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Chef Bettis’ Summer Grilling Tip

food-chicken-meat-outdoorsAh yes, the summer sunshine is plentiful, the birds are loud and the grass is tall. It must be summer, and on this summer’s day the summer breeze is filled with the sweet smell of…Revenge!!

All winter long you heard the echoes of laughter coming from your grill – at your expense- as you tried to figure out why every time you put your favorite protein on the grill last summer it seemed that your evil grill held on to it like grim death. Not letting it go, keeping it stuck to the grill as your friends looked on in horror. Not this summer you declare!  You studied up this past winter on how to defeat the grill this summer once and for all.

First you ask yourself…”Did I grill brush my grill of all crusted on food debris from the last time I grilled?” Check!  Second, “Do I have a non-stick cooking spray?”…Check!  Third, as a new addition to your arsenal to battle the evil grill you learned from your winter wartime studies, “Did I marinate my protein in an oil based marinade?”…Check! Now for the coup de gras… “Have I given my grill the time to heat up, hotter than the sun, to where you need sunglasses to open the lid?”…Check!! You yell out your battle cry and head to the refrigerator to retrieve your oil marinated covered protein and…. Wait a minute; slow down Brave Heart of the BBQ. Did you just say that you were going to get your protein out of the refrigerator to put on the grill? Well, if that’s the case it will be another long summer. You see, you can marinate the protein as much as you want, you can spray your grill with as much food spray as you want, and you can get your grill as hot as you want,  but the minute you put the ice cold protein straight from the refrigerator on to your grill?…its game over. The cold meat cools down the grill surface where ever it is touching, thus the protein seizes and then sticks. Pull the protein out of the refrigerator and so it is just below room temperature. Now, I am not saying leave your protein out of refrigeration for an extended period of time, but allow it time to rest at room temperature, long enough to lose most of the refrigeration chill. Doing this will keep the protein from cooling down the grilling surface to the point of ”holding on to it like grim death”.

See, your grill is not evil after all. Now – go take up with your grill, fire it up and call the neighbors. Triumphantly raise your grilling tongs in the air you “Brave Heart of BBQ!

– Chef Joshua Bettis

Vivo HartfordChef Bettis’ Summer Grilling Tip

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