A Recipe from the Chef: Ari Rosenson's Five Essential Grilling Tips
Anne FishbeinCut's porterhouse for 2 with beef marrow
While the side dishes at Cut are fantastic, meat is obviously the thing at Wolfgang Puck's deluxe steakhouse.
But because having a stellar slab of beef expertly prepared by Cut's professionals and served in the cool modernist splendor of the Richard Meier dining room is likely out of the question for many, Ari Rosenson, Chef de Cuisine, has kindly provided us with his expert grilling advice. Now you can try to replicate those charred, juicy proteins at home, just in time for summer weather. (Read our Q&A with him here.)
If you're gonna splurge on, say, a porterhouse from your local meat purveyor, be sure to make it right. Or maybe consider grilling something nice for your mom on Mother's Day like Chef Rosenson plans to do. Turn the page for Rosenson's tips on how to grill the perfect steak.
5 Essential Grilling Tips
From: Ari Rosenson, Cut
1. Light the briquettes at least one hour before you expect to grill.
You want to grill only over red hot coals -- not over direct flame. Be patient! Good food takes time. If you grill over direct flames, your food will have a kerosene taste. Also If you cook over flame the heat is not as intense and consistent. You need the power of the hot coals to maintain a high temperature for a long time to give you the chard crust and caramelization that grilling good meat is all about.
2. Season meat at least one hour ahead of cooking.
Proper seasoning is as important as proper cooking technique. Flavors need sufficient time to permeate the meat properly. I recommend using a good quality sea salt for meat. The high mineral content brings out and brightens up the "iron-y" flavor in meat we all crave. Make sure to use fresh ground black pepper. The fragrant oils in pepper will dissipate if ground a head of time. Thus resulting in less flavor and a boring steak. Hint: rub your meat with a little oil before you grill. This will prevent meat from sticking to the grill.
3. Allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking.
This will lower the steaks cooking time as well as aid in even cooking of the meat. If the steak is cold when you start to cook it, it will over cook the outer part of the meat. Thus drying it out while you are waiting to cook the internal part of the meat to the desired temperature.
4. Grilling Strategy:
A. Before you start cooking, make sure that you have a gradient of heat. That means high level of hot coal on one side of the grill and gradually going down to a med/low level on the other side.
B. Start cooking the food that will take the longest first. You don't just want to through everything on the grill and have to wait a half hour for the double thick porterhouse to finish up while the chicken and fish get cold.
C. Start cooking your meat on high heat first. This will sear in all of the juices and start the caramelizing of the meat. Don't move the meat around a lot this will not help it cook. Let the grill do the work. Once the meat is seared move it to medium heat. This will cook the meat evenly with out drying it out.
5. Allow the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes after you pull it off of the grill.
If you cut into the meat right away, the juices will be forced out and your food will taste dry. You want the meat to relax a little after grilling. This will help keep all of the good juices in. Most importantly, this will give you time to get all of the sides and sauces on the table before you serve the masterpiece your have just made.
Good luck, and don't forget to have a good time while cooking. Fun is the most important part of grilling.
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.