Get Your Grill On!

Get Your Grill On!

Maureen Rowan Murphy, Manager Consumer Trends, Nutrition and Lifestyles

fathers day grilling.jpg

I believe the best gift is the gift of time-time spent with those we love. While my Dad is no longer here, one of my fondest memories is the last Father’s Day I spent with him. Not only did we have quality time together, but I grilled and served one of his favorite meals. Had I not tackled my grilling “fears” that cherished memory would likely not exist.

While always comfortable cooking in the kitchen my comfort level didn’t extend outdoors. The grill was uncharted territory, and one day I made up my mind that I had to change that. I learned the basics, and then jumped right in and fired up the grill!  Sure, there were a few grilling mishaps, but as my confidence grew so did my skills. I guess you could say it was trial by fire! Now I’m viewed as the grill master in my house. If you’re intimidated like I was, here are tips to help you on your way to becoming a grill master!

Gather It Up

  • Gather everything up to avoid leaving food unattended on hot grill
  • Wire brush
  • Long-handled matches/lighter and charcoal for charcoal grill
  • Long handled tongs
  • Metal spatula
  • Basting brushes
  • Skewers
  • Grill basket
  • Meat thermometer
  • Clean platters and utensils
  • Heavy duty oven mitts

Fire It Up

  • Reduce food sticking by taking a paper towel dipped in a little oil, and using tongs, wipe evenly over the grates
  • Preheat grill 10 to 15 minutes to ensure it reaches the proper temperature as well as kill any possible bacteria
    • Grilling Temperatures – High: 400-450°F for high; medium-high: 350-400°F; medium: 300-350°F; low: 250-300°F
    • A properly heated grill sears foods on contact, keeps the insides moist and helps prevent sticking
    • Keep a spray water bottle for gas or charcoal grills nearby in case of flare ups
    • Don’t use cooking spray on a hot grill
  • Sear the meat to seal in juices and capture its best flavors
    • Turn grill down after searing so food does not burn outside and remain raw inside
  • Use tongs when turning meat or poultry to keep natural juices inside
  • Turn food only once – the less you flip, the more the flavor develops
  • Apply sauces and glazes during last 10 minutes to avoid potential flare-ups

Keep a Lid on It

  • Close grill lid to enhance smoky flavor and keep moisture in

Cook It Safe

  • Use a food thermometer to ensure a safe internal temperature
    • Steaks, roasts and chops:             145°F with a 3 minute rest time
  • Ground beef, pork, lamb and veal: 160°F
  • Poultry, including ground poultry: 165°F

Give It a Rest

  • Let meat “rest”, tented with foil, about 10 minutes before cutting

Spending time with your Dad and grilling up his favorite meal on Father’s Day- Priceless!!

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