Grill Out and Chill Out

This post was made possible by Longhorn Steakhouse. Thank you for supporting our sponsors! Happy June! 'Tis the season for summertime grilling galore. Though I will miss my weekend habit of schmoozing at Tennessee Brewery: The Revival beer garden during the months of April and May, I am pledging to move past my fear of the grill and prepare some memorable summer dinners.



I personally do not own a grill but am lucky to share a rooftop community grill for my Downtown apartment building. It's fantstic to call "dibs" and gather friends for a sunset gathering. Last weekend on Memorial Day, upon receiving some swanky grilling goodies and tips from Longhorn Steakhouse, I planned a beautiful, doable meal of grilled shrimp skewers, filet, okra and brussels sprouts. You've got to try it!

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Follow along for some tips to entitle yourself an official "grillmaster" in no time...

1. Prep your surface. Your grill should be hot (about 500 degrees) and cleaned with a wire brush. Place your hand three inches above the grates, and count to three. If you need to pull your hand away before you hit “three,” it’s ready.

2. Prevent sticking. Before you put anything on your grill, rub the grates with an old wash cloth dipped in a small amount of oil. Use your tongs to handle the washcloth so that you don’t risk burning your hand.

3. Get in the zone. If you’re working with a large gas grill, create cooking “zones” by keeping one section at a lower temperature. As your meat and vegetables start to cook through, you can move them to a cooler area to slow down the process.

4. Tools of the trade. Keep everything you need within reach: metal spatula, heavy duty metal tongs, a good grill brush and a small squirt bottle (used to douse any flare-ups).

5. Select fresh proteins and vegetables. If you’re planning to serve steak, filets, sirloins and ribeyes are best on the grill – just be sure they’re fresh, never frozen.

6. Boldly season. Don’t be shy when seasoning your steak! Go bold. For an at-home rub, try “The Big 4” – salt, pepper, granulated onion powder and granulated garlic powder.

7. Sear-in diamond marks. Searing locks in flavor, as well as creates those great grill marks synonymous with summer. Grill your steak for 2-3 minutes on one side, then give it a quarter turn. Flip and repeat.

8. Test for doneness. With a meat thermometer, steaks should be at minimum 120-130 degrees if you like it rare, and up to 170 degrees, if you prefer your steak well-done.

9. Handle with tongs. Only use tongs to touch your meat. Poking with a fork to rotate or pull it from the grill will let the juices and flavor out.

10. Give it a rest. Make sure you let your steaks and other proteins rest for 2-3 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to settle back into the meat, resulting in optimal flavor.

Tips provided by Longhorn Steakhouse's executive chefs. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!