One of the few outdoor activities for all to enjoy in the Arizona heat is hosting a barbecue by the pool. In my opinion, the only thing better than the smell of meat grilling on the barbecue, is eating meat grilled to perfection with loved ones. The first step toward perfection remains to prepare your grill.
Here’s a few helpful tips:
Charcoal vs. Gas
It’s the age-old debate over which grilling method is “better”. While no study proves that either method is healthier than the other, gas does burn cleaner. From a taste perspective, many people prefer the smokier, richer taste of food cooked on a charcoal grill.
If you choose charcoal grilling, try additive-free lump charcoal, which is actually just charred wood.
Get it Hot
It’s best to preheat your grill 15-20 minutes before cooking. This will make sure it reaches the right temperature and will kill any bacteria left from the previous time you used the grill.
Brush it Off
Once the grill has preheated, it’s the perfect time to remove any debris. Using a long-handled nylon grill brush, scrape your grill rack to clean off charred debris from prior meals. Scrape again immediately after use, too. Remember to replace your brush as soon as you see worn bristles.
Oil the Grill
Even on a clean grill, lean meats can stick when placed directly on the rack. Reduce sticking by oiling your hot grill rack with a vegetable-oil-soaked paper towel. Do not use cooking spray. For safety, hold the oiled paper towel with long-handled tongs and rub it over the rack.
Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fill Your Plate has a list of where you can buy locally grown meat, vegetables, fruits and more! Go to www.fillyourplate.org and enjoy!
Recipe for Grilling that Perfect Burger
1 ½ pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
4 hamburger buns, split; toasted, if desired
4 slices cheese (optional)
Toast the burger buns.
Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (6 oz each). Form each portion into a ¾ inch thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals until they glow bright orange and ash over. Brush the burgers with the oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers over. Cook until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium rare or until cooked to desired degree of doneness.
Add the cheese, if desired, to the tops of the burgers during the last minute of cooking and top with a basting cover or tent the burgers with aluminum foil to melt the cheese.
Place the hot burgers between the buns and serve.
Editor’s note: For more information on our member benefits go to Arizona Farm Bureau’s member benefits page online. Or, download the Member Benefits app to your smart phone for easy, everyday access to your benefits