3 Secrets to Becoming “The Meat Grill Master”

By Blueberry Haven June 10, 2020

Warmer (heck, even HOT!) weather has arrived in Michigan and so have the aprons, tongs, and gas tanks of summer! Whether you’re Chief Charcoal or part of the Gas Gang, we’re guessing that you are probably thinking about firing up the grill if you haven’t already this season. But, what can truly “up” your game and make your family worship your bbq’d fare right down to the grill marks? Read on to find out! 

1. Select your meat judiciously 

One of the problems no King of the Coals wants to introduce is dryness. Have you ever bit into a spare rib that left you searching for a glass of ice water? Chances are, the problem was that the cut of meat required more cook time than the grill could truly offer, and without advance preparation, meat can dry out (or worse yet, not be cooked through properly for pork, or chicken, etc.) If it’s not burgers, brats or hot dogs, you’ll want to consider the cut—here are some recommendations that will cook quickly and give you flavorful, tender results:

  • Thinly sliced beef top round
  • Flank steak
  • New York strip
  • Skirt steak
  • Pork ribs
  • Pork loin chops
  • Leg of lamb

If you do happen to have a tougher cut of meat, it can still be delicious on the grill—you’ll just want to introduce some cooking method before slapping it over the flames. Even good acidic marinade can help to combat tougher texture and may be all that is needed for say, a top sirloin steak.

2.  Don’t soak your wood chips

You’ve always heard you should soak them before adding them to the smoker or smoking tray for your grill, and some folks even immerse them in something fancy, like bourbon! However, soaking actually removes the minerals from the wood that create great flavor in the smoke, and slows down the cooking process by introducing steam and reducing overall heat. The verdict? Keep the chips dry, lower your heat a little, and watch for flames for the best product.

3.  Be right on time with the sauce

Too early, and the sugars from your delectable glaze can cause burning and get things gummed up. If you wait too long, you’ve missed a golden opportunity to infuse your meat with sauce (and nobody likes a bland barbecue.) The key? Watch carefully, and brush or glaze your meat about 10 minutes before it’s about to be done. That will allow your dish to soak up the flavors, and caramelize slightly, without burning or becoming too thick. In the meantime, watch for flames, and move to a lower heat area if burning starts to occur.

And don’t forget—you can always serve your sauce on the side! That’s how it’s traditionally done in BBQ. If you are dishing your sauce on its own, make sure it is respectable enough to stand alone. We recommend the sweet tang of our Blueberry Haven Blueberry Barbeque Sauce made from West Michigan blueberries in Grand Haven, Michigan. Not only is it absolutely delicious, it’s also an artisan sauce,cooked in small batches locally, with minimal ingredients (11 to be exact, and they are all things you’ll find in your cupboard—watch the video here!)

Happy grilling everyone!

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