One of the best things about summertime grilling is that it's a fun, flexible last-minute meal option. It takes only a few minutes to preheat your grill and start slapping food onto the grates. Of course, like many other things in life, your summer barbecue is even better if you put a bit of time and effort into advance planning. The end result will be better food and more time to enjoy yourself with friends and family. A handful of simple tips will help you get started.
1. Give Your Meat a Bath
If you want to be known for your grilling prowess, marinating your steaks, chops, fish or chicken is your secret weapon. You can infuse your meats with infinitely variable flavors, depending on the ingredients you choose. Combine lime juice and cumin, for example, for a Mexican flavor; or pineapple, allspice and hot peppers for a Caribbean flair. It doesn't have to be fancy; even a splash of oil and Worcestershire sauce and will serve as a quick marinade. Combine your meats and marinade in the stainless steel "chef pan" of your Chef Collection fridge, refrigerating them until meal time. The pan simply slides out when it's time to cook, and you can use it to carry your meats to the grill.
2. Cheat a Little
Grilling thick steaks and bone-in chicken pieces requires patience, and if you try to hurry the process you're likely to end up with a charred exterior and a less-than-cooked interior. Warming or par-cooking meats in your microwave is one way to shorten the process. Use a low power setting on your Samsung Chef Collection microwave to gently raise the internal temperature of a thick steak before it goes onto the grill, or medium-high to par-cook bone-in chicken pieces. Just remember, once you've warmed or par-cooked meats or poultry in the microwave, they'll need to go onto the grill right away to remain food safe.
3. Veg Out
Of course, there's more to life—and grilling—than mountains of meat. If you're trying to fit more fruits and vegetables into your diet, you'll find that grilling works the same magic on produce as on beef or chicken. The natural sugars in vegetables and fruit caramelize gloriously on the hot grill, bringing out the full rich flavors of your favorites. Ears of corn, halved peaches and other large items can be grilled directly on the grate, or make up skewers with smaller items such as mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, pineapple morsels or spears of mango. Think outside the box. Even avocados grill wonderfully, once you halve them and remove the oversized pit. Serve the grilled halves as a side dish, with a squeeze of lime and pinch of chili, or stuff them with cooked meat and vegetables.
4. Be Ahead of the Game
Prep up your meats, fruits and veggies a day in advance, whenever possible, so you'll have more time for friends and family on grilling day. You'll need lots of storage space in the refrigerator for all the trays and containers, but that won't be a problem if you own a Chef Collection refrigerator, with its 34 cubic feet of storage. You can even convert half of the freezer back into refrigerator space, if needed, to make more room for produce. You'll be able to keep the food coming for as long as anybody has any appetite left.
5. Warm and Hot
The grill may be the center of your afternoon's activities, but you don't have to do everything outdoors. Instead, the oven of your Chef Collection range can take up some of the slack. You can use it to prepare side dishes, appetizers or tasty bites that don't necessarily benefit from cooking over a flame. You might also turn on your oven as a way to keep prepared foods warm—the faster cooking veggies perhaps. Simply put the veggies on a pan and place it in the oven at a low temperature until you're ready to eat.
Better yet, do both at the same time. If you insert the divider into your Flex Duo oven, you can have one half at a keep-warm temperature, while the other half bakes, roasts or even broils your foods.
- Remember to use separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked foods, and to wash your hands scrupulously after handling raw meats. Afterwards, put your plates and utensils through the high-temperature sanitizing cycle of your Chef Collection dishwasher for an extra margin of food safety.
Photo Credits: Kris Robertson/Demand Media
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