grate into the ashes - has it all happened to you? With the following 6 tips, this sad scenario is a thing of the past!

1. A grill should always be clean

It is important that you take good care of your grill because the condition of your grill affects not only how your food is cooked, but also how it tastes. Clean your grill rack as soon as possible after you've used it - especially if you've grilled meat like lamb or burger patties. During grilling, oils and fats leak out, which enclose and harden your grillage. These fats can go rancid and drag into the food that ends up on the grill next. The black crust on the wire rack can also leave messy streaks on your grilled food.

The easiest way to clean the grillage is when it is still warm, i.e. about half an hour after grilling or immediately after preheating the grill. It is best to use a stainless steel grill brush and always heat-resistant gloves or pot holders to avoid burns.

2. The right accessories for your grill

In order to master the barbecue party perfectly, you can stock up on a certain basic equipment, which is not absolutely necessary, but can help you achieve a perfect result. Depending on which type of grill you own (gas or electric), you should buy suitable accessories for this grill, for example fireplace lighter, charcoal briquettes, smoking chips or a grill lighter

Other helpful utensils can be a grill basket for finely chopped vegetables or fish, but also wooden or metal skewers for fresh fruit, meat or vegetable skewers. To avoid burning, you should soak wooden skewers in water for at least half an hour. And last but not least: there is nothing like stainless steel grill tongs to turn chicken, steaks and pork chops. A spatula is ideal for more sensitive foods such as fish and burger patties.

And remember: a grill always gives off a lot of heat, so use utensils with longer handles than you use in the kitchen. This allows you to spread your food over the entire surface without exposing your fingers, hands and arms to excessive heat. A pair of heat-resistant gloves will also help. Stainless steel grill utensils are more suitable than silicone or plastic because they can withstand extreme heat. Not to be forgotten is the grill brush, it is one of the success factors.

3. Direct or indirect heat?

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to mastering the barbecue. Regardless of the size of a grill, it always takes a certain amount of time to reach the right temperature. Placing food on a cold grill is like putting a roast in a cold oven: it cooks unevenly, has a cracked, uneven surface that tends to stick and makes it a lot harder to create nice grill marks. Have you ever wondered why your steak is sticking to the grill? You have most likely fallen victim to your own impatience. So give your grill enough time to fully preheat before you start.

Are you planning to grill different foods? Then also use different temperatures! Food with short cooking times, such as finely chopped vegetables, hamburgers or steaks, can be prepared over direct heat. If you are grilling with charcoal, the charcoal should be distributed evenly and directly under the grillage. It should burn white but not form flames to prevent any flare-ups.

With a gas grill, direct heat means nothing more than lighting the flame directly under the food. Thicker pieces of meat, such as thighs or breast pieces of lamb, require a longer cooking time and are best cooked over indirect heat. To do this, you should move the heat source to one side of the grill. On a charcoal grill, you can do this by sliding the charcoal on one side of the grill and grilling the meat on the other side. If possible, cover the grill with a lid so that all of the meat cooks, not just the side facing the heat.

4. How to grill meat, fish and vegetables perfectly

Grill meat properly: Marinate or rub the meat with a spice mixture before preparing it on the grill and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or better overnight. Beef, lamb and pork have different cooking times, depending on the cut and the preferred cooking level. In general, sear both sides and briefly cook thinner cuts or burgers over direct heat. Thicker cuts should be grilled over indirect heat with a lid, so you don't have to turn the meat continuously and it still cooks evenly. Check the cooking level just like you would in the kitchen - be sure to let your steak rest, this guarantees you a particularly juicy result.

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Fry the perfect steak

Grilling poultry properly: You should also marinate or season poultry at least one hour before preparation. Different cuts naturally require different cooking times. It is generally advantageous to grill with a lid so the meat does not get dry. If you are unsure, we recommend using a kitchen thermometer - the core temperature of the chicken should be 75 ° C.

How to grill seafood properly: Seafood is best grilled briefly over direct heat. The same applies in the kitchen: a short cooking time leads to the desired juicy and firm texture instead of dry and chewy seafood. It is best to grill smaller marine animals such as shrimp with the help of skewers over high heat until they are cooked and have a slightly pink color. Curious? Get started with our recipe for pineapple shrimp skewers.

Grilling fish properly: To prevent the fish from sticking to the grill, you should grill fillets or whole fish either directly on the grill or in a grill basket over high heat. It is important that the grillage is clean and that you coat the fish with oil beforehand. If you grill the fish directly on the wire rack, let it sit on one side for a few minutes so it can crust and turn over more easily. A grill basket is the easiest way to grill a whole fish, but you can just as easily place it on aluminum foil. It is best to follow this rule of thumb when cooking: approx. 3 - 4 minutes of cooking time per centimeter of diameter.

Grilling cheese properly: Yes, you can grill cheese. You should only use a firmer cheese like halloumi. It is the king of grilled cheeses, not only because it retains its shape during grilling, but also because the high heat makes it creamy soft inside and the surface crispy.

Grilling fruits and vegetables properly: Firm vegetables with a high water content such as eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, romaine lettuce and corn on the cob can be brushed with oil and placed directly on the grill. The same goes for fruits like peach, nectarine and watermelon, but keep an eye on your fruits, they only take a few minutes on the grill.

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What would the barbecue party be without extraordinary spice mixes, marinades and sauces to serve? But before you dip everything in barbecue sauce, be aware that store-bought sauces are often high in sugar, which means they tend to burn quickly on the grill. And you certainly don't want your expensive steak to taste like burnt sugar. Instead, only marinate the meat after turning it and only while it is grilling over indirect heat. With homemade marinade you don't have to worry because, as with all homemade foods, there are no hidden ingredients and you would have to drop the sugar bowl to keep up with the sugar content in purchased sauces.

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6. Lots of guests means lots of steaks on the grill

Usually several people come to a barbecue evening, which means that more food ends up on the grill. The mistake here is to put everything on the grill at once. You wouldn't overfill a pan on the stove either, as this will result in all of the food not cooking properly. Different foods also have different cooking points - grilling everything at once usually leads to burnt hot dogs and semi-raw steaks. If possible, grill the same foods at the same time. Or you can make a schedule, so your guests can enjoy grilled vegetables as a starter and juicy steaks as a main course - both perfectly prepared and straight from the grill.

Published on June 9, 2018