Proteins can easily stick to the grill if you are not careful. To avoid ripping apart your perfect protein in an effort to remove it from the grill…. “Have no fear let it sear”. When a protein is ready to be flipped it will require only a light tug. Lightly oil the grill grates using a high heat oil (grapeseed oil, canola oil, avocado oil). Place protein on oiled grates. Allow a 4-ounce piece of protein to sear at high heat for about 4 minutes. The protein will indicate when it is ready to be flipped when the edges start to caramelize and remove themselves from the grill. At this point, use tongs or a spatula to lightly tug at the protein, if it is ready it will easily peel itself off of the grill grates if it is not easily removing from the grill allow it to cook for another 1-2 minutes until it easily removes itself. Repeat this process on the other side until cooked through.
How do you know when your proteins are done? Using an instant read digital meat thermometer will take the guesswork out of a nicely cooked protein, provide food safety, and avoid overcooked and dry proteins. Once the protein has cooked for the proper amount of time, use a meat thermometer to test the doneness. The meat thermometer must be placed in the center of the thickest cut on the protein. I recommend placing the meat thermometer in lengthwise in order to assume the proper placement.
Grilling is a high-heat, dry, direct heat cooking method. What does this mean to you? Because the heat is directly on the food it will quickly cook the outside. If the food is too large the center will not evenly cook or once the center of the food cooks through the outside of the food will be overly charred and dried out. When choosing proteins or foods to cook on the grill consider the size of the item and the desired internal doneness. When cooking chicken breast, pound the chicken thin to speed up cook time and avoid an overly charred outside. Vegetables can be cut into ½ inch planks to provide a nicely cooked, juicy end product.
Play with different food items on the grill! Don’t limit the grill to just proteins! Grill fresh fruit and serve with Greek yogurt for a sweet treat. Or grill your pizza dough for your next pizza night, load the pizza up with freshly grilled vegetables too. Grilling caramelizes food and provides a nice smoky flavor. Try grilled sweet potatoes, grilled eggplant finished with fresh oregano and crumbled feta, or grilled watermelon to be served on top of fresh arugula.