GREENWICH, Conn. -- Given that barbecue is one part art, one part science, Daily Voice went to Chef Marcia Vazquez at Balducci’s in Greenwich for tricks and tips of the grill.
- 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. Ribeyes, 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. Poultry should be between 165 and 175 F, pork at 150 and beef depends, rare is 120-125F with medium at 140-145F, and well-done at 160F and above.
- 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.
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