5 Chef Tips for Firing Up the Grill

By Eric Wendorff, Wegmans Executive Chef

Yes, you really can celebrate summer with a stress-free backyard barbecue! Here’s my advice for getting the most out of your grill while enjoying your own party.

1. Get Organized

While it takes your grill 10 min to come up to searing heat, tackle some of your prep work for veggies and sides and get your grilling tools organized! You’ll need:

  1.  Brass-bristled grill brush for cleaning and grill wipes to coat the grate lightly before cooking
  2. Silicone basting brush for sauces or basting oil
  3. Long-handled tongs
  4. Digital thermometer
  5. Spatula for moving more delicate food and skewers to keep smaller items from falling through the grill.

2. More flavor, less effort

With tumble-marinated meats, barbecue sauces, rubs, and bottled marinades, you can put loads of flavor into grilled foods without much work in the kitchen. Wegmans basting oil, salt, and pepper alone will keep food moist and enhance flavors.

3. Low and slow

Once your food gets those great char-marks, move it to a lower heat area to finish the cooking. Cooking with coals? Create a hot zone by bunching them in one area instead of spreading them out. After searing the food, use tongs to move it several inches away from the coals.

4. Turn any gas grill into a smoker

Put a new spin on the basic grilling technique with a Charcoal Companion Smoker Bar. Just fill it with specially flavored wood pellets, put it on the back of the grill and heat on high for about 10 minutes until the pellets smoke. Then grill according to your recipe, lid closed--a vent forces the smoke out right onto your food.

5. Carry-over cooking – give it a rest

A digital thermometer will tell you whether your meat, poultry or fish has reached its target internal temperature, but remember “carry over” cooking continues for several minutes after you’ve taken food off the grill. Let foods sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. This brings foods up to target temp and makes your food tender and juicy – just the way you want it.

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