How to Keep Your Meats Savory and Full of Flavor

Enthusiasts consider grilling America’s favorite pastime. Every year, thousands of people fire up the grill in search of the perfect-tasting steak, chicken, or fish. This is often described as a juicy, tender cut of meat that is cooked perfectly inside and out. This can be easily achieved following some simple tips and tricks.

• Coat the meat in oil or butter to help it brown and to seal in the juices while cooking. Do not use olive oil, which has a low smoke point and can have a bitter taste when burnt. Let the oil soak into the meat for an hour or two before grilling.

• Try marinating the meat in a combination of oils and herbs. The herb flavors will infuse into the meat, making it extremely tasty and flavorful. Marinades are commercially available in the grocery store, but often a homemade mix is much better.

• Pat the meat dry before rubbing it with a dry mix of herbs and spices. Rubs help to seal in flavor and keep the juices near the meat while grilling.

• Sprinkle the meat with a little bit of salt and let sit for a bit before grilling. Many still debate on how long to let the salt sit on the meat, ranging from 30 minutes to several hours. Typically, meats that are less thick require less time. The salt works to break apart the proteins, making the meat tender. Although it initially draws liquid out, the salty juices are reabsorbed as it sits.

• Lightly pound the meat, especially steak, with a sturdy pan or meat tenderizer before grilling. This also serves to break up the proteins to make the meat less tough.

• Let the meat sit and come to room temperature before grilling. This avoids shocking the meat when going from cold to hot. A good rule of thumb is to let it sit for about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. Be sure to not let the meat sit out for longer than two hours. Any longer and unsafe bacteria may begin to grow.

• Heat the grill up to a high temperature before putting on the meat. This will sear the meat and seal in the juices. Never start cooking the meat on a cold grill. Move the meat away from any flare-ups that may occur. While this can add excitement to grilling, flames do not give any flavor and only serve to burn the meat.

• Put the meat on the grill and leave it there without touching it for three to five minutes. Flip once, and then let it sit on the grill until it is the desired doneness. Flipping only once reduces the amount of juices that are loss.

• Be sure to use a temperature gauge made for inserting into the meat. This will help ensure even cooking and avoid over-doneness.

• Let the meat sit for about 10 minutes after taking it off the grill. The proteins will begin to firm back up. While doing so, it will soak up and redistribute the juices in the meat, resulting in a juicy and moist flavor.

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