Grilling Those Steaks and Cleaning Those Grills
This weekend (and every weekend until Labor Day), you’ll have the opportunity (or urge) to grill outdoors. Let’s review how to “hook up a steak” while keeping the grill “so fresh and so clean, clean”.
Meating and Greeting
Good cuts of steak are expensive and it only makes sense to eat good cuts this summer. If you’re buying expensive steaks, you must prepare them correctly. First, regarding your grill (not the Paul Wall kind), you have to use either a propane or charcoal one.
Focus on buying one of the following cuts: rib-eye, strip, tenderloin or t-bone/porterhouse. These are higher-end cuts that will justify the grilling expedition.
To prepare the cuts, you must salt your steaks properly. First, make sure to buy kosher salt; table salt won’t be helpful here (believe it or not, all salt is not created equally). Second, salt your steak a few days in advance. This window of time is optimal because the salt will have enough time to work its way into the meat. If you’re pressed for time, you can salt your steak 40 minutes before it hits the hot steel.
For higher-end cuts, we’d recommend skipping any marinating or steak-rubbing. A well-salted steak will taste fine after you’ve grilled it properly.
Pre-grilling, bring your meat up to room temperature to ensure it will cook evenly. Charcoal grills, unsurprisingly, will give your meat a “smoky” taste that propane grills will not.
While grilling, make sure to start your process by throwing the steak onto the cooler side of the grill and closing the lid. We recommend flipping your steak multiple times to ensure even-heating. Allowing the steak to cook “up to” the proper temperature before flipping onto the “hot side” of the grill will retain maximum moisture and flavor. Use an instant-grill thermometer to gauge whether your steak has cooked to your desired level.
Cleaning the Grill Afterwards
Staring down at your blackened grill, you’ll start wondering if cleaning is harder than grilling. Cleaning your grill (especially if it’s charcoal-based) is necessary because if you don’t, disgusting flavors will blend into your meat during your outdoor bonanza. You can make this process much easier for yourself by splitting the work. First, perform some brushing while the girl still relatively hot; this will allow you to tackle large deposits of residue that have not yet hardened or crystalized.
After your festivities, empty all of the ash out of the bowl. The good news here is that if you’re not willing to buy any grill-specific cleaning products, you don’t need to. Use a healthy mix of dish soap and water to clean the bottom of your grill – aim to remove any residue and ash remnants.
Last but not least, turn the lid upside down and “clean if it’s brown”. Use the same solution (dish soap + water) to thoroughly clean any residue; if you don’t, you’ll be tasting it later.
Grilling is only fun if you’re doing it properly. Buy a high-quality cut of meat, use kosher salt to season it properly and grill it thoroughly. Afterward, spend a considerable amount of time removing any residue or ash from your charcoal grill in order to ensure you won’t be tasting the crisp flavors of combustion next time.