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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Meat Preparation In One Place

New age cuisine, vegetarian and vegan options are always great, but who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned seared steak? Whether you’re new to the barbeque scene, or you want to impress your friends and family at the next cookout, preparing meat can be a little challenging. What kind of meat is good, and what is the perfect cut? Do I need a gas or charcoal grill? How do I get the perfect seared crust? Whatever your query is, we’ve got you covered! With our easy step-by-step guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about meat preparation for the grill.

First Things First

Wash your hands before you do anything else. Prepare separate cutting boards and knives for each type of meat you will be working with. Don’t forget to wash out these cutting boards and utensils with warm soapy water after you’re done. Salmonella is anything but a condiment!

Assess Your Grill

Before you turn up the heat, it might be time to turn your attention to your grill. Before you put any meat on there, make sure you’ve cleaned and oiled the grates and make sure you’ve gotten rid of any old ash. When you’re ready to start, check you have enough fuel (coal or gas), crank up the heat, and get to grilling!

Prep Your Meat – Don’t Be Afraid of a Little Seasoning

Now it’s time to turn your attention to the main attraction: The meat. If you know exactly what cut of meat you want, then you’re good to go. If you’re more unsure whether you should go with ribs or tenderloin, Joonas, a BBQ master over at Grill Smoke Love says tenderloin cuts are perfect for grilling and searing. Next is the seasoning. With most meat or fish the best and easiest ways to go are Dry seasoning or Marinating. The difference between them is pretty simple, here’s all you need to know.

– Dry Season

Dry rubs are a dry blend of spices and can be as simple as salt and pepper and range to brown sugar and cumin. Rubbing this delicious mixture over the meat gives it that signature texture and seared crust on the grill. To get the best crust for your buck, pat the meat dry with a clean lint-free paper towel before you start seasoning. This will stop the surface moisture on the meat from cooking your cut instead of searing.

– Marinade

Don’t let the french word scare you, a marinade is a simple yet effective way to amp up the flavor and keep your meat staying tender and moist. Simply put: a marinade is a blend of spices in a liquid. With the liquid component, you can get quite creative with different kinds of oils, vinegar, sauces, and even yogurt! Depending on the toughness of the meat, you can marinate for up to 12 or 24 hours. The general rule is the tougher the meat, the longer you marinate it, just don’t forget about it in the fridge!

Slap it on the Grill and Leave it

Now that your meat is prepped perfectly, it’s time to put that shrimp on the barbie! Just make sure to check the temperature of the grill before you do! Once the meat or fish is on the grill and it starts to sizzle, the next step is crucial: leave it alone. If you want to get those beautiful grill marks and the perfect seared crust, resist the urge to flip or rotate the meat. Moving it before it’s ready, might lead to tearing. Once browned, you can move or flip the meat easily without tearing. To prevent the meat or fish from sticking to the grill, feel free to brush it over with some melted butter, oil, or your leftover marinade.

Let the Meat Rest

Once you’re done with the grill, it’s time to take the meat off and put it aside. You’ll need to give it about 10 minutes for average cuts, or around 20 minutes for bigger cuts before you start slicing. Do this so that the meat can cool down and retain all those flavorful juices. If you’re too quick, all that juicy goodness will be on your cutting board, and not in your steak.

Slice Against the Grain

If you look closely at your now beautiful, grilled cut, you’ll notice some fine lines going down the meat. These lines, similar to the ones in the cross-section of trees, are your meat fibers and they represent the grain. You’re going to want to cut your meat perpendicular to the grain (against it), to get the most tender bite, every time.

So there you have it, now you’re all set to get your grill on! So pick out that perfect cut, get your meat thermometer and spices out and call over the friends and family! Fix up a nice side dish of broiled vegetables or french fries to go with your perfectly prepared cut of meat, or just eat it as it is. We won’t judge, Bon Appétit!


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