GREENWICH, Conn. -- According to foodimentary.com , July 4 is the most popular holiday for barbecuing (71 percent), followed by Memorial Day (57 percent), and Labor Day (55 percent).
And so, to get your grilling up to speed, Chef Marcia Vazquez of Balducci’s in Greenwich, offers the following advice.
- Decide what to grill on: gas vs. charcoal. Gas is quicker and sometimes more convenient, while charcoal is slower and requires more skill, but will have a smokier richer flavor.
- Choose a cut of beef that has a higher fat content (for flavor) and tenderness. Rib eyes, strip steak, sirloins, filet mignon, porterhouse and T-bone cuts are best for grilling because of their fat content, which contributes to the flavor, and tenderness.
- Meat should be seasoned prior to grilling; salt and pepper will work just fine. Once on the grill do not touch it until it is ready to be turned over.
- Depending on the beef cut and thickness and desired temperature, each side should be cooked from 6-12 minutes . Once the meat has reached your desired temperature, set it aside covered to sit for 3-5 minutes so the juices do not run out when you cut into it.
- To check the temperature, the instant-read thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the meat and away from bones since bones conduct heat.
- Keep the grill clean and oiled. It's easiest to clean when it's hot. Just before you put on the food, scrape down the grate with a grill brush. Then moisten a balled-up paper towel with vegetable oil and use long tongs to oil the grate. Keep a squirt bottle of water next to your grill and watch for flame ups.
- Leave the food alone. The number one cause of food sticking to the grill is moving it too soon. Unless you are dealing with a very thin steak or delicate vegetable, don't touch it for at least five minutes.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.