Grilling tips from Corporate Executive Chef Paul Katz. Learn to grill the perfect steak or fish and be the star of the next summer cookout!

As the Corporate Executive Chef of Bottleneck Management, when asked about writing for our blog, I being a talker and not a writer, was a little anxious. Then after a while I thought…how easy is this? All I have to do is discuss what I love…COOKING.

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When I was no longer apprehensive about that, I stressed about WHAT to write about. As we say in the restaurant business, it is always something! So it being summer and July being “National Grilling Month,” what better to write about than GRILLING? How many families will be getting ready to grill out for friends and family and not know what to do?

So with all of you in mind, I give you: Chef Paul’s Grilling Tips!

Grilling Tips: How To Grill Meat

  • First and foremost start off with quality meat, enough said.
  • Make sure steaks are thick, at least 1-1 ½ inches. The reason for this is when you sear the meat, it is thick enough to char on the outside yet not overcook the inside. Searing creates a crust on the meat that will lock in juices and flavor.
  • Bring all meat to room temperature before cooking. This does 2 things. First, the meat will cook faster. Refrigeration tightens the meat, so bringing meat to room temperature will relax the muscle (meat) and thus cook quicker. Secondly, the meat will cook more evenly.
  • Whether you use gas or charcoal, you always want to get the grill extremely hot (at least 500- 700 degrees; depending on the grill you can get hotter) and sear the meat on one side and then finish with indirect heat. This will allow you to sear the meat and lock in those juices, yet finish cooking without charring too much.
  • ALWAYS let your meat sit before serving. This allows the juices, which have been driven to the center of the meat, redistribute and reabsorb. As a result, the meat will lose less juice when you cut it and be far more tender and juicy.

Grilling Tips: How To Grill Fish

  • Start off with quality, fresh fish; using frozen fish is harder to deal with because of the excess water absorbed by the fish during freezing.
  • A fine mesh grid or grill basket can be used on a grill to keep the fish together while grilling.
  • Only turn over fish once while grilling. The more you turn the more chance for the fish to break up into pieces.
  • When grilling directly on a grill you want to use a firm-flesh fish like Grouper, Sea Bass, Salmon, Swordfish or Tuna. For more delicate fish, use the fish grid/basket or cook on a piece of aluminum foil.
  • To ensure your fish not sticking to the grill, heat grill to medium – medium/hot; about 350 degrees. Make sure grill grates are clean and well lubricated. Before turning on the grill, clean with wire brush. Saturate a paper towel with olive oil/vegetable oil and wipe down grill grates to lubricate. If grates look dry after the grill is hot, wipe down a second time and then place fish flesh side down. Cook fish on the one side until the fish is half way cooked and then turn over (a slight “crust” will form which will lift the fish off the grates and thus not stick).
  • Another trick to fish not sticking on the grill is to lightly coat fish with mayonnaise and cook the same way as above. The mayonnaise will burn off, leaving no after taste.

(the food, as well as being the hit of the BBQ!)

by Chef Paul Katz