Grilling Made Easy
Part science, part art – we all have our tips on great grilling. And we all always have room for improvement, right? Executive banquet chef Danny Davis shares his philosophy and approach to successful grilling.
The Main Ingredient
Depending on your main ingredient, there are a few different techniques I use:
Pork ribs: I like to season them and wrap in commercial plastic wrap three times. I place in a 325 degree oven for one hour and let them par cook. This reduces the mess and can be done a day or two before.Remove the wrap and place on your grill and baste with sauce. This cuts down on your cooking time to 20 minutes. The same can be done with chicken, allowing you to coat a sufficient amount of sauce without burning the product trying to insure it’s fully cooked. Set your grill at mid heat and baste the products thoroughly.
Thick, juicy steaks cooked to temperature: When it comes to those nice thick steaks, I like to get a good grill mark on them and place in a 350 oven for 5 minutes to ensure a good looking steak without burning the outside to get the right temperature.
For buffalo and other game meats that are leaner than beef, I suggest using a very hot grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to be retained in the meat and won’t bleed out when cutting.
Fish: I commonly place the fish on a piece of double wrapped tin foil and pull the sides of the foil up slightly. This works well with delicate fish that flake apart when cooking such as sole and trout.
Marinades and Flavorings
Dry rubs work well with par-cooked Pork and chicken and can be found commonly. I like to take my chicken breasts and coat them with dried Italian dressing overnight. Ranch dressing in the packet works great too. For wet marinades I commonly use about any store-bought salad dressing I have in my fridge and coat generously the product and keep overnight. There is a huge assortment on the store shelves so experiment to your liking.
You can also use these items and brush on during the grilling time. A simple one I’ve been using is canned chipotles, Major Grey’s chutney, juice from a fresh lime or two, and fresh black pepper. One chipotle with 8 ounces of chutney is a good balance, however add more chipotle if you like it hot!
A Little Extra
I like to add a handful of wood chips to my fire to give it a distinct smoky taste. Apple or cherry wood are always a good choice. The next time you or your neighbor are trimming trees in the yard save a few small pieces and dry out. If you have herbs in your garden take them and place in some olive oil with some smashed cloves of garlic. Brush your steaks and chops and place on your grill for that little extra flavor! Try taking russet potatoes and cut 1 inch thick and brush and grill for 5 minutes on medium heat.
So keep your grill hot and the smoke at your back!!