Grilling Tips from Dream Dinners

Great Grilling Tips from our Dream Dinners Mar Vista store

Dream Dinners Mar Vista, CA Store
Dream Dinners Mar Vista, CA Store

Justin’s secrets for summertime grilling. One of our guests recently asked why her steak turned out too dry, so I gave her my secret tips for perfect grilling. She wrote back, saying, “I made the dish Monday and it was great. I am keeping these tips forever and passing it onto my grandchildren.” That made me realize I should share these tips with everyone, just in time for the summer. Here’s how to insure your meat comes off the grill tasting juicy and delicious:

1. Don’t overheat! If the heat is too high or if you have the meat too close to the heat (if broiling), then the meat will dry out. It’s very important, however, to pre-heat the grill for 5-10 minutes. Then, I cook the meat over medium heat – 5 minutes or so per side.

2. Don’t flip out! Flip the meat over only once. Repeatedly turning it over causes you to lose more and more juice. Instead, time how long you cook it on each side and try to flip it only once.

3. Don’t smash it! Sure, it’s fun to use your spatula to make the steak sizzle, the flames flare, and to “force” the meat to cook. In reality, this dries out the meat. That’s why burgers at cookouts often turn out dry because the person grilling is having fun looking impressive in front of the flames. Pressing the meat down against the grill will dry it out because it forces more juice out of the meat.

4. Give it a rest! After you remove it from the grill, set the meat on a plate and cover it with aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes. If you cut into it right away, it will drain and dry out. This is especially true if you cut into it while it’s on the grill to check to see if it’s done. If you cut into it at all at anytime before you are ready to actually eat it, you will drain the juices. This is often one of the biggest culprits since you can literally watch all of the juice flow out of the beef if you cut in to check to see if it’s cooked.

How do you know when it’s done? To check “doneness”, use the fleshy part of your hand – between forefinger and thumb – as a guide instead of cutting into the meat. The firm part near your finger bones is “well-done”, the mushy webbing feels like “rare” meat, and the muscles right in the middle is “medium”. You can gently press on the meat to gauge how “cooked” it is. The firmer it is when you press on it, the more “done” it will be – and potentially drier. (Remember: Don’t press too hard, too often, or too long; just once with your finger or some tongs to gauge it – see number 3 above). Follow these tips, and you’ll be a celebrated grill master at your next cookout. Check out our summer menus – starting this month with our June selections – and you’ll find plenty of things to throw on the grill that will make you look like a true professional!