With the snow melting and summer weather rapidly approaching, we checked in with Executive Chef Sean Blomgren for some tips and tricks on how best to fire up the grill.
Tip: HOLD THE HEAT
While you may be tempted to push your grill’s BTUs to the max, grilling at a lower temperature often yields more consistent results. Only this, quick-cooking meats benefit from direct high heat for the duration of the cook. These include thinner steaks, like skirt or flank, and thin burger patties. For the best results, designate one side of the grill to high temperature searing and the other to a medium temp for finishing the cook. This allows you to get that nice sear while not drying out the meat too quickly.
Tip: GEAR UP
Whether you are in a chef’s kitchen or grilling on your back deck, having the correct cooking utensils is paramount. Often times, I notice that home cooks opt for either the cheapest knives and utensils or the overpriced brand names found at your local gourmet kitchen store. When establishing your grilling gear kit, look for the commercial restaurant-style equipment. Long-handled tongs, a heavy-duty spatula, and a wire-free grill brush are a good start. These restaurant-grade tools are meant to take a beating and will hold up better, for much cheaper, than anything you would normally see in the store.
Tip: DON’T GET LOST IN THE SAUCE
Amateur grillers usually misuse sauces when they grill. Traditionally, we put all of that chicken in a bowl and smother it with a sweet, sticky sauce of some sort – i.e. BBQ, teriyaki, etc. Then, we put it on a super-hot grill and that sweet sauce burns and sticks to everything! Since salt and smoke are the only things that truly penetrate meat, you end up wasting a ton of that expensive sauce and making a mess everywhere. Instead, season your meat of choice and grill. When the meat is almost cooked, take that sauce and brush it on. Continue to glaze until the meat is cooked to your desired doneness, making sure the sauce is caramelizing and not burning. This creates a nice lacquer on the meat and saves you a ton of cleanup and waste.
Thanks for reading, looking forward to more great summer weather and the delicious ways to enjoy it!
- Sean Blomgren
Executive Chef, Stowe Mountain Lodge