8 Great Grilling Tricks and Techniques

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8 Great Grilling Tricks and Techniques
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Grilling is one of America's greatest traditions and no, it's not just reserved for men. Ladies and gentlemen alike can stand behind a grill and present mouth-watering meats and perfectly seared vegetables to hungry guests and family members who've anticipated the food hitting their palate ever since the grill began emitting aromatic smoke. Like any skill, though, becoming a grill master takes time and experience. You can also learn the great grill trade from those who've spent many hours in front of heated charcoal.

Getting a Perfect Sear
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Getting a Perfect Sear

Every griller strives for that picturesque sear, but a great sear does more than prettify a steak. "Searing seals in both flavor and juices," said Todd Simon, senior vice president and fifth-generation family owner of Omaha Steaks. "For perfect searing, grill the product at a high temperature of 500-to-600 degrees, just long enough to brown the surface." Use sturdy tongs to flip the meat and then reduce the heat for the duration of the grilling process.

Todd Simon; Senior VP of Omaha Steaks; Omaha, NE

Always Use a Clean Grill
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Always Use a Clean Grill

A clean grill is imperative if you want a quality product. It also increases the lifespan of your grill. Simon says you should clean and preheat a gas grill on high and use a grill brush for best results.

The 60/40 Method
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The 60/40 Method

Whether you're cooking a delicate fish, juicy hamburger or thick steak, Simon suggests adhering to what he calls the 60/40 method. Cook your product 60 percent done on one side. Flip it over with a long-handled, wide metal spatula and finish cooking it on the other side for an evenly cooked product.

Todd Simon; Senior VP of Omaha Steaks; Omaha, NE

Lock in Flavor
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Lock in Flavor

It's tempting to check on your product over and over again, but Simon says that's a major no-no. "Cover the grill as much as possible during the grilling process to help lock in the great flavor," he advised. This also keeps products juicy and prevents grill flare-ups.

Todd Simon; Senior VP of Omaha Steaks; Omaha, NE

Prevent Lost Food
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Prevent Lost Food

It's always unfortunate when something tasty slips through the grates to rest among charcoal ashes. In most cases, runaway food is often not salvageable. To prevent this, use a grilling basket. They're great for cubed potatoes, smaller vegetables and shrimp. Alternatively, use wooden spears.

Marinade
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Marinade

How do those grilling experts pack in so much flavor? For one, they use marinade. From chicken to veggies to tofu, steak and beyond, marinating your meat is necessary. How long you marinate depends on what you're grilling, but plan for two-to-24 hours in most cases. Use a marinade brush to brush juices onto the meat as you grill.

Cooked to Perfection
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Cooked to Perfection

Even the most seasoned grillers use a meat thermometer to make sure their meat is cooked perfectly. This is especially important for very thick cuts of meat. Undercooked meats are not only unsavory, but are also a potential health hazard. Use an instant-read meat thermometer every time you cook to prevent a raw middle.

Allow for Rest
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Allow for Rest

"Steaks and other grilled items continue to cook even after you remove them from the grill," noted Simon. To avoid meat that's chewy and overdone, let your food rest 3-to-5 minutes before serving. "Allowing the food to rest also allows the juices to redistribute for even doneness and results in the ultimate in great grilling flavor."

Todd Simon; Senior VP of Omaha Steaks; Omaha, NE

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