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Celebrate National Grilling Month With Five Tips to Make Grilling Season Successful

Posted July 16, 2012 | Alexandria Rhodes
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July is National Grilling Month.

With July being National Grilling Month, it is important to know the basics of grilling to make any meal safe and delicious while enjoying the process as well.

Executive Chef J. Michael Fiala at Kent State University’s Schwebel Room lends out his top five tips to have a safe, fun and enjoyable grilling experience this summer.

  • Appreciate the Simplicity – Grilling food is perhaps the closest modern hominids come to our prehistoric ancestor’s first encounters of cooked food. In its simplest terms, grilling is applying heat/flame to food to make it more palatable and tasty.
  • Start With Quality – Whether you are grilling meats, vegetables or seafood, make sure that you are using the best quality items that you can. Always purchase your products from reputable sources.
  • Tame Your Flame – Learn how your grill heats. Whether you use charcoal, gas or electric, there will be hot and cold spots on the cook surface. Chicken leg quarters will need low flame. Thick, well marbled steaks being cooked to medium rare will need high heat.
  • Relax – Many people get caught up in the technology, gadgets and personalities of grilling. Take a deep breath and think about the first tip.
  • Enjoy – Cooking can be an intuitive and/or existential experience. Cooking over open flames is hard wired into our DNA. Allow your natural propensity to guide you.

Senior associate director of Kent State’s Dining Services John Goehler also suggests that before grilling, you marinate the food overnight and bring the food to room temperature. When you start grilling, make sure the presentation side is down. After cooking, make sure to let the meat, especially large pieces, rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

“Also, keep in mind when you are grilling to only turn the meat over once for even cooking and to avoid contamination,” Goehler says.

Do you have any successful grilling tips to share? Email them to einside@kent.edu by July 24.

For tips on being safe when grilling, check out the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association’s website at www.hpba.org/consumers/barbecue/general-grilling-safety.