Grilling Meats 101

April 04, 2017

As temperatures warm up around the country, expect your shoppers to fire up the grills. Here's a quick guide to grilling meats.

How to Grill Meats: Allow meats to "rest" before prepping and grilling. Use cuts of meat that are at least 1” thick, pre-heat grill to hot and use a thermometer to test doneness. Never leave grill unattended.

How to Buy: Buy beef that is well marbled or coat with oil or butter to seal in juices. Use New York strip, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Filet Mignon, or Sirloin. Lamb, pork, and beef all work well; chops should be 1-1 ¼” thick. Ribs are should be well marinated. Cook chicken and turkey parts with skin on.

How to Use: On a gas grill, ignite the gas and the grill should heat up in minutes; when using coals, ignite the coals, close the hood and wait until coals are red and silver gray. Marinate or tenderize meats with meat mallet. Pork needs a light coating of oil to balance the lack of marbling. Pat dry (too much oil can set the meat on fire), then season. Place meat on the grill; turn only once with spatula, not a fork, to avoid loss of juice. Remove when almost finished; (meat will continue to cook to about 5 degrees). Doneness ratios: 120°F to 125°F, rare; 130°F to 135°F, medium rare; 140°F to 145°F, medium. Should be soft and wobbly pressed with your finger, for rare and springy for medium. Do not cook beyond 155°F or meat will be too dry. Cook chicken or pork until well done, at least 160°F. Cook 5-7 minutes per side, per inch for medium rare, at one-minute increments longer for thicker steaks.

How to Store: Refrigerate until ready to cook; let sit about 20-30 minutes before cooking. Refrigerate any leftover cooked meats and eat within 2 days. Refrigerate uncooked meats up to 3 days or freeze, up to 1 month.

Health Benefits: All meats and poultry are high in B vitamins, minerals and protein. Beef is high in cholesterol and fat; choose grass fed and/or pasture raised for best nutritional value, and beneficial fats.

Smarter Shopping: Flank or skirt steaks, and pork tenderloin are low-cost choices.