For many, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off of summer. It also marks the beginning of grilling season, and every year, people across the country gather in their backyards with good food, family and friends to honor those who have served us in the military.
To ensure your Memorial Day bash is a success, here are a few basic grilling tips.
- Plan ahead. Before you fire up the grill, make sure you have everything you need organized, prepped and ready to go. This includes making sure you have enough propane or charcoal to get you through your cookout.
- Turn up the heat. Preheat your grill at least 15 minutes before putting on the meat to burn off remaining residue from your last meal and to make sure it reaches the optimal temperature. A properly heated grill sears your meat on contact and prevents it from drying out.
- Brush it off. Use a cleaning brush to remove buildup before each grilling session and when you swap out meats and vegetables.
- Invest in a good thermometer. For the best cooking results and to avoid undercooked meat, cook your meats according to a food thermometer. A good thermometer will allow you to achieve the perfect internal temperature for the specific meat you are cooking.
- Oil it up. Reduce sticking and make clean up easier later by lubricating the grates on your grill with vegetable oil before you put on your food.
- Be patient. To maintain a consistent temperature, resist the urge to repeatedly lift the lid or poke and flip food to check for doneness. Instead follow the approximate time given in your recipe, and use your food thermometer to test its internal temperature.
- Time it. Meat will continue to cook after you take it off the grill, so it's best to remove it right before it has reached the desired doneness.
- Keep it simple. Hot dogs, burgers, chicken and corn on the cob are quick and easy foods for a Memorial Day cookout. Combine your meats with a spread of condiments, fruit and chips, and you’ve created a tasty, trouble-free feast that everyone will enjoy.
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