As the weather starts to cool down, it’s time to start thinking about firing up the grill one last time before it gets too cold (unless you’re in Florida like we are!). And what better way to enjoy outdoor cooking than by getting the perfect char on your meat this fall? Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice looking to impress your friends and family, BarbaCuban has got you covered with tips and tricks to get that beautiful, smoky char on your food this season.
Hot and Clean Grill
First and foremost, the key to a perfect char is a hot and clean grill. Make sure to preheat your grill for at least 15 minutes to get it nice and hot. While waiting, use a grill brush to remove any leftover debris from previous use. A clean grill will not only prevent any unwanted flavors from transferring to your food, but it also ensures an even heat distribution for that perfect char.
Thicker Cuts of Meat
Next, choose the right cut of meat. For a char, you want to opt for thicker cuts that can withstand the high heat without overcooking. Fattier cuts like rib eye, pork chops, or chicken thighs are perfect for achieving that charred exterior while maintaining a juicy and tender center. And don’t be afraid to try different meats like lamb, duck, or even vegetables for a unique and delicious charred experience.
Marinades and rubs are also crucial in getting that perfect char. Not only do they add flavor, but they also help to create a crispy exterior. When marinating, make sure to pat the meat dry before placing it on the grill. This will prevent any excess moisture from steaming the meat instead of creating a char. For a quick and easy marinade, use the BarbaCuban 90 Miles to Mojo Marinade.
Leave It Be
Now, onto the cooking process. As tempting as it may be to constantly flip and move the meat around, it’s important to resist the urge. Let the meat cook on one side for a few minutes before flipping it. This allows for a nice sear to form, which is key for achieving a char. It’s also essential to keep the lid closed while cooking to retain heat and smoke, which adds dimension to the flavor and helps with the charring process.
Timing is also crucial when it comes to getting the perfect char. It’s important to keep an eye on the meat and not leave it unattended. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat reaches the desired internal temperature, but for a char, you want to go by the appearance and touch of the meat. A charred exterior should be dark brown or black while the inside remains a nice pink or white color. You can also use the touch-test method, pressing down on the meat with tongs to check for firmness. A well-done meat will feel firm, while a medium-rare will be slightly soft and springy.
Let It Rest
Once your meat is perfectly charred, it’s time to rest it before serving. This is a step that is often overlooked, but crucial for retaining juices and ensuring a tender and juicy steak. Allow the meat to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil, before slicing into it.
Getting the perfect char requires a clean and hot grill, the right cut of meat, flavorful marinades, the right cooking technique, and a little patience. So fire up that grill, grab your favorite cut of meat, and put these tips to use to impress your friends and family with your grilling skills. Happy grilling!