Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, which means it’s time to “fire up the Barbie.” Put on your mitts, dust off the grill (that hopefully you cleaned before storing away last fall), check that all your barbecue utensils are in good working order and, if firing up the grill naturally, purchase sustainable, eco-friendly briquettes. After all, this is one of America’s favorite summer activities, so be prepared.
In a recent survey by Kraft, 73 percent of consumers in America plan to fire up the grill this season and cleaning the grill tops the list of most dreaded household cleaning chores. Kraft has teamed up with Weber-Stephen Products LLC, the world’s leading manufacturer of outdoor gas and charcoal grills, to offer helpful tips for consumers to make their grilling activity a fun, entertaining and delicious experience.
According to Kevin Kolman, Weber's grilling expert, the perfect grilling experience really comes down to timing. Something as simple as when you put the cheese on your burger can mean the difference between a quick clean-up or a daunting mess.
In Kraft’s survey, about 80 percent of consumers who eat burgers top them with cheese. Experts at Kraft Kitchens and Weber suggest applying cheese just before the burger is removed from the grill for the perfect cheese melt and minimal clean-up. However, about one in four (24 percent) cheeseburger eaters add the cheese either after the burger is pulled from the grill or after the first flip. These methods can result in an uneven melt or cause the cheese to ooze down into the grates.
Keep It Clean: Cleaning the grill is incredibly simple when you follow the right steps. Start by heating the grill on high for 10 to 15 minutes to burn off leftover food debris, then brush grates clean with a steel stainless bristle brush.
Oil Your Food, Not the Grates: To prevent sticking, apply oil directly to your proteins (especially chicken or fish). Oil not only aids in the caramelization process, but it creates a barrier between the food and the grates that makes flipping a breeze.
Let it Be: Once the food is on the grill, keep the lid closed as much as possible to avoid losing heat. If the grill is constantly being opened, the food can take longer to cook and could potentially dry out.
Be Patient: Let the food rest for at least 30 percent of the total time it was cooked to allow the juices to settle in. Cutting into your foods too soon can cause that delicious flavor to seep out.
Aside from tips on how to make a less messy burger, Robin Rosshas, Associate Director of Kraft Kitchens, offers tasty ideas on how to add flare and flavor to your backyard barbeque.
Follow the 80/20 Rule: The first step in making the perfect burger is to use quality ground meat that has some degree of fat (80/20) – the burger will be juicy and hold together well.
Lighten Up: Break up your burger routine with something lean like chicken or fish. Pair your grilled chicken with Kraft 2% Milk Singles or enjoy grilled salmon with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a side of seasonal vegetables.
Try an Inside-Out Burger: Wow your guests with an unexpected stuffed burger. Shape your ground meat into thin patties – top half of them with finely chopped vegetables, a zesty sauce and cheese. Then cover with remaining patties and pinch edges together to seal the burger.
Food Safety: Be conscious of how you're handling cooked and uncooked meat. Use clean, thoroughly washed platters and utensils when transferring cooked meat/fish off the grill.