With spring less than a week away, folks are eager to break out and enjoy the fresh outdoors. As grilling season approaches, Chef Adam Tanner of CityGate Grille, a USDA Prime steakhouse in Naperville, offers five tips to get your gas or charcoal grill ready now, before your 2018 inaugural cookout.
Clean it up: A clean grill makes a difference in cooking efficiency and food flavor. Scrub grates with mild dish soap and warm water, and a stiff grill brush. Rinse and wipe the grates to remove any soap residue or remaining grime with a clean towel. On a gas grill be sure to also scrub the burner diffusers. Empty out and wipe any ashes from a charcoal grill.
Be safe: Check your lines and connections on gas grills and, before you have a hungry family waiting, be sure you don’t smell gas when you turn on the tank. Don’t forget about the grease trap. Grease from cooking is highly flamable. For charcoal grills make sure the handle is on tight and is not cracked. When the grill heats up and the lid is hot you don’t want risk the handle coming off when you go to lift off the lid.
Season it: After cleaning, spray or wipe down the grates with high-temperature oil. Grape seed oil or canola oil work well. Heat up the grill and close the lid so the oiled grates get nice and hot, allowing the oil to bake on the grates. After, cool down and again wipe with oil. You will see an oil coating on the grates that will help keep food from sticking.
Fuel up: Whether gas or charcoal, get ahead of the season by having a good supply of fuel. Nothing is worse is getting half way through grilling that perfect meal and running out. Keep an extra propane tank so if one empties it can be switched without ruining your meal. If buying charcoal, get your initial supply when stores offer it, then stock up just before Memorial Day and Fourth of July when many home stores have great discounts.
Choose tools wisely: In grilling and just about anything else, having the right tool for the right job is important. A good set of metal tongs will make turning meats and vegetables with easier. Silicone or plastic tongs made for indoor cooking often will not hold up to the intense heat of a grill. A sturdy metal spatula, along with those already seasoned grates, will add ease to flipping the perfect burger. Fish baskets are great for cooking seafood, as the name implies, and also for small vegetables. Don’t forget a stiff metal brush to keep the grill grates clean for the next time cookout. And never use a grilling fork. Poking holes releases juices that add flavor and tenderness to your meal.
Next in Grilling Tips with Chef Adam, learn the secrets to choosing the best meats and seasonings for extraordinary outdoor cooking.
CityGate Grille · 630.718.1010 · www.citygategrille.com