1) Don't overcrowd the grill. Don't make the mistake of favoring quantity over quality. By crowding the meat you are compromising on the best part about cooking over open fire: the crust. Cooking in shifts might take a little bit longer, but your steaks will be grilled perfectly.
2) Don't jump the gun. If you've just turned the fire on and are itching to get going, DON’T! You'll need at least 10 minutes to heat a gas grill and 20 to heat a charcoal grill. We repeat: heat the grill fully before you start cooking, or your food will stick so badly, you'll want to throw your grates out and start over. Be patient.
3) Skip the sauce. We know, it's called barbecue sauce. Ignore that compelling logic and avoid using sugary sauces at all cost. You don't need to hide your meat behind sweet, heavy sauces that coat your grates and cause ugly flare ups. Use spice rubs to flavor your meat, and if you MUST use a sauce, use it only at the very end.
4) Menu Plan. Do yourself a favor and plan for some non-BBQ items on the menu. It's a good idea to make sure you have some food that can be cooked indoors or prepared in advance, so you don't overwhelm the grill, or the griller. If you're entertaining, having food that's ready to go right away will take a load of pressure off, so you can man the fire, stress free.
5) Start with a clean machine. Making sure your grates are clean before you get started will help you avoid any fiery accidents or food that sticks to the grill. Invest in a new grill brush whenever you see loose bristles.
6) Leave the lid alone. By now, you are well on your way to grill mastery, so don't stop now! After searing your food on the hot section of your grill, move it to the cooler section and close the lid. Don't peek, either. A watched steak cooks unevenly!
7) Let your meat rest. Fight all urges to slice into the meat for at least 10 minutes. Yes, ten whole minutes are necessary for your meat or chicken to rest before you start cutting! The juices that got released during cooking need to redistribute in order to give you a juicy, flavorful protein. Skipping this step WILL result in dry meat.
8) Grill beef at room temperature. Ever been to a restaurant or cooked a steak that had a perfectly charred crust, cooked for the right amount of time, but when you cut into it, the interior was a hint away from still mooing? Firing a cold steak will result in meat that's cooked unevenly. Allow your meat to come all the way to room temperature before cooking for best results every time.
9) Cut against the grain. Meat muscle fibers generally run in one direction, and you want to slice the meat across those lines of muscle fibers. Even if you have one of those weird cuts of meat that has a grain that switches direction half way through, do it. The difference between shoe leather and melt in your mouth could literally be the angle that you are holding your knife.
10) Use the right tools. You need BBQ tools that are formulated to keep you safe while grilling, primarily by keeping your hands away from fire. Use long handled tongs and spatulas only, and be on guard to swat away wandering plastic forks attached to people who are itching to get their hands on one of your famous burgers straight off the grill. Pro tip: use a thermometer with a non-contact infrared sensor for perfectly cooked meat.
CHEF GREG GROWHOWSKI, EXECUTIVE CHEF FOR THE HYATT REGENCY MAUI RESORT & SPA
Sun. Oct 22, 6pm-9:30pm (VIP Access 5pm-9:30pm)
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, Maui
Tickets: $250 - $500
Go all in for this exquisite seven-course dinner with wine pairings featuring high-rolling chefs at Hawaiian Airlines Presents Lucky 7 at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. You’ll hit the culinary jackpot as we celebrate our lucky number 7 festival anniversary. Dine under the stars on the beautiful Halona Kai lawn with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. World-class wine pairings by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Hawaii make for a winning combination.