If you’re new to the grill, or looking to pick up some tricks to impress your neighbours, you’re in luck. West Side Beef, an online butcher shop that ships high-quality, ethically raised meat right to your door, has shared their Top 8 Tips for Marinating and Grilling.
Tip 1: Let the flavours marry
Marinades are a great way to infuse flavour into your BBQ favourites. The key to marinating is to fully submerge the meat in the marinade to allow the flavours to penetrate. And don’t be in a rush; let the meat marinate for at least a few hours — or even overnight — before cooking.
Tip 2: Take the time to tenderize
If you’re preparing a tougher cut of meat, such as steaks like flat iron, flank, bavette, or sirloin, add a little acid to your marinade in the form of wine or lemon juice. This will help to break down the muscle fibers and tenderize the meat.
Tip 3: Use a dry rub for an extra pop of flavour
Dry rubs pack a greater flavour punch because the spices aren’t being muted by a medium like oil. Rubs also provide an excellent crust when cooked, giving the meat an irresistible texture. Apply your rub only minutes before hitting the grill.
Tip 4: Start out hot
When grilling, always start out hot. Adding meat to the grill too early can result in sticking and you’ll lose those brag-worthy grill marks.
Tip 5: Keep one side of the grill cooler
Having one side of your grill cooler than the other means you can start off hot (grill marks! crust!) then move to the cooler side to finish the job. Also, the top rack is a great place to keep foods hot or cook them at an even lower temperature.
Tip 6: Flip, flip, flip!
If you only flip once per side, the juice inside your meat can slowly escape and evaporate, causing your once-juicy burger to dry right out. Nobody wants that, so flip your meat often and reap the delicious benefits 🙂
Tip 7: How to tell when it’s done
There are many ways to determine the doneness of a steak, but the best way is by temping it with a thermometer. Here’s a temperature guide to follow:
- Blue Rare: 52C – Brown exterior, fully red interior (approx. 12.5% brown, 87.5% red)
- Rare: 54C – Brown exterior, red interior with a slightly pink centre (approx. 12.5% brown, 75% red, 12.5% pink)
- Medium Rare: 56C – Brown exterior, interior is half red, with a pink centre (approx. 25% brown, 37.5% red, 37.5% pink)
- Medium: 58C – Brown exterior, pink interior (approx. 50% brown, 50% pink)
- Medium Well: 60C – brown almost all the way through with a slightly pink centre (approx. 75% brown, 25% pink)
- Well Done: 62C – Completely brown all the way through (100% brown)
*Bonus temperature tip! Most people think that pork isn’t done until there’s no pink, but it’s actually best served medium, meaning the inside should be 50% white and 50% pink.
Tip 8: Patience, my friend
Letting your meat sit for a few minutes once it’s cooked may be a test of your patience, but it’s a crucial step in keeping it as juicy as possible. This time allows for reabsorption of the juices, making the end product downright delectable. The rule of thumb for resting quicker cooking cuts (such as steaks) is about half the time it takes to cook. Resting time also needs to be factored into the cooking time, because when you take the meat off the grill it continues to cook from the residual heat. This is referred to as ‘carry over cooking’ and every great BBQ maestro accounts for it.