Get Perfect Grill Marks This Labor Day
Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Today: Go ahead, show off a little — with grill marks like these, you’ll secure your place over the fire for good.
Summer begins and ends by the grill. Starting Memorial Day, it’s the cornerstone of every long weekend, every party, and every easy weeknight dinner until the leaves begin to turn and we (begrudgingly) start wearing pants again.
In theory, grilling is fun, easy-going — the way summer should be. In reality, we take grilling pretty seriously. We grant certain people grill privileges (and revoke them from others), we accessorize with fancy tools, and we develop highly individualized techniques for cooking to temperature. The truth is, once the grill is fired up, we rarely let it out of our sight.
Now that we’re well into grilling season, it’s time to show off a little. Perfect the art of grill marks, and you’ll secure your place over the fire for good. Here’s how to do it.
Before you light your grill, heed these five tips:
1) The first step to a great sear is a hot grill. Let it heat up for at least 10 minutes before you start cooking. This will ensure that grill marks will start forming right away on your meat (or whatever else you’re grilling). Because your grill will need to be hot enough to brand the meat from the get-go, you’ll also want to create two heat zones — one very hot, and one cooler — so that once your marks form, you can move the meat to the cooler section to finish cooking.
More: Go beyond steak — check out our community’s favorite recipes for grilled vegetables.
2) Keep the grill clean. Dirty grates will lead to messy, undefined marks that will make nobody proud. The best way to clean the grates is once they’re hot and any leftover char has been carbonized — in this state, it will be easy to brush off any debris from their surface.