How to Grill Meat
Grilling is one of the easiest and quickest ways to cook meat. It allows fat to drip away from the meat, making it a great option if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. Plus, when you use a grill, you eliminate having to wash baking pans and trays. There are many tricks to make sure whatever you're grilling will taste good. Follow these simple steps on how to grill meat and you'll be able to enjoy tasty, healthy dinners every night.
Six Simple Steps
Make Sure Your Grill is Clean
First, make sure your grill is nice and clean by using a brush to blow away any ash or dust from the last time it was used. Once it is clean, turn the heat up high and wait for the grill to get hot before cooking your meat.
Bring the Meat to Room Temperature
Most cooks will tell you to leave your meat out for at least 20 minutes before cooking, and that some thicker cuts, such as steak, should be out for around 40 minutes. Bringing your meat out of the refrigerator before cooking will allow it to warm up to room temperature so that it does not cool down the pan too much. If that happens, it can affect the browning process. If you are a novice meat-eater then you may not notice the difference but we want you to make the best grilled meat possible
Season Your Meat
If you have made a rub or marinade for grilling, follow the recipe, then use a brush to rub it onto your meat before grilling. Take a look at some marinade recipes if you want a little inspiration. If you are the type of person that likes to keep it simple, then a little kosher salt and some cracked black pepper will suffice.
Grill Your Meat
Once your grill is hot, place your meat on the grill rack and watch those lovely grill lines appear almost right away. For a traditional cross effect, rotate your meat 90 degrees so that a second set of lines appear. Once you see that the first side has browned (around 5 minutes), flip your meat and repeat on the other side. For medium to rare meat, it should take roughly eight minutes, and for well-done meat it will take around 12–15 minutes.
Let Your Meat Rest
After your meat is done cooking, you should let it rest before it hits your plate. Carefully take your meat off of the grill and place on a plate, covering with foil to keep the heat in. By doing this you are allowing the meat to rest and lose the excess juices so it doesn’t leak all over your dinner. This is especially important if you like your beef or lamb rare, as you don’t want blood running into your fresh salad, or other sides. If you are grilling fish such as salmon, it doesn't need to rest, and you can place it straight on to your plate.
Cook a Sauce with the Meat Juices
You will not want to use the juices from the pan if you are sticking to a healthy lunch, but if you're not worried about the extra calories then use the juices to make up a sauce to serve with your steak. Grilled meat that has been fully seasoned will still taste great without a sauce, and you can simply make up a low fat salad dressing to serve with your meat and salad.
Approximate Cooking Times
Cooking times will vary depending on how you like your meat to be served. What one person says is over-cooked might be perfect for another. However, it's important that all meat reaches a safe temperature (145F or 62.8C) for cuts of meat such as pork loins, steak, lamb, and roasts, and 160F (71.1C) for ground meat. Make sure you check with a thermometer before taking meat off the grill.
As long as the safe temperature is reached, it's safe to eat. Depending on your personal preference, you may choose to cook it longer. While steak and lamb are often served red or pink, pork and chicken should be checked more thoroughly. As a guide, the following grilling times (per side) should be followed:
- Beef (steak): 8–15 minutes depending on cut and preference
- Lamb steaks: 6–8 minutes
- Lamb chops: 10–15 minutes
- Pork steaks: 8–10 minutes
- Pork loin: 8 minutes
- Pork chops: 10–15 minutes depending on the thickness
- Chicken breasts: 8–12 minutes depending on the thickness
- Salmon: 4–5 minutes
- Burgers: 6 minutes (burgers may look done on the outside but check with a thermometer to en-sure safe, the same with sausages)
- Sausages: 6–8 minutes
Enjoy Your Meal
If you follow all of these simple steps, you'll become a grill master in no time. Experimenting with different spice blends and marinades will help you up your cooking game, and leave you with a variety of delicious recipes to choose from. Before you know it, you'll be planning backyard barbecues every weekend!