Want to take your grilling game to the next level? Often wondered what the master grillers do to get that extra bit of juiciness or tenderness to their food? Well, it’s all in the details and the experts understand how to use their grills. Here’s a quick guide to give you some tips to master the techniques that the pros use.
Flip it, Flip it good
The age-old question at the barbeque. Should you just flip your steak just once?
Well, the science says you should be flipping your steak more than once, and often. A lot of experts in this field agree that flipping it multiple times is the best way to cook a steak, for several reasons:
- Faster: Fast-flipped steaks cook faster “because neither side has time to absorb a lot of heat when facing the fire or to lose heat when facing away.”
- Even cooking: By flipping the steak it allows for each side to cool down. The temperature built up near the surface disperses, some of the heat back into the air whilst the remaining heat is dispersed back into the steak. This gives the steak a more even cooking, preventing a drier exterior. Check out the full article on flippin’ science.
Buy premium meats
If you’re really wanting to up your grilling game, it’s time to up the quality in the selection of meat. There’s no need to travel all the way to Japan for their famous Wagyu steaks. Enter Snake River Farms. Snake River Farms American Wagyu cattle are raised along the plains of the Snake River in Eastern Idaho.
Get the perfect cuts delivered straight to your doorstep. This family-owned business has over 50 years of industry experience to bring you the best quality meat. The cattle at their farm are fed balanced diets and have space to roam freely. Each piece is wet-aged (marinated in its own juices) for more than three weeks, then hand-cut by a butcher and shipped frozen to you.
They have a fantastic range of cuts, a perfect match for your Dyna-Glo grill or smoker. You can find dozens of American Wagyu beef cuts to buy for a barbecue with your friends or just for yourself, including porterhouse, filet mignon, ribeye, and prime rib.
Not sure which cuts to buy? They give detailed descriptions of each cut to help you decide. Why not give something new a go!
Marinade, marinade, marinade!
If you’re reading this, it means one thing, you LOVE barbequing. Whether you’re into smoking or grilling, what takes your BBQ game to the next level is marinating.
You’re probably wondering, which marinades do I use? Well that’s where the Grill Masters Club comes in. Every month Grill Masters Club sends you a box of sauces, rubs, marinades, wood chips, new recipes, and grilling accessories to your door. They take the time to research, taste test, and vet EVERY supplier they work with, so you can be sure that a batch of quality products will arrive at your doorstep every month. Subscribe today!.
Create Heat Zones
It doesn’t matter the type of grill you have, whether it’s Gas, Natural or Charcoal. If you split the grilling surface into two or more zones and have different heat it gives you more control of your grilling. The high heat section is perfect for searing your meats, whilst the low heat zone is great for slow cooking. This will also allow for cooking different types of foods using different techniques.
Simply separate by having low heat on one side and high heat on another.
Charcoal Grills: Simply stack coals high on one side and little to no coals on the other side (pictured). This is made easier with the Dyna Glo Dual-Zone Grill (DGN576SNC-D) where it comes with two separate zones. What makes this grill great are the tray adjustment cranks which raise and lower the charcoal for fine-tuning temperature control.
Gas Grills: It’s as easy as utilizing all the burners, separating them with high and low heats.
Don’t cook cold meat
Probably one of the most common mistakes people make when firing up the barbeque is grabbing the meat straight from the fridge and onto the grill. In popular steak restaurants chefs like to let the steaks come to room temperature as it will give you a more even cooking process. If it’s too cold the inside will be rarer than it should be.
As a rough guide, at least half an hour is recommended for thin cuts and longer for thicker cuts.
Medium Rare, Medium well, or well done? We all have our preferences when it comes to how well we want our steaks cooked. But do you get it just right? Well it all depends on the internal temperature of the steak, specifically when it should be removed from the heat. Don’t forget to rest your steak after you remove it from your grill.
Our friends at Snake River Farms suggest these temperatures below for the perfect steak according to your needs.
|Rare||Red center, very cool||110°F|
|Medium Rare||Red, warm center||120°F|
|Medium Well||Pink center||140°F|
|Well||No pink||Not recommended|
Lid open or closed
It may seem like a complicated topic that you find hard to get a grasp of but knowing when to keep your lid open or closed on the grill isn’t as complicated as you may think. There are a few considerations that will dictate whether you keep the lid open shut or open.
