When it comes to barbecue, it’s all about the meat. Yes, you can certainly grill all sorts of vegetables and side dishes and even desserts on your BBQ, but let’s face – we all want perfectly grilled meat to shine as the star on our summertime dinner plates. And with these expert BBQ tips from Bobby Flay and the Food Network, you will be a real pro next time you grill meat at home.
It All Starts with the Best Meat
No matter what tips and tools you use to grill meat, it just won’t taste as good as it could if you are using a poor quality or low grade of meat. Bobby Flay recommends that you always purchase your steaks, fish and burgers fresh from the butcher’s counter and avoid anything pre-wrapped and sitting in your grocery’s meat case. For the best quality, opt for Certified Black Angus or USDA Prime cuts. Lots of marbling, indicated by white streaks of fat throughout the meat, makes a steak tender, juicy and flavorful.
Treat Meat Gently
The number one tip that Bobby Flay shares for perfectly grilled meat is to leave meat alone until it is done on the bottom side. If you move it too soon, it will stick to the grates. That means no squeezing or flattening burgers with your spatula. Every time you do, fat squeezes out and that means your burgers will be dry.
Allow steaks to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to a half an hour or so before slapping it on the grill. This helps the meat cook more evenly. The only exception to this rule is a tuna steak. It needs to be chilled when it hits the grill in order to achieve a nice, rare sear on the outside.
The same principle holds true after the meat has been cooked. Steaks need to rest for a minimum of five minutes (and up to 15 minutes) before slicing into them, giving those tasty juices time to reabsorb back into the meat. The thicker the cut of steak, the longer it needs to rest.
When it comes to determining whether or not your meat is done, it’s better to err on the side of caution and take it off the grill when just slightly undercooked. Use a good meat thermometer. The meat will continue to cook for a few minutes after removing it from the barbecue (see the tip on resting, above). The internal temperature will often rise by about five degrees after resting.
If you are cooking bone-in meat, such as chicken quarters, you can get a nice crust on the skin by putting the pieces directly over high heat. But do move them to indirect heat before they develop a burnt char. Alternatively, you can par-roast chicken in the oven for about 15 or 20 minutes before adding it to a hot grill.
Grilled Two Cheese Burgers Recipe
Now that you know the secrets to perfectly grilled meat, you may want to try your hand at this recipe from The Food Network website, courtesy of Melissa D’Arabian.
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil (or chives, parsley, mint)
- 1 scallion (white and green parts), trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the burgers:
- 1 1/4 pounds 80% lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 tomato, cored, thinly sliced, and lightly salted
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
To make the sauce: Place the mayonnaise, sour cream, basil, scallion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and puree until creamy and pale green. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
To make the burgers: Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Divide the ground beef into 4 equal pieces and gently form into patties. Use your thumb to make a small indentation in the middle of each burger (this is so the burger grills flat and doesn’t contract and puff up on the grill). Brush both sides of the burgers with the oil and then season with salt and pepper.
Place the burgers on the grill and cook until they have grill marks, about 4 minutes. Flip the burgers, cook 2 minutes longer, and then top each with about 1 tablespoon of the mozzarella. Cook the burgers 2 more minutes for medium-rare doneness and remove from the grill. Place the buns on the grill, cut side down, and lightly toast, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Set a burger on each bottom bun half. Top with a salted tomato slice. Spread 1 tablespoon of the garlic-herb sauce on the top bun half, sprinkle with Parmesan, cover the burger, and serve with more sauce on the side for dipping.