Grilling Tips: Warm Meat and Frequent Flips

We were paging through Harold McGee's food science bible, On Food and Cooking, and came across this interesting tidbit:

Pre-warming your meat and then flipping it frequently once it's on the grill prevents your well-marbled steaks and juicy burgers from drying out too quickly.

Why does this help? Read on!

In the high heat of the grill, the outer portions of the meat have a tendency to overcook while you're still waiting for the interior to finish cooking. (Similar to the issues with searing meat.)

If your meat is already up to room temperature or a little more, cooking time--and the risk of overcooking--is significantly reduced since it will take less time to cook the meat through.

To do this, McGee recommends wrapping the meat in plastic wrap and immersing it in hot water for 1/2 - 1 hour. Grill it immediately after warming since bacteria will grow quickly once the meat is warm.

McGee goes on to say that frequent flipping also evens out the cooking and prevents either side from absorbing more heat or releasing more moisture than the other. You lose the perfect grill marks, but the payoff is improvements in both texture and juiciness of the final meat.

What other good grill tips do you have to share?

Related: Keep It Simple: Grilling Tips from the Los Angeles Times

(Image: Flickr member D'Arcy Norman licensed under Creative Commons)

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