BBQ and Grilling Tips from Rada

1. Piercing a steak while cooking will not result in the loss of flavor. If you want to turn it with a fork, go ahead!

2. Buy a meat thermometer. It’s the only way to know for certain if your meat is cooked to exactly the right temperature.

3. Don’t let the heat out! It’s tempting to look at your food while cooking, but opening up the heat source lets heat out. When cooking meat that takes hours, restrict the opening to once per hour.

4. When shopping for meat, buy the meat last. The more time it spends away from refrigeration, the higher the chances of harmful bacteria growth.

5. Try brining your chicken! Create a brine from cold water, salt, and sugar, leaving your chicken immersed in it in the refrigerator overnight.

6. When cooking ribs, be sure to remove the membrane, which is the translucent layer covering the back of the ribs. To remove it, cut away at the very edge of the membrane with a fork or blunt knife. Take a paper towel in hand and use it to simply pull the slippery membrane off.

7. Marinades are a great way to add taste to your meats, but save it for thin cuts such as chicken breasts, pork chops, and steaks, as marinades do not penetrate very far into thick meats

8. You can tell ribs are done with a toothpick. If you can poke a toothpick into the meat in-between the bones and it slides in with little to no resistance, they are done.

9. Flipping a steak frequently, as often as once every 30 seconds, has been shown to provide a more even cook. So flip away!

10. Do not soak wood charcoal before burning it. At best, the small amount of water below the surface will evaporate rapidly, negating the effect of soaking. At worst, the wet wood cools off the coals when it is important to hold the coals at a steady temperature.

11. If cooking with charcoal, try burning natural lump charcoal made from pure wood. Other kinds are filled with additives that may not light very easily, or burn very hot, or burn for very long.

12. Oil your grill with a vegetable oil soaked paper towel before cooking to reduce sticking. Clean the grill immediately after cooking with a brush while the heat makes it easier to clean.

13. Use separate cutting boards for different foods so as to avoid cross-contamination.

14. Use a metal grill basket for foods that can be difficult or tricky to flip, such as vegetables.

15. Once meats have finished cooking, let them rest a few minutes before serving so the temperature can cool to one safe to eat and allow any juices to settle.

16. Sugar burns at 265 degrees, so if you’ve covered your chicken in barbecue sauce, be sure not to turn the heat up too high, or the sauce will blacken.