Grilling is as American as baseball and apple pie. But how did we find this amazing device to make food taste wonderful and provide the smells of summer? In the early 1940’s grilling mostly took place at campsites and picnics, however after World War II backyard grilling took hold and was a true Amercian favorite pastime in the 1950’s.
Grill credit goes to George Stephan, a metalworker by trade and a frustrated grill tinkerer by night. He took harbor buoys, sliced them in half, added a grate and used the top as a lid, cutting vents for controlling the temperature eventually created what would be become known as the Weber grill. Since that time, grilling has never been the same!
So what should you look for in a grill? There are many questions to consider and while these are just a few, make sure you look for the best grill that works for you.
• Gas or charcoal?
• What size grill will work best in your outdoor living space?
• Multiple burners and multiple levels or just one grill plate to cook on?
When it comes to using your grill make sure that you get it HOT! A properly heated grill sears food on contact and keeps the moisture inside. The heat also helps prevent food from sticking. While searing doesn't “seal in” the juices, it does help with caramelization, which improves flavors. The heat also helps with cleaning off the grill. Use a long-handled wire grill brush to clean off charred debris from prior meals and scrape again immediately after using.
Make sure food safety tips are followed prior to grilling. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards use separate utensils and platters for raw and cooked foods refrigerate foods while marinating and never baste with the left- over marinating liquid – make fresh for basting. Also, check the internal temperature of the meat with an instant-read thermometer before serving.
Flare-ups from the grill happen when fat drips onto the heat source and catches fire. To reduce flare-ups, use lean cuts of meat and trim off the excess fat. Keep a squirt bottle of water near the grill to quickly douse any unexpected flare-ups. Keep small children away from the grill make it a safe and fun experience.
Finally, give cuts of meat a chance to rest after cooking. Place the meat on a clean platter tented with foil. Give it about 10 minutes so the juices can be redistributed evenly before serving.
Enjoy a delicious grilled meal with your family and remember George Stephan – the man who had the idea of creating a grill with a lid! With Memorial Day right around the corner, it is time to get your grill on!