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10 Memorial Day Grilling Tips
Whether you prefer thick steaks, hamburgers or hot dogs, one thing’s for certain: Memorial Day is practically synonymous with barbecuing. In the spirit of the holiday, Isle Casino Black Hawk offers these Memorial Day grilling tips that are sure to help you kick off the summer season in the best way possible. So sit back with friends and family and enjoy the day.
1. Clean the grill thoroughly.
Before the first piece of meat touches the grill, you need to make sure it’s totally clean. Start by turning on the grill, and when it’s warm, grab a dry long-handled wire brush and get scrubbing! When all the toughest bits have been removed, take a damp cloth and wipe it all over the grates.
It’s important to only use a dry brush, a cloth and water when cleaning your grill. Soaps and cleaning liquids can leave lingering tastes and smells. However, it is a good idea to wash your grill tools in soapy water or clean them in the dishwasher.
2. Load up on plates and utensils.
Cross-contamination between cooked and raw foods is a big risk when it comes to grilling, which is why you need to have more plates and utensils than you plan to use. Having lots of clean places to lay down cooked or uncooked pieces of meat and plenty of utensils for cooking and plating up will help prevent accidental food poisoning.
3. Grease the grill.
Put uncooked proteins directly on a dry grill and there’s a good chance they’ll stick when it’s time to turn them over. To avoid wasting food and to get awesome chef-style grill lines, you need to grease your grill before you use it. Grab some paper towels with long-handled tongs and dip them in cooking oil. Then run the oily towels over the grill until the whole thing is greased. Now you’re ready to cook!
4. Newbies start with beef.
If you’re new to grilling and don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of friends by under- or over-cooking food, beef is a great place to start. Beef is a very forgiving meat; it doesn’t require a definitive temperature for safe eating and it’s just as delicious rare as it is well-done, as long as you’ve got a quality cut to work with. We recommend starting with flank steak as it absorbs marinades really well and lends itself to grilling.
5. Not all beef is made equal.
Different types of beef require different preparation and grilling methods—something which is often overlooked. To cook a basic steak, place it on a preheated grill and listen for the immediate sizzle. After a few minutes when the meat’s juices rise to the surface, use tongs to flip the steak over and leave it to cook until it reaches desired doneness. Set the steak to rest on a clean plate for five minutes to redistribute juices.
For optimum flavor and texture, all cuts of beef should be marinated before grilling, except short and back ribs, which should be braised instead of marinated. Which cut of beef you should use really depends on your budget. If money is no object, choose rib steak, strip, tenderloin or T-bone/porterhouse. If you’re looking for cheaper alternatives, consider hanger, skirt, short rib, flank or tri-tip.
6. Confident grillers tackle chicken and pork.
Chicken and pork aren’t as forgivable as beef, which is why you should only attempt to grill them if you’re confident. Both meats are relatively lean, making them easy to overcook, but they can also be dangerous if undercooked. The best way around this problem is to use a meat thermometer and ensure an internal temperature of 165 F for chicken and 145 F for pork.
7. Fish is best left to the experts.
Fish is leaner and easier to overcook than any other protein so you shouldn’t plan on grilling it unless you’re 100 percent sure in your skills. For perfectly grilled fish, your grill needs to be thoroughly cleaned and greased (see tips #1 and #3) so that nothing sticks and it needs to be hot enough to create a crust on the fish so it’s easy to flip over without breaking.
Salmon is a great fish to grill since it’s fattier than most other fish and absorbs marinades well in as little as 30 minutes. To grill 1 inch-thick salmon fillets, cook them on the grill for 6-10 minutes until opaque, turning when they’re just over half done.
8. Use a dry rub and a glaze for double the flavor.
The best way to guarantee flavorful grilled proteins is to use a dry rub and a glaze. A dry rub is a marinade of herbs and spices which can be rubbed on the meat up to 24 hours before grilling. A glaze is a coating based on a sticky liquid, usually honey, maple syrup or molasses. Don’t coat the meat in the glaze until it’s almost done, otherwise the sugar in it will caramelize and burn in the high temperature of the grill.
9. Don’t touch the food when it’s on the grill.
After you’ve placed something on the grill, leave it alone! The only time you should move a piece of meat or fish is to flip it over and cook the other side. And then only after grill marks appear. By leaving the protein untouched, you’re giving the outsides time to sear and are ensuring an even cook.
10. Give everything time to rest before serving.
Even if you’ve grilled all your proteins to perfection, they can still come out hard and tough if you don’t give them time to rest. When the meat and fish are cooked, remove them from the grill and leave them to rest on a plate for at least a few minutes. During this time, the juices in the proteins redistribute themselves, ensuring tender, juicy cuts every time.
Or Leave the Grilling to Us.
Of course, grilling isn’t for everyone, so if you’d rather have your meat cooked to smoky grilled perfection by a professional, spend this Memorial Day weekend at Isle® Casino Black Hawk where you can savor delicious international cuisines from our three restaurants – Farraddays®, Tradewinds® and Calypso’s®.
Memorial Day weekend is the last chance to play our latest game: Quest for Adventure. You can win incredible prizes, including an ATV and a Subaru® Outback! You’ll earn one free prize draw entry every day and bonus entries for every 100 tier points up until May 29, plus 25X entries each Tuesday. The prize draws will be on Sunday, May 29: the ATV drawing at 5 p.m. and the Subaru® Outback drawing at 9 p.m. Make sure you’re with us in the afternoon between 4p.m. and 10 p.m., when you can win up to $1,500 in cash!