Summer Grilling Tips from Executive Chef Howe
The seductive sizzle, the smoky aroma that wafts from the grill, we love the entire experience of cooking outdoors! Summer is the time for grilling, and we cherish the evenings that we get to cook and eat outside. When you’re getting ready to grill, a few simple steps will ensure that the end result is absolutely delicious, and Executive Chef Howe is sharing his tips to help you get it just right.
1. Make sure you have the proper set-up
If you’re using a gas grill, it’ll be clean, quick, and simple. Charcoal will take more time but will give you a nice smoky flavor that’s worth the wait. Once you have nice glowing embers, you can add some dry wood to enhance the meat or seafood that is going on the grates. Chef Howe recommends going with rustic lump charcoal instead of charcoal briquettes (which are covered in lighter fluid), as they’ll light just as easily and won’t pollute the experience. Be patient and take time to fan the coals to build up the heat. No matter which type of grill you use, be sure to keep the proper tools and utensils on hand, from tongs, to spatulas, to serving plates. Setting everything out beforehand will guarantee a smooth process once you’re ready to cook.
2. Look for marbling
The best cuts of meat for grilling are well marbled cuts. Fat will help lock in the natural juices and make for an exceptional taste! Recommend cuts that on the fattier side include Ribeyes and Sirloins. Skirt steaks are also a quick and tender cut that can work well. Some of the more fibrous cuts like chuck and short ribs, or even pork butt, will be tougher and drier when cooked over an open flame – but are fantastic when quick seared on the grill and moved to the oven with a little stock. Left to braise for a few hours they’ll be perfectly tender!
3. Quality Matters
As far as quality goes, it’s important to know where your food is coming from. It will cost more to purchase from a small local farm than it will from large factories, but the overall healthiness is unmatched. Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re supporting a small and local business within your community. When talking about finding a fattier cut, it might turn heads (especially with your doctor) – but if the animal was raised right with healthy food and conditions, and minimal stress, that muscle and fat can be beneficial. Spending an extra dollar per pound will pay off and is still cheaper than going out to a restaurant. Also, if you overcook the meat slightly, you won’t mind because the taste will still be amazing!
So to re-cap, if you have a good grill set-up and purchase high quality meat with plenty of marbling from a local farm – you’ll be in great shape for grilling season!
Alternatively, if you feel like a night out, and want to treat yourself then come see us and let our team do the cooking. At L’Andana we cook over an open flame that adds tremendous amounts of flavor. Chef Howe says, “we run the grill very hot meaning that the meat sears before the middle begins to cook. Once seared, we move it to a lower part of the grill to achieve the desired temperature. This ensures that no moisture is lost from the center, leaving it tender and juicy.”
All of our entrée options from Salmon, to Swordfish, to Cornish Game Hen, to Filet Mignon are cooked on our wood grill, so if you order from our “Secondi” options, you’ll be guaranteed to experience the rich smoky flavor that the grill imparts.
We wish you many summer nights of delicious meals on the grill and invite you to join us at L’Andana as well! Browse our menu below, or make a reservation here.