Let’s face it, South Africa …there’s nothing that makes our hearts sing more than a delicious offering from the grill! As that wonderful, caramelised sear gives way to a soft, juicy, perfectly done morsel of meat, fish, vegetable or fruit, we have to admit that this method of cooking is undisputedly king! And what really takes the cake, is that it’s pretty healthy, too!
As the process uses less oil than frying, and high heats help to melt excess fat from the food, grilling is good for your cardiovascular wellbeing and is an ideal way to keep vital nutrients and tons of flavour firmly locked in.
Showing Some Skill
Like all cooking, grilling requires some skill. Because of the intense temperatures, creating a sublime caramelisation without burning things to a crisp takes practice, as does knowing exactly when your meat is done without totally drying it out. So, in the interests of being able to grill to perfection, here are some pertinent pointers:
Make a clean start
The last thing you need is for yesterday’s fish kebabs to taint the flavour of today’s fillet medallions, so make sure your grill top is clean before you start. Simply use a heavy duty metal brush to scrub it with.
Cook from room temperature
Allow your meat to reach room temperature before putting it on the grill. It will cook more quickly than refrigerated food, which in turn will reduce the possibility of it burning or drying out.
Use a dry rub to get that flavour and sear
A dry, salty rub will help obtain that gorgeous caramelisation on the surface of the meat and will enhance all those beautiful flavours.
Spritz the flames
Flames are what cause unwanted charring, so have a spritzer bottle filled with water at hand to douse them with.
Use a meat thermometer
Unless you are a guru, it can be very difficult to tell precisely when your meat is ready, especially when it’s on the grill. So use a thermometer if you’re looking for perfection!
Baste, baste, baste
Basting food on a grill will keep it super moist and add to the caramelisation. If you’re using a sugar based marinade though, be careful it doesn’t burn!
Use tongs to gently turn your offerings. If you pierce them with a fork, you’re going to lose all of those lovely juices.
Undercook it just slightly and let it rest
Meat will carry on cooking once you’ve taken it off the grill, so undercook it slightly, and then let it rest for five minutes to lock in the flavour.
Igniting The Flame
At Chef’s Depot, we have a full range of flattop, traditional and combination grills in tabletop and standalone formats, plus lava rock conversions and all the accessories you could possibly need to become a true master! So ignite that flame and let’s get grilling…!