Ten Secrets for Sensational Summer Grilling

All of Jacob’s secrets are list below:
Ten Secrets for Sensational Summer Grilling

1. Keep beef refrigerated. Grilling times are based on beef being taken directly from the refrigerator to the grill – not at room temperature. Shape burgers in advance, cover and refrigerate until the grill is ready.

2. Trim, if necessary. Remove visible fat from meat and poultry before grilling to help prevent flare-ups and excess smoke formation.

3. Marinating mantra. Always marinate in the refrigerator. Tender beef cuts can be marinated for 15 minutes to 2 hours for flavor. Less tender beef cuts should be marinated at least 6 hours -but no more than 24 hours- in a mixture containing an acidic ingredient or a natural tenderizing enzyme. Pat beef dry after removing from marinade to promote even browning and prevent steaming. Do not save marinade for reuse. If a marinade has been in contact with uncooked beef, it must be brought to a full rolling boil before it can be eaten as a sauce.

4. Grilling temperature matters. Grilling over medium heat ensures even cooking and flavorful, juicy meat. If beef is grilled over too high heat, the exterior can become overcooked or charred before the interior reaches the desired doneness. Charring meat, poultry or fish is not recommended.

5. Watch the charcoal. Never grill while the coals are still flaming. Wait until the coals are covered with gray ash (approximately 30 minutes), spread in single layer. To check cooking temperature, cautiously hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away; approximately 4 seconds for medium heat.

6. Know your gas grill. Since gas grill brands vary greatly, consult the owner’s manual for information about preparing the grill for medium heat.

7. Turn properly. Use long-handled tongs for turning steaks; spatulas for burgers. A fork will pierce the beef causing loss of flavorful juices. And don’t be tempted to press down on burgers – it only releases the juices and creates flare-ups.

8. Use a thermometer. The best way to determine doneness of burgers and steaks is to use an instant-read meat thermometer, inserted horizontally from the side to penetrate the center of the meat. Allow 10 to 15 seconds for the thermometer to register the internal temperature.

9. Internal temperature matters. Cook burgers to at least 160°F. The color of cooked ground beef is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Cook steaks to at least 145°F (medium rare doneness). The color will be very pink in the center and slightly brown toward the exterior.

10. Practice food safety. Keep raw meat separate from other foods both in the refrigerator and during preparation. Wash hands, all utensils and surfaces in hot soapy water after contact with raw meat. Never place cooked meat on platters that held raw meat. Use clean serving platters and utensils. Serve cooked food promptly and refrigerate immediately after serving (within two hours after cooking).

Tips for Perfect Kabobs

• Keep all ingredients about the same size so they cook evenly.

• When threading kabobs, leave a space between each piece of food to help ensure even cooking.

• If you’re cooking foods with very different cooking times (like beef and cherry tomatoes), keep the same foods on one skewer. Cherry tomatoes, which cook in about 2 minutes, will overcook in the time it takes to cook beef, about 10 minutes.

• Metal skewers will work best for foods that take longer than 5 minutes to cook.

• Bamboo skewers should be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before adding the food so they don’t burn in the intense heat.

• Watch kabobs carefully on the grill, and turn them frequently.

• Be sure the grill is clean, hot, and well oiled so the food will release.

• For foods that can twirl on the grill, like shrimp, mushrooms or other vegetables, use two skewers, parallel to each other, to pierce the food.

• For variety, cut your beef across the grain into ¼ inch strips to create ribbon kabobs.

• For small vegetables use a basket or make a foil cup.

• For fruits, select harder fruits such as apples, pineapple and pears. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or ice cream.

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