Ah yes, the summer sunshine is plentiful, the birds are loud and the grass is tall. It must be summer. And on this summer’s day, the breeze is filled with the sweet smell of… revenge! All winter long, you’ve heard the echoes of laughter coming from your grill – at your expense – as you tried to figure out why every time you put your favorite protein on the grill last summer, your evil grill held onto it like grim death. It would not let it go, keeping it stuck to the grill as your friends looked on in horror. Not this summer you declare! This past winter, you studied up on how to defeat the grill this year – once and for all.
First you ask yourself, “Did I grill brush my grill of all crusted-on food debris from the last time I grilled?” Check! Second, ”Do I have non-stick cooking spray?” Check! Third, as a new addition to your arsenal to battle the evil grill, and as you learned from your winter wartime studies, “Did I marinate my protein in an oil-based marinade?” Check! Now for the coup de grâce… “Have I given my grill the time to heat up hotter than the sun so that I need sunglasses just to open the lid?” Check! You yell out your battle cry and head to the refrigerator to retrieve your oil marinated covered protein and… Wait a minute. Slow down Brave Heart of the BBQ. Did you just say that you were going to get your protein out of the refrigerator to put on the grill? Well if that’s the case, it will be another long summer.
You see, you can lube your protein up as much as you want, you can spray your grill with as much cooking spray as you want, and you can get your grill as hot as you want; but the minute you put your ice cold protein straight from the refrigerator onto your grill, its game over. The cold meat cools down the grill surface where ever it is touching. Thus, the protein seizes and then sticks. Pull your protein out of the refrigerator and let it come up to just below room temperature. Now, I am not saying that you should take your protein out of the refrigerator for an extended period of time; but allow it time to rest at room temperature, long enough to lose most of the refrigeration chill. This will keep the protein from cooling down the grill surface to the point of holding onto it like grim death.
See, your grill is not evil after all. Now go make up with your grill. Fire her up and call the neighbors. Triumphantly raise your grilling tongs in the air you “Brave Heart of BBQ!”
-Executive Chef Josh Bettis