Follow these tips for a better, grilled meal.

Archived Story

Grillin’ time

Published 7:00pm Saturday, August 11, 2012

Looking for some hot summer grilling tips? The Ole Bar BBQ grill masters have the answers. Follow these seven tips from the restaurant’s owner Bob Nelson, kitchen manager Mark Schapiro and assistant kitchen manager Joe Morse, and you’re sure to like the results.

The grill matters, and injector needles work wonders

Morse likes smokers with a side barrel for barbecue. For grilling, Nelson says it’s all about the charcoal grill.

Another tool of the trade and the trend right now, Morse says, is the injector needle. You can inject anything from Coca-Cola to apple juice and orange juice. Anything you can put in an injector needle you can inject in your meat to add that extra level of flavor, Schapiro says.

 Want a great finished product? Splurge

You get out of your meat what you put into it, Schapiro says. If you buy a cheap piece of meat, that’s what’s going to come off the grill. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more money, he says, with a little fat marbling. It will make you a lot happier.

Match the wood to the meat

When it comes to barbecue, Nelson is partial to chicken ribs, Morse prefers wings and Schapiro likes a good brisket. But the type of wood depends on type of meat you choose. Schapiro says for fish or chicken, apple or cherry woods are best. Hickory, oaks and harder woods are geared toward a longer smoke like a brisket. If you’re grilling fish, Nelson recommends using a cedar plank, and soaking it in water for an hour. Then season the fish and throw it on top.

 Let it sizzle

One of the key things to remember when you’re grilling; let your grill get hot. Don’t be in a hurry to throw on your burgers or steak, Nelson says. If you’re using charcoal, let it get totally gray, and use the chimney. Also, they stay away from lighter fluids because that transfers that taste over to the meat.

A bonus tip: You don’t want to take the meat straight from the fridge and put it on a hot grill, Schapiro says. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes or until it gets to room temperature, then put it on your grill.

 Watch the temp

Adjust the temperature according to the thickness and type of meat. For grilling, usually let it get to 500-600 degrees.

For barbecue, Morse recommends 200 to 225 degrees for four or five hours for wings, and 200 to 250 degrees for 12-14 hours for a brisket. And if it gets too dark, don’t be afraid to wrap it in aluminum foil.

 Leave the meat alone

The meat will tell you when it’s ready to be flipped, Nelson says. If you put a steak, burger or chop on a really hot grill, and you try to lift it and it sticks, it’s not ready. The meat didn’t do anything to you. Be kind to your meat.

On a good piece of meat, you really only want to flip it four times. Go three and a half minutes, flip it, three and a half minutes, flip it again, then go back and get your criss-cross pattern. That’s how the pros do it, Nelson says, and that’s how they get the nice looking grill marks.

Done? Wait some more

Let it rest before you eat. When you take a steak or chicken off the grill, don’t dive right in. Wait a few minutes. Once you cut into something that just came off, Nelson says, all your juices will come out. Then, enjoy.


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