Prepared to impress your guests with a mouth-watering array of perfectly grilled delights? Your gourmet menu may include flame-kissed favorites such as garden-fresh vegetables, juicy steaks, or hardy pork, but regardless of the decadent offerings on your bill of fare, it’s important to master the details.
Prior to the commencement of the cooking process, you must ensure you're equipped to use the right techniques that will make your food worthy of five stars. After all, you want to do more than simply impress your friends, family, and neighbors with your grilling prowess. You want to provide the best dining experience possible, satisfying your guests in every way.
While the task at hand might seem daunting, grilling can be a breeze when you’ve mastered the details of grilling. Our five pro tips will be your guide to creating a culinary grilling experience your company is sure to savor.
1. Use the Right Grill
Grilling season has started up, and you’re ready to start cooking food and enjoying the relaxed fun of an easygoing summer night. Whether you’re grilling steaks, BBQ, or even hot dogs there’s one critical piece of the grilling puzzle that can take your grilling experience to the next level: the grill itself.
The art of grilling starts with choosing a premier grill that will enhance the flavor of your gourmet creations. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know how to choose the best grill to suit your specific culinary needs.
There are several different fuel options available for grilling, but most will provide minimal flavor enhancement while detracting from your food's quality. This is why a wood-burning grill is the obvious choice for your backyard kitchen.
Look for a wood-burning grill that uses full pieces or chunks of wood rather than pellets. This ensures the best possible flavor. Even if you don’t have a wood grill, you can use wood in a charcoal grill and get similar results.
If experience and taste are what you’re after, the main thing to remember is that you might want to stay away from gas grills. These grills aren’t compatible with wood, so you won’t get the same flavor or even burn as you would with a wood or charcoal grill. And as we all know, utilizing premium wood in your grill can help you truly create a custom masterpiece.
For example, a premium wood like cherry or maple will add sweeter notes to your grilled fare, while top-of-the-line hickory will infuse a bold, rich flavor for your grilled offerings.
It's also important to choose the best grill design for your grilling needs. Some different kinds that work well with premium cooking wood include kamado grills and standard kettle-style options.
Because your grill will be the gateway to your luxury grilling experience, opt for the best one your budget allows. Your guests will thank you for it.
Start Grilling Season the Right Way
While we’re covering the basics, it’s also important to make sure you have all of the essentials on hand — especially if you’re just beginning your grilling season.
Here are some tools you’ll need for a relaxing and enjoyable grilling experience, both for you and your guests:
Tongs: These allow you to properly adjust your meats without experiencing the singing heat of higher temperatures.
Grill brush: These aren’t necessary, but if you like to cook on a clean grill, they can elevate your grilling session. These brushes are specifically made to scrape the leftover residue off of your grill grates so that you can enjoy a clean, crisp grilling experience.
Skewers: Kebabs are a classic summer staple, and you’ll want to keep some skewers on hand in case your simple meal plans change at the last minute.
Instant-read thermometer: Whether you’re cooking at high temperatures or medium heat, food safety comes first. With this easy meat thermometer, you can easily see how many degrees Fahrenheit your meat is at and gauge how many minutes of cooking time you have left.
Paper towels and a fan: When you combine the heat of the summer sun and a hot grill, you’ll want to make sure you have these nearby to keep yourself cool.
2. Master the Reverse Sear
Most novice grillers believe that getting gorgeous grill marks on their fired cuisine is a must. However, putting too much attention on your grill marks is a missed step. While those grill marks might make the meat or veggies look pretty, they won’t enhance the flavor itself. In fact, if you want the most flavor possible, you want a reverse sear.
A standard sear involves cooking meat over high heat and searing it on all sides prior to cooking it at lower temperatures. The myth is that this technique will help hold in the meat's delectable juices. But as the truly experienced grill master knows, this isn’t quite true.
To properly sear your fare, wait until after the meat has cooked and let the meat rest. This helps to infuse your food with the ideal amount of flavor right before it’s seared.
This technique is easy to master, and it can be done with virtually any cut of meat, from steaks and roasts to pork chops, fish, and more. This method will be a flavor game-changer with all your grilling creations.
3. Choose the Right Cut
A perfect meal also includes the perfect cut of beef. There are plenty of premium-choice cuts available.
Some of the finer options include high-quality wagyu, which has a delectable marbling that adds a deep, rich flavor to the meat, and Kobe beef, which is an intensely marbled cut of meat that comes straight from Japan. American versions, such as Prime and Choice (avoid Select or anything in a lower category), also offer a mouthwatering flavor experience.
While these premium cuts were once only reserved for the classiest of affairs, you can now find these delicious meats in BBQs across the nation.
When choosing cuts of roast or steak, in addition to the type of cut, ensure that you opt for one that is beautifully marbled. You can never go wrong with anything labeled “loin,” such as tenderloin. Most steaks, like T-bones, are cut from this type of meat as well. A top sirloin is another premium cut that can be grilled to perfection.
Once you’ve chosen your cut, you then need to decide what flavor to infuse your meat with. Whether you marinate your meat, use a dry rub, or douse it in tangy BBQ sauce, the flavoring is often just as important as which cut you choose. And remember — sometimes, a little olive oil, salt, and pepper is all you need to bring out the natural savory flavor of the meat.
4. Pick the Perfect Wood
Premier flavor calls for premium wood. It’s no secret that you want your meat to have extraordinary flavor, so taking the time to pick the right type of wood to grill with is essential to a successful grilling experience. When choosing the perfect premium wood, it is imperative to think about the style of the wood, such as wood splits or wood logs, as well as the type of wood you’re using.
Some high-quality options include:
- Hickory: a timeless classic, complete with a flavor profile sure to please even the most discerning palette.
- Oak: a wood that produces a mild flavor that will allow the flavor of the meat to shine through.
- Cherry: a wood that adds a slight sweetness to your offerings.
- Pecan: this wood is in a category of its own, providing a delightful intensity.
Whichever premium wood you choose, remember it is the key to creating a memorable grilling experience.
5. Use a Meat Thermometer
Even an experienced chef with a keen eye isn’t able to detect the difference in a meat's cook with a glance, so you’ll need the aid of a meat thermometer. Many digital options even come with features that allow you to walk away from the grill for a brief time while still keeping a watchful eye on the temperature of your meat.
If you are interested in the absolute top-of-the-line meat thermometer available, the Flame Boss 500 could be the right option for you. It’s designed to work with kamado smokers and keeps you abreast of the status of your smoked meats, communicating the temperature and other conditions via a Wi-Fi connection.
Perfect the Perfect Steak
You are now ready to head to your outdoor kitchen, put your premium cooking wood in your wood-burning grill, and begin the cookout of your life. The right grill, cut of meat, and top-grade wood will make your outdoor dining experience true next-level perfection.
For premium cooking wood, grilling wood, or smoking wood look no further than Cutting Edge Firewood. With many different options for cooking wood and an unparalleled white glove delivery service, our wood is designed to craft the perfect experience. To learn more grilling tips, visit our blog today.