Summertime is synonymous with grill season. This primer covers everything from how to grill steak and salmon to searing potatoes and plum tomatoes and more. Whether you're new to grilling or a seasoned pit master, you'll want to keep this helpful handbook in your back pocket all summer long, because it's far too easy to forget the safe internal temperature guidelines for cooking beef, pork, poultry, fish, and seafood. Plus there's endless opportunity to find new foods that taste delicious with a char, like citrus fruits, eggplant, and even avocados. After reading this guide, you're going to cruise the farmer's market with a whole new outlook on what your grill can do.
Brining or soaking the ears in water before grilling is thought to season and also plump the corn. There are two problems with those theories, though: In order to take on any salt from the brine, ears would have to soak for several days, at which point you’re losing valuable sweetness as the ears age. Secondly, if you’re buying fresh juicy corn, you cannot make it any juicier. While soaking may benefit older or off-season ears, it has no added value for fresh summer corn.
One school of thought suggests that applying the pepper before cooking can cause the pepper to burn while you cook it, imparting a bitter flavor. Followers of this school suggest grinding pepper onto the steaks after searing them, or right before serving. The other school simply seasons their steaks with freshly ground black pepper before cooking and doesn't give it a second thought.
In lieu of fully re-seasoning your grill with each use, there are simple steps you can take to maintain and care for the condition of your grates. After each use, take a moment to run the wire brush quickly over the grates to clear away any immediate drippings. The heat in this case is helpful for removal when in smaller portions and in the moment. In the same step as above, use a pair of kitchen tongs and a paper towel to coat a layer of high heat oil over the cleaned grates before closing the grill top to cool.
While the grill grates and flavorizer bars are removed and soaking, tackle the caked-on gunk in the firebox. Put another bucket underneath the firebox where the grease tray sits to collect debris. The easiest way to start is with a wet/dry shop vacuum, whether full-size or a portable, like Milwaukee’s M18 hand vacuum. Since wet/dry vacs are mostly workshop items, you won’t feel bad about using one to suck up the gunk that’s collected in your grill. You can use the grill brush to help loosen stubborn stuck-on grit. If the deposits are really caked on, dip the wire brush in the bucket of soapy water and get to work. Use a hose to rinse it out when it’s clean.
Perhaps the most important step that most people don't do is allowing the steaks to sit once they are taken off of the grill. The steaks need to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving or cutting them. This gives the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the steak, which both helps it finish cooking evenly and keeps the meat moister and more flavorful. Place the cooked steaks on a cutting board or platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Once rested, either slice or serve the steaks whole.
Clean out the burners and venturi tubes. The venturi tubes are the pipes that go out from the burners and connect to the grill control valves. These tubes allow the air and gas to mix together, altering the intensity of the flame. Remove the burners and venturi tubes, and place a hose head at one end of the tube. Turn the water on to clear out any debris or insects that could have gotten inside.