06 August 2011

Grillmaster 101: Cooking With Meat

Summer is slowly coming to an end, but there is still a good two to three months of grilling left, depending on where you live. Over the past few months, the guys and gals at Primer Magazine have given you tips on grill safety, side dishes, summer drinks, and a lot more to keep you going through the heat. Now that we have every other part of the meal covered, it is time to get down to the main course. With apologizes to our vegetarian friends, today’s lesson in Grillmaster 101 is Cooking with Meat.

With it now being August, it is likely that you are comfortable with tossing a couple of hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill. If you have not yet, it is time to move on to bigger and better things. The main thing you need to familiarize yourself with is marinating. Startcooking.com has a good write up on basic needs and knowledge for marinating your meat. Once you are familiar with the process, you are ready to get started.
The easiest meat to start with would probably be chicken. I prefer the dark meat, particularly when grilling. Dark meat tends to be more flavorful and I like grilling chicken with the bone in. The preparation is incredibly simple. Just put the chicken in a one gallon baggie and cover it in Italian dressing. Let it sit for a few hours, or overnight. From there, grill it at medium heat, roughly five minutes per side should do the trick. If you are feeling a little fancy, toss some Italian spices in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar in place of the dressing.

If you want a fancier dinner, but still want to stay within a budget, steak is the way to go. When prepared correctly, an inexpensive cut of steak can be just as good as the pricier variety. A good example is London Broil. My London Broil recipe, if you can call it a recipe, is similar to the chicken one. Again using a one gallon baggie, cover the steak in French dressing. Let it sit over night. Set the grill to medium heat, and place the steak on it diagonally. After four minutes, give it a half turn. Four minutes after that, flip it and repeat the turns (this will give you cool looking grill marks). When the steak is finished, put it on a plate and make a tent out of foil over it. Let the steak sit for about seven minutes. This lets the juices set into the meat before you cut it. What you end up with is an inexpensive, delicious cut of meat that pairs very well with sides like Garlic Thyme Potatoes and Grilled Peppers.

These two extremely basic and affordable grill recipes are a great jumping off part for your outdoor culinary adventures. Once you are comfortable with grilling, check back here, or places like BrokeAss Gourmet or Wine Enthusiast, for more advanced grilling recipes. If you keep at it and master the craft, the delicious aromas emanating from your grill are certain to be the envy of the neighborhood. 

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