As a general rule, if you’re just working with slim/thin cuts of meat, lift the lid up and keep it open. So that’s foods such as shrimp, burgers, slim steaks and burgers usually don’t need much time to cook.
For thick cuts you’ll need to keep the lid shut. Large roasts, steaks, or whole chickens naturally need more time to cook. By keeping the lid closed you’ll give the heat time to penetrate the meat thoroughly just like a conventional oven does.
The size of the meat you’re cooking also determines the type of cooking you’ll need to do, which brings us to our next point…
Direct or indirect cooking
Generally there are two different ways to cook on a barbecue, indirect and direct.
Direct Heat is the traditional way of barbeque where you have the heat source directly below the food you are cooking. It’s ideal for thinner types of food that tend to cook quickly. So that’s your hamburgers, fish fillets, veggies, and thinner steaks.
Direct Heat cooking heats the source directly with radiant heat to give you a crisp exterior.
Indirect Heat Cooking: is where you create a heat zone away from your food. By having the food away from the direct heat and closing the lid gives you convection heat. This is where just like an oven the heat circulates inside your barbeque to give a steady heat from all directions. For Charcoal grills, you would pile all the hot coals to one side of the barbeque and place the food on the opposite side. Similarly, on a gas grill, you’ll control the cooking space by turning burners off on the side where you have your food and switch on burners on the opposite side. Smokers use the same principle of indirect heat to slowly cook your food.
As you could probably guess, this is suited for foods that are thicker and larger in size, so that’s your roast chickens or whole joints of meat including ribs. The food will be cooked evenly on all sides without burning the outside.
So you’re probably thinking, but what if I want my food fully cooked on and crispy at the same time? Well yes you can use a combination of both direct and indirect heat cooking to achieve the perfectly cooked meal.
For example, if you have a thicker steak or a grilled chicken, you can sear it first using direct heat, followed by indirect heat cooking to finish it off.
To really control your indirect cooking you’ll need to have good control over the temperature of the barbecue, which we cover in the next section.
Total heat control
When it comes to controlling the temperature in the grill a lot of people assume the amount of charcoal you use is the most important factor. But the key to controlling the temperature is down to airflow, specifically the dampers and flues. Adjusting air dampers increase or decrease the temperature in your grill. The more air – the hotter the grill will get. The opposite is true, the less air the less heat it will get.
Most of the Dyna Glo Charcoal Grills have two dampers/flues – bottom dampers at the bottom of the grill and a top lid flue/damper. The lower damper feeds the fire by allowing oxygen to continue burning. If you close the supply, the fuel will burn out. The lid damper/flue acts much the same as the bottom damper, but also allows airflow, where the gases are released, allowing for more oxygen to be pulled through the bottom dampers.
As a general rule here are some damper settings:
Fully open: High Heat
Medium heat: ½ open
Low Heat: ¼ open
Very low / Smoke zone: ¼ to ⅛ open
As we generally cook outdoors with a grill, weather can also play a factor in temperature control.
Another crucial element is to always keep your grill clean. If your grill is clogged up with ash and other debris it will prevent proper airflow, affecting the performance of your grill.
Let Your Food Rest
Most people may know this tip, yet we still see people dig in their steaks as soon as it leaves the grill. Don’t just dig in straight away. Don’t be tempted by the smells of the juicy steak you’ve just cooked.
By waiting just a little while and allowing your meat to rest it will allow the juices that have been forced to the center of the meat to spread evenly throughout your meat to be reabsorbed. It will result in a much juicy and tender steak.
How long you ask. This depends on the size of the meat, but as a general rule, let it rest for five minutes for every inch of thickness.
Clean Your Grill and Protect it
It goes without saying treat your grills with respect. To keep your grill going strong every season, you need to give it a proper clean after each use. A clean grill will also help keep you get the same performance from your grill. Dirty blocked up grills can prevent proper airflow, affecting heating.
For the cooking grates simply turn the burners to the highest position and run for 15 minutes with the lid closed. Then turn off the burners and use a wire brush to clean excess food residue from the grates.
After the grill has cooled down, it’s best to protect your prized asset with a premium cover. Since your grill is usually stored outside on your patio or backyard, it’s exposed to the harsh environments which can cause your grill to prematurely break down. By coving up your grill after each cook you’ll extend the life of the grill.