Whether you are a beautifully marbled steak guy, a lean and mean chicken guy, a tender pork chop guy a juicy burger and bratwurst guy or, like me, an all of the above kind of guy, everyone loves a perfectly grilled slab of meat. A lot of people feel intimidated grilling anything more than a hot dog or hamburger. Some people believe that home grilled primo meat cuts are just not going to be as juicy and tender as their favorite chophouse. Here are just a couple techniques you can implement at your next family dinner to have consistent results.
Overall meat rules:
– Bring meat to room temperature before cooking. Remember, you have 4 hours to get everything from your fridge to the grill before worrying about bacteria growth.
– Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper is all you need to bring out the natural flavors. This is ultimately a technique in grilling, and cooking in general, but it is not a rule. Feel free to use your favorite seasoning.
– Rule of Rest. The big guy upstairs took a day to rest and we got football. Your grilled beauty needs the same to reach its full potential. Throw some tinfoil over the meat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before diving in. While meat is cooking over that hot flame the juices are being squeezed out like water from a sponge. Letting it sit on a plate in its juices will allow the meat to soak those juices back up.
In addition to the rules above there are a couple pointers to master the art. While brats and hotdogs benefit from low and slow grilling your steak wants to be on there for as little time as possible. Get that grill hot. I’m talking like 550 degrees. We are searing steaks not smoking them. When it comes to salt on a steak I throw on my kosher salt on in the morning before I head to work. When you get home bring that slab of happiness to room temperature, cook it, rest it and love it.
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Pound it out. Spend a couple bucks on a meat mallet/tenderizer. Try a thrift shop for grandmas hand me down. The reason chicken is undercooked on one side while dried and burnt on the other is because chicken breasts have a large disparity in thickness from one side to the other. Put the chicken breast between some Saran wrap and give it a good beating until it is the same thickness all around. The Saran wrap keeps chicken juice from spraying salmonella all over the kitchen.
Dry? Brine it while you’re at work in salt water. All you need is one tablespoon kosher salt per cup of water. Bring the saltwater to a boil and let it cool back to room temperature before throwing your chops in. If you brine it you DO NOT put salt on it before sending it off to the grill it already has all the salt it needs. If you’re not brining your pork chop salt it just before you throw it on the grill. This is the one cut that does not benefit from being salted ahead of time. Guess what: you don’t have to cook it well done anymore!! Medium or more is just fine for pork now. Just make sure you hit an internal temperature of 145.