About 79 million people grill out each year, according to the U.S. Census. Summer weekends, including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, are among the most popular times to have a back yard grill party. Becoming a grilling guru, however, takes practice. Chef Sam Cover Spokane Valley offers a few tips for successful grilling.
- Prepare the surface. The surface should be clean. A good grilling chef uses a wire brush to clean the grates and remove residual food or char. They then wipe down the surface using a cloth and vegetable oil. They preheat the grill, then halve a potato and rub it on the hot grates to prevent food from sticking to the surface, says Sam Cover Spokane Valley.
- Prepare the meat. Experienced grilles take the meat out of the refrigerator at least half an hour before grilling time. The meat will cook more evenly if it has rested on the counter for a while before cooking, says Sam Cover Spokane Valley. Cooks should brine pork chops and chicken before grilling to prevent them from drying out. Dry brining, or salting the meat a few hours before cooking, also works well, says Sam Cover Spokane Valley. Meat also tastes better if it rests for a few minutes after grilling before slicing, he says.
- Leave the meat alone. Amateur grillers seem to want to flatten the burgers or continually move chickens around the grill, says Sam Cover Spokane Valley. Meat should be seared on the outside for the best flavor, but searing won’t happen unless the meat stays in one place. Consider using the reverse sear method for chicken, cooking it slowly over low heat, and then searing at the higher temperature. Avoid pressing on the burgers; pressing allows flavorful juices to escape, says Sam Cover Spokane Valley.
- Prepare vegetables properly. Cooks should toss vegetables in marinade or sauce after they’ve been grilled rather than soaking them beforehand. They should add salt after grilling because salt added beforehand can cause the grill to smoke. For best results, vegetables should either be cut into thin planks or rounds to give them more surface area or placed on skewers, Sam Cover Spokane Valley says.
- Put a lid on it. Amateur grillers often make the mistake of opening the top to check on the meat frequently. Food cooks better when covered, says Sam Cover Spokane Valley.
Renowned chef Sam Cover was born and raised in the Spokane Valley and has managed kitchens in many of the nation’s most highly regarded restaurants and hotels. Sam Cover Spokane Valley is known for his fresh fish and seafood dishes and his advocacy in the farm-to-table movement. Sam Cover Spokane Valley is opening a new restaurant this year.