Stop! Before you grill, there’s some basics you need to know. These essential tips will leads you to better meat, chicken, burgers, and franks in no time.
It was hard to pin down Evergreen Meat Manager David Asovski to pick his brain on his essential grilling tips. After all, it’s summer season now, when the meat department is buzzing, not only before Shabbos, but all week long as we enjoy all those barbecues. And he’s still on top of every piece of meat you’ll find in Evergreen meat showcase.
“Every piece of meat you’ll see, whether in Monsey or Lakewood, is hand selected by me, and we stand behind every cut. All you need to do is follow these tips and you’ll have an excellent piece of meat,” Asovski says.
So, ready to hone your grilling knowledge? Let’s go.
BEFORE YOU GRILL. “Make sure your grill is clean. Preheat the grill for at least 25 minutes before cooking. That will kill any bacteria that’s present. (If your grill has a temperature setting, set it at 425⁰F).”
ON GREASING. “After it’s heated, schmear oil on the grates using a paper towel. Never use cooking spray on a grill, even the ones made for the grill!”
GETTING YOUR MEAT READY. “Make sure your meat is at room temperature before grilling. Otherwise, your meat won’t cook evenly. The outside will get cooked while the inside is still raw.”
ON THE ROAD? “Are you on the road using a disposable grill? Don’t try to use it to cook thick steaks. Stick to thin steaks, such as sandwich steaks.”
THE RIGHT TEMP FOR HOT DOGS. “If your grill doesn’t have a temperature setting, you can tell if it’s high, medium, or low by placing your open palm 5-6 inches above the grates. If you can only leave it there for 2 seconds before pulling away, it’s on high. If you can hold it there for 5 seconds, it’s medium. If you can hold it there for 10 seconds, it’s low. Low is the right temperature for cooking hot dogs. If you can’t hold your palm there for 10 seconds, the grill is too hot for hot dogs.”
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN. “Chicken pieces will stay juicier if they’re touching on the grill. Don’t overlap but they can touch. When it comes to boneless chicken breast, cook for a very short time over high heat. Bone-in chicken, on the other hand, should not be over direct heat or it will burn before cooking through.”
THE BEST STEAKS TO GRILL. “The best steak you can grill would be a marbleized prime rib or cowboy steak. Those take a long time to cook. A cheaper option is a Swiss steak or a club steak. Never put a minute steak on the grill unless it’s deveined. The vein gets tough when grilled and will make it inedible. If you’d like a lean option, Delmonico is the best. It’s the only one that’s both lean and juicy. London Broil is best if you’re serving a crowd, just make sure to cut across the grain diagonally.”
JUST WAIT. “The secret to grilling is to have patience. Don’t rush it even though everybody is hungry. Never squeeze that meat or pat it down. Then you’re just pushing out the juice. Just don’t play with it.”
ON BURGERS. “Avoid store-bought burgers that have fillers. At Evergreen, we only flavor our burgers with spices. They’re gluten-free (though not made in a gluten-free facility). Facon is great on the grill. Use it to top your burgers inside the bun.”
ON SPICE. “I like steaks with salt and pepper, but you can use a good spice rub too. You don’t need to marinate your steak.”
Want our favorite Evergreen recipe shortcuts and store-bought sauces for when you need a meal in a pinch? See this post.