The Family Table: Grillin’ and Chillin’


Two years ago my Mother’s Day gift from my husband was a big, shiny, sparkly…GRILL! That’s right not Father’s Day, Mother’s Day. A black and silver gas powered beast. I love it. I grew up in a grilling family and have always loved cooking that way. My husband can grill, but it is really my domain.

Over the years I have learned that you can grill just about anything!

I know some people may be intimidated by it, so here are some pointers.

1. Always start with a clean grill.

If it wasn’t cleaned after the last use, let it heat up to burn away any leftover bits and scrub it with a grill brush so that the grates are clean. That way you won’t get mixed up flavors.

2. Make sure the grill is nice and hot before you put anything on it.

Otherwise, you won’t get a crispy sear or those beautiful grill marks on your food.

3. If you are grilling meat, it doesn’t need to marinate forever before you cook it.

Marinades with citrus or vinegar can actually break down the meat and make it either tough or mushy. A quick soak is all you need, just before you put it on the grill, not hours and hours.

4. Once meat comes off the grill, you need to let it rest at least 10 minutes before you cut it.

I know that can be tough, but if you cut it without resting, all the good juices leak out. It will be way more flavorful if you let the meat rest.

5. Kabobs are awesome!

If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 15-20 minutes before you put food on them and place them on the grill so they don’t catch on fire. Or you could use metal skewers and skip that step.

6. Veggies do great in foil packets so you don’t have to worry about them falling through the grates.

Add some butter, salt and pepper to chopped veggies, wrapped in foil, put them on medium heat for 15 minutes. Done!

7. You can spray cooking spray on your grill to help prevent sticking.

8. If you aren’t sure about whether meat is done, use a meat thermometer.

Thermometers frequently have notes that tell you what temperature a particular meat needs to reach to be safe to eat.

9. To get those pretty grill marks, let the meat sear then move it same side down.

Move it 45 degrees and let it sear more. Perfect crossed grill marks.

10. Veggies can be the star of the meal!

A big slice of eggplant, a portobello mushroom, a slab of cauliflower- all can be grilled just like a meat. A drizzle of oil, some fresh herbs, and a little char…yummmmm.

*Bonus Tip: Grilling is always better with a cold beverage*

Just like anything, grilling takes practice. Don’t be afraid of the fire!!