The pop culture icon known as Rosie the Riveter represented a call for a generation of women to declare their independence in what would’ve been a male-dominated workplace, should all the men not have been off fighting World War II. Now, as the Fourth of July holiday is approaching, let’s bring Rosie back to encourage young women of this generation to learn how to do something else typically reserved for men: ladies, it’s time to be Rosie the Griller.
On most summer holidays, I feel like it’s time for men to shine - they pick up the tongs, some big slabs of meat, and gear up the grill for some outdoor deliciousness. But if you’re sans man, what to do? Call Famous Dave’s takeout? Their grilled chicken is pretty delicious but that can get pricey.
My advice: either find a friend’s barbecue to mooch off of or learn how to grill for yourself and conquer one more mostly male realm. If you’re opting for the second suggestion, then read on for some girl-friendly grilling tips.
Be sure all implements are clean and ready to go; this includes the grilling rack. Dirty stuff on the rack can actually be growing nasty friends, so please clean this off before you expose your food to grossness.
You don’t need a ton of fancy-looking implements. Spoons work in place of a sauce brush, and you really only need one pair of tongs or a simple spatula.
If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure you have an even layer of briquettes in the bottom of the grill. Or, just get the kind of charcoal with lighter fluid and everything included - all you have to do is just light the bag. In lieu of burning a fossil fuel, if you’re looking to add in some extra flavor in the cooking process, check out all the different varieties of wood chips you can use (and the ones you want to avoid!).
OR if you’re not partial to the smoky flavor, just go with a gas grill and save yourself some hassle!
Don’t smother meat in sauce, particularly if it’s at all sugary, until the very end of the grilling process, since sugar will burn over intense heat.
Also, avoid salting before cooking, as this will dry out your meat really quickly.
Don’t get the meat too close to the flame, because then you’ll be looking at an unhealthily charred (not just blackened) dinner.
BBQ sauce is great, but also try other methods of meat prep, like using various types of marinades and rubs. You can hand-make them or buy them prepared; either way they make for tasty grilling.
Meat continues to cook even after it's removed from heat, so let it rest for several minutes after the allotted cooking time before you cut into it. This is especially applicable to beef. Also, cutting too soon will let all the delicious juices escape, leaving you with a slightly less succulent slice of heaven. Use a meat thermometer if you have an questions about doneness.
If you’re flipping burgers this weekend, don’t squish them with a spatula between turns, as that’s another good way to drain too much juice from the meat.
Grilling isn’t limited to meat - try wrapping husked corn and some butter in aluminum foil, popping it on the grill, and turning when you turn the meat. Delicious!
If you’re cooking kebabs on wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for ten minutes before adding components or grilling; this will keep them from catching on fire, which is absolutely ESSENTIAL.
Now raise up your tongs, ladies, and go forth and grill. We can do it!