Whether you’ve worked a grill before or not, the backyard appliance can be overwhelming to use. How high should you heat the grill? How long does it take for your meat to cook? What kind of charcoal should you use? One small mistake can take your burger from bangin’ to blah, so we consulted our team of chefs to bring you the best grilling tips that’ll make you the star of your summer block party.
Preheat the Grill
Just like ovens, grills need to be pre-heated to get the most out of your cooking. Charcoal grills tend to produce better overall flavor once the coals have reached optimum temperature and color. Adding your food too early will give them a gassy smell.
Let your grill get to at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit. For charcoal grilling, wait until you see a thin layer of gray ash, then, do the hand test: hold your hand 6 inches above and count to 3, the heat should make you want to pull your hand away. If you’re using a gas grill instead, preheat on high and wait at least 10-15 minutes. If your recipe calls for indirect grilling then only preheat to 350.
Use Gas for Optimal Char
Looking for that classic summer char? Because gas grills can produce a steady high heat they tend to be better for charing. You can still achieve a decent char with charcoal, just be careful not to grease the coals too much, and don’t walk away! Grilled veggies can go from picture perfect to burnt in no time. If they do go too far, don’t throw them out though. Burnt vegetables are great for stocks, sauces, and braises!
Put a Lid on it
A grill lid is there for protection, sure, but that’s not all it’s good for. Strategically closing your grill while cooking can help you get some tasty smoky flavors. For smoking, charcoal grills are great because you can use different types of charcoal to add different flavors to your food. The possibilities are endless and the results are so, so delicious.
Select the Right Top-Quality Meats
Before you step one foot closer to that grill, make sure you have your meat selection on lock. For quick grilling, the classic burger is best. Look for special, custom blends to turn an everyday burger experience into something to remember. Our Signature 1946 Blend Burger Patty is an exclusive combination of wagyu brisket, aged prime rib cap, boneless short ribs, and angus chuck mixed to perfect proportions. Available by the patty in the Central Market Butcher Shop, the Signature 1946 Blend is the burger we use in all of our restaurants.
Want the most deliciously easy burger experience? Check out our new Go & Grill Burger Kit: everything you need to create 4 of your own Tellers “Black Label” Burgers, plus a par-cooked quarter tray of the famous Tellers Five Cheese “Mac”, rounded out with a bag of Long Island’s own Tate’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies. Each kit comes packed and ready-to-grill in our new Central Market Cooler Tote Bag: Chef’s gift to you.
Start with a Clean Grill
It’s always best to clean your grill after you cook, but let’s be honest, sometimes the party just can’t wait. So, always start your grilling adventure by scrubbing your grates with a high-quality wire grill brush. Once you get all the big stuff off, wipe the grates down with a cloth or paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. This will prep the surface for grilling and also pick up any broken-off bristles.
Go the Natural Non-Stick Route
Oil is traditionally the go-to tool to make your grill grates non-stick, but a more natural, cleaner method is to use a potato. Yup! A potato. Cut a potato in half and rub it along the hot grates. This creates a beautiful non-stick surface.
Let that Meat Rest — Before and After
When grilling steaks, it’s never a good idea to go directly from fridge to grill. The temperature difference is too great, your steak will never cook evenly. Instead, pull your steaks out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. This is especially true for thicker steaks, like our huge 38oz Porterhouse for Two, and massive 40oz Long Bone Ribeye. Give these monsters at least an hour to come to room temp.
That being said, when grilling burgers, you want to keep them chilled until you’re ready to throw them on the grill. This helps them stay together and stay as juicy as possible. Put the patties on a tray or platter, covered, in the fridge while the grill heats up. This helps more of the flavor-carrying fat stay in the meat.
Once your steaks and burgers are cooked to perfection it’s always best to let them rest before cutting and serving. Burgers are easy, just transfer them to a plate and let them sit for a minute or two to lock in juices. For steaks, transfer them to a cutting board, tent them under a big piece of foil, and let them rest for 5-7 minutes. While your steaks are resting they’re actually still cooking! This is called Carryover Cooking, and something you should always plan for: use a meat thermometer and remove your steaks when they’re about 5 degrees away from your target temperature. By doing so, you offset Carryover Cooking and end up with a perfectly grilled steak.