5 Essential Grilling Hacks For Summer

5 Essential Grilling Hacks For Summer

Summertime is grilling season in our books, so we put together some essential grilling tips and tricks to help make you the master of the cue. From a simple (yet impressive!) spatchcocked chicken, to a fresh and delicious herbed butter recipe (tip: put this on everything!) to fixing a burned piece of meat (we’ve all been there) – read on for some tips you’ll want to try at your next cookout.

 


 

 

How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast

To butterfly a chicken breast, place your hand on top of the boneless, skinless chicken breast, slice horizontally into the chicken, dividing it half. Stop about a half-inch from the opposite side. When done, you should be able to open up the chicken like a book, so it lies flat. This technique will reduce cooking time for the chicken and increase the amount of crispy exterior meat.

How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast - step 1
How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast - step 2
How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast - step 3
How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast - step 4

 


 

 

  

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

Spatchcocking a chicken is the process of removing the backbone of a whole chicken so that the bird lays flat. The first step to flattening the chicken is to remove the backbone by cutting along the right of the backbone from the tail to the neck with poultry shears or a knife. Next, cut along the left side of the backbone, just as you did on the right side. Freeze this removed backbone piece for future chicken stock or discard. To flatten the bird, you need to break the breastbone. To do this, turn the chicken over with the skin up so that it lays flat, press down on each of the wings, at the same time until the bone cracks. Because the wing-tips usually burn and become inedible during the cooking process, it is best to snip them off. Use the kitchen shears to do this. Add these wing tips to the backbone to save for future stock or discard.

Spatchcock Chicken - step 1
Spatchcock Chicken - step 2
Spatchcock Chicken - step 3
Spatchcock Chicken - step 4

 


 

 

 

How to make Seasoned/Herbed Butter

Herb butter, also known as ‘compound butter’, is butter that has been mixed with herbs or other aromatic ingredients. To make it, let the butter come to room temperature and then blend in the aromatics. The basic ratio for a compound butter is 1 stick butter to 3 Tablespoons herbs or other flavoring (anchovies, shallots for example) and 1 teaspoon vinegar, lemon or another acid.

Seasoned Butter - step 1
Seasoned Butter - step 2
Seasoned Butter - step 3
Seasoned Butter - step 4

 


 

 

 

How to Fix Burned Meat

Step 1: Scrape or slice off any of the burned parts that you can.

Step 2: Season with a sauce with plenty of acid in it – acidic flavors from ingredients like vinegar and lemon mask burnt flavors. You can do this with a vinegar-based BBQ sauce, a lemony herb sauce like chimichurri, or something with multiple acids like a classic Italian dressing with lemon juice and red wine vinegar.

 

 


 

 

 

How to Speed up the Grill and/or Cook Through

Meat not cooking fully to temperature, but the exterior is dark and crispy? We’ve been there. The trick with this is to tent or cover the meat so that you create a little “oven” directly around the meat that has a higher temperature and can help bring the center of the cut to an appropriate doneness. You can use aluminum foil or – even simpler – rest a metal bowl over the meat. This typically speeds up cooking by 2X so check the temperature frequently once tented or covered.