Grilling Tips with Chef Adam
With so many of us doing the right thing – staying home to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus – one way to relieve the monotony and cabin fever is get your household out to the backyard and fire up the grill. CityGate Grille pickup of select cook-at-home items begins March 30 and Executive Chef Adam Tanner suggests doing these five things now to prepare for outdoor family meals.
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 flammable. 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: Don’t hoard, but whether gas or charcoal, pickup a necessary supply of fuel. Nothing is worse is getting halfway 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. Also be sure to turn off tanks and, for charcoal, cover with the lid to extinguish rather than letting it burn down to seed your next cookout.
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 in good repair 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.
Adam Tanner is the executive chef at CityGate Grille, the USDA Prime steak and seafood restaurant located on the CityGate campus on Route 59 between I-88 and Ferry Rd. Beginning March 30, 2020, CityGate Grille will offer delivery and curbside pickup via DoorDash. Cook-at-home items can be ordered by calling 630-718-1010 and are available only for pickup. See menus and details at www.citygategrille.com/pickup-delivery .