Be a star at your next barbeque with these 4 grilling tips to avoid dried out meat. If you’re like most of us you like to cook outdoors during warmer weather.
Not only does it get you out of the hot kitchen but it also gives you a chance to enjoy your backyard. The only problem is that when you cook meat in a hot dry environment like a grill, your meat toughens and juices leak out.
With these simple tips you’ll be serving moist and juicy steaks, chicken, sausages, and fish in no time.
1. Buy the Right Meat
The first thing you can do is buy the right meat. Make sure the beef is firm to the touch, not soft. If you will be using fish, it needs to be glossy intact steaks or fillets.
2. Make Sure You Preheat the Grill
Another key tip to avoid dried out meat is to be sure to get the grill hot before adding any meat. Also, when you cook the meat be sure to keep the grill closed as it helps to lock in the flavor.
For sausages, pork and chicken you want to lock in the moisture by rubbing it with oil and seasonings.
For indirect cooking, a good marinade is the best choice for locking in moisture as well as flavor. The best cuts of beef should soak for 20 minutes to an hour. For less choice cuts of meat, increase the soak time to tenderize.
Chicken needs to marinate for at least 20 minutes but not more than an hour if the marinade is vinegar based.
For meat that is to be cooked for a long period of time with the lid down, a simple pan of water set inside the grill away from the meat will help replace some of the juice lost during cooking.
Flavored chips (Mesquite for example) added to the water will enhance the taste. An open can of beer set over the hottest part of the fire will boil and saturate the air with vapor and flavor.
Many cooks use a spritz bottle filled with a liquid to spray the meat several times throughout the cooking process.
For your safety and the wellbeing of your guests, always marinate in the refrigerator—never at room temperature, but DO let the meat sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or so before putting it on the grill.
Any sauces should be added during the last 20 or 30 minutes of grilling.
4. Don’t Overcook Your Meat
Use the proper cooking time for the selected meat and remember to let the meat rest after removing it from the grill. This gives it time to finish cooking and reabsorb some of its juices.
Certain types of meat are meant to be cooked and removed from the heat before it has a chance to dry out. Things like sausage, pork chops and chicken breast for example, are usually quick cooked over direct heat.
Following these tips and taking the time to moisturize your meat in a marinade will help you achieve a flavorful, succulent meat your guests will love.
Your Turn: How do you keep your meat from drying out?
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