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Eleven Commandments of Perfect Grilling

June 22, 2009

It’s that time of year! Yes summer time and grilling is fun, healthy and tasty. Patsy Cunningham, CEO of Cunningham’s Gourmet Sauces provided us with 11 commandments of grilling using Cunningham’s Memphis Gourmet Sauces. They are as follows:

1. Be Organized. Have everything you need for grilling – food, marinade, Cunningham’s gourmet basting sauce, Cunningham’s gourmet semi-sweet barbecue sauce, rubs and equipment.

2. Gauge Your Fuel. There’s nothing worse than running out of charcoal or gas in the middle of grilling. When using charcoal, light enough to form a bed of glowing coals. (A 22-½ inch grill needs a chimney’s worth of coals.) When cooking on a gas grill, make sure the tank is at least one-third full.

3. Preheat The Grill To The Right Temperature. Remember: Grilling is a low-heat cooking method. In order to achieve the seared crust, charcoal flavor and handsome grill marks associated with masterpiece grillmanship, you will need to grill the meat directly over the coals during the last five minutes of cooking. How high? At least 200 degrees F. When using charcoal, let it burn until it is covered with a thin coat of gray ash. Hold your hand about 6 inches above the grate. After 3 seconds, the force of the heat should force you to take your hand away. When using a gas grill, preheat to high (at least 200 degrees F); this takes about 10 to 15 minutes. However, this rule doesn’t apply to all food groups.  For ribs, shoulders, chicken and thick cuts of meat, fowl and fish, refer to your recipe for the correct temperature. For indirect grilling, preheat the grill to 350 degrees F.

4. Keep It Clean. There’s nothing less appetizing than grilling on dirty old burnt bits of food stuck to the grate, and besides, the food will stick to a dirty grate. Clean the grate twice; once after you’ve preheated the grill and again when you’ve finished cooking. The first cleaning will remove any bits of food you may have missed after your last grilling session. Use the edge of a metal spatula to scrape off large bits of food and a stiff wire brush to finish scrubbing the grate.

5. Keep It Lubricated. Oil the grate just before placing the food on top, if necessary (some foods don’t require that the grate be oiled). Spray it with oil (away from the flames), use a folded paper towel soaked in oil, or rub it with a piece of fatty bacon, beef fat or chicken skin.

6. Turn Don’t Stab. The proper way to turn meat on the grill is with tongs or a spatula. Never stab the meat with a carving fork unless you want to drain the flavor-rich juices onto the coals.

7. Know When To Baste. Oil and vinegar, as well as citrus- and yogurt-based sauces and marinades can be brushed on the meat throughout the cooking time.  (I suggest using Cunningham’s Memphis Gourmet Basting Sauce. It doesn’t burn or run off and it keeps your food products moist and flavorful.) Baste every time you open the grill or turn over your food products.

8. Keep It Covered. When cooking larger cuts of meat and poultry such as a whole chicken, leg of lamb, ribs, shoulders or prime rib, use the indirect method of grilling or barbecuing. Keep the grill tightly covered and resist the temptation to peek. Every time you lift the lid, you add 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time.

9. Know When To Glaze. Glazing is an art; it compliments your food products. Brush on Cunningham’s Memphis Gourmet Semi-Sweet Barbecue Sauce during the last 10 minutes of grilling.  Turn over and repeat. This sauce is so desirable – many consumers use it as a dipping sauce and use it in many recipes. Never glaze over direct heat.

10. Give It A Rest. Beef, steak, chicken – almost anything you grill – will taste better if you let it stand on the cutting board for a few minutes before serving. This allows the meat juices, which have been driven to the center of a roast or steak by the searing heat, to return to the surface. The result is a juicier, tastier piece of meat.

11. Never Desert Your Post. Grilling is an easy cooking method, but demands constant attention. Once you put something on the grill (especially when using the direct method), stay with it until it’s cooked. This is not the time to answer the phone, make the salad dressing, or mix up a batch of your famous margaritas.

I hope each of you will use and enjoy the helpful grilling tips. If you would like to share comments, recipes, products, stories, accomplishments, etc.,  please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2009 7:39 pm

    If you’re going to get really serious about grilling you’ll probably end up with a charcoal grill that will shut down tight enough for smoking and low-slow cooking. We have been designing our grill for the last four years. It’s worth a look if you want to see what a professional quality grill looks like. Google german grill.

    • Kechia permalink
      June 23, 2009 9:04 am

      Hi Ron,
      Thanks so much for your response. I looked at the German grill online and will make this recommendation to our Chef with hopes he will try to add this to his budget this year. We participate in events that require outdoor cooking from time to time and I really think this would be a great investment for our department.

      Again, thanks for reading our blog and sharing this grill with us, because I had not heard of this grill before.

      It would be nice to have one at home, but I’ll have to save a little longer for this one.

      Have a great day!

  2. Nicole permalink
    June 23, 2009 12:16 pm

    Thanks for the grilling tips Kechia! Just in time for the 4th!

  3. July 7, 2009 2:25 pm

    Great post!

  4. July 8, 2009 10:35 am

    We grilled some chicken for the 4th. It turned out really yummy, thanks for the tips 🙂

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