Given that barbecue is one part art, one part science, we asked Steve "Newt" Newton, cofounder of Mission BBQ, to write a guest blog with tips and tricks of the grill. Step-by-step, here’s what our expert advises:
PICK THE RIGHT GRILL
You and your grill will be together and enjoying good times for many years to come. From the classic kettle grill to the luxury ceramic masterpieces, you can’t go wrong with the grill that you love.
THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Get your tools together. You don’t need much—a grill, gas or charcoal, maybe a couple of wood chunks, tongs, spatula, an electronic food thermometer and your favorite chef apron.
THE MAIN EVENT
When at the market, look for steaks that are well marbled, USDA choice or above. The marbling allows the flavor of the steak to transfer better, making a fuller eating experience.
Choose the heavier chickens as they cook better low and slow and are less likely to dry out.
Choose the meaty ribs…we all love meat on that bone.
PREPARATION IS KEY
Prepare your feast in advance, marinate or season it overnight for great flavors. McCormick spices and rubs are awesome and they’re Baltimore-based, baby!
Remove your proteins 20 minutes before you cook them to take the chill off them. It will help them cook more evenly.
Have the meats staged, refrigerated, and ready to go when the grill gets to the right temperature.
GET FIRED UP
About 15-20 minutes before you want to start cooking, get your grill started. Pre-heat it to make sure it is working properly and so you can adjust the heat to the correct level.
BRING ON THE HEAT
Get your grill to the right temperatures according to what you are grilling. If you can’t hold your open palm about 6 inches above the grill for more than a few seconds, that’s hot, white-hot grates are too hot! If you can hold it there for just a few seconds, that is considered medium/hot and is where you want to be. Anything longer than 10 seconds or so, you are at low/medium, which is great for delicate items.
GET READY TO RUMBLE
Using a grill brush, scrape clean any charred debris that is on the grates. Fold a paper towel, dip it lightly into oil, grab it with your tongs, and oil your grates to get some great grill marks.
TCB: TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
Place your proteins on the right place on the grill. Leave them alone as long as you can without charring.
For burgers and steak…I like it hot. Place directly over the hot coals for that crusting and carmelization of the marinade, spices and marbling. Try to only turn/move twice.
Go low and slow over indirect heat for chicken and other sensitive meats. Put the coals to one side or turn off a couple of burners to one side and place your feast there so it roasts in the flavors of the heat and smoke.
ARE WE THERE YET?
I used to use the old fashioned way to find out if it was done by poking, prodding and even cutting into it. I still will touch and feel to make sure it’s not soft (rare) and not too firm (well done), but also use that digital meat thermometer to make sure it is properly cooked.
LET IT REST
Loosely cover your masterpiece and let rest for 5-10 minutes (torturous, right!?). This will allow the juices to evenly distribute throughout the protein for a juicier meat.
NEXT GREAT FOOD STAR
Now you’re ready to go belly-to-belly with Bobby Flay.