Whether you can’t seem to get the right flavour when you grill your meat or struggle to make a steak that’s anything other than undercooked or burnt, it wouldn’t hurt to learn a few more barbecuing basics.
Chef Natalia Machado from One World kitchen (Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET on Gusto starting September 1) sat down with us and spilled the beans on how to masterfully grill meat. And if you’re already a steak-grilling pro? Well, if you follow her tips, you’ll be better than good: you’ll be the champion of your barbecue.
1. Salt is key.
These days, keeping it simple is classy. Don’t even bother lathering your meat in a million different sauces–not when you have salt. Use a coarser salt (like sea salt) to coat your meat the night before your barbecue for extra crispiness and flavour.
“I do like to salt the meat sometimes the day before. This is something a lot of people don’t do because they’re afraid the salt is going to dehydrate the meat,” said Machado. “But if you salt the meat 12 hours before, the salted juices get sucked back in.”
2. Let it sit before you grill it.
Instead of grabbing your meat from the fridge and taking it straight to the grill, let it sit for a bit to improve its flavour. Machado explained how a rested steak “allows the juices to go through” the meat. If you let it rest, for at least 30 minutes, your meat will be a lot more tender when you eat it.
3. The fattier, the better.
Machado also said that a fattier cut of meat (like steak) means that it’s “easier to manage in terms of cooking temperatures.” No matter how much you cook it, it’ll taste great, while leaner meats need to be timed properly. If it’s got a higher fat content, there’s just more to love, you know?
4. Keep the meat far from the flame.
Don’t cook your meat as fast as you possibly can just to fill your stomach up. You want your meat to cook slowly, being braised in it’s own flavours. If you can manage, it’ll be well worth the wait, we promise.
5. Wait just a little longer.
We know, you’re hungry and eager to feast upon your creation. But hold your horses–it ain’t ready to be eaten just yet. If, for at least 30 more minutes, you can let the meat sit after it’s been grilled, it’ll taste so much better. You know what they say: ‘patience is a virtue.’