Category Archives: Tips & Techniques

5 Steps To Burger Brilliance

Photo from 5 Steps to Burger Brilliance
Photo from 5 Steps to Burger Brilliance

The good folks at Weber have provided this excerpt from Weber’s Big Book of Burgers by Jamie Purviance titled “5 Steps To Burger Brilliance”. It contains great tips for making your best grilled burger this summer!

I’ve posted the text and photos on our companion discussion forum The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board. I hope you enjoy it!

Read “5 Steps To Burger Brilliance” 

Preheating The Grill

Grilling on a Weber Q 220 after proper preheating
Grilling on a Weber Q 220 after proper preheating

It’s important to preheat your gas grill thoroughly before cooking. Proper preheating has the following benefits:

  • Preheating burns off any residue left from the last time you grilled.
  • Foods tend to stick less to grates that have been preheated.
  • Foods tend to cook more quickly and evenly in a grill that’s been preheated.

Check the owner’s manual for your grill for the recommended preheating instructions and length of time. Although your grill may vary, many experts recommend 10-15 minutes of preheating before grilling.

Cooking Meat On Edge

Cooking a tri-tip on edge

If you’ve grilled your fair share of tri-tip roasts, you’ve probably encountered a few that were very thick, especially on one side. The one shown in this photo is an example of that. I had seared both sides nicely, but that big, thick edge was just begging for a good sear, too.

I was aware of techniques like using wadded-up aluminum foil to prop-up meat on edge, but while grilling this roast I noticed a solution sitting right in front of me: the swing-up part of the grate on my Summit 450 that allows access to the smoker box.

Just pop open that grate, lean the tri-tip against it with the thick side facing down, and sear away to  your heart’s content.

If you have a grill with a swing-up grate, I hope you can take advantage of this simple but effective tip.

Searing Meat Doesn’t Seal In The Juices

Searing steaks on the grill

Good ol’ George Stephen. We owe him a lot. He invented the iconic Weber kettle grill and founded a company that continues to innovate and produce some of the best grills money can buy.

But George didn’t know what he was talking about when it came to searing meat.

Here’s the first ad that George ran to sell his grills:

Weber's first ad

It says, “Seals in rich flavor and natural juices of meat, poultry, fish and game.”

George can be forgiven for this misstatement, for it’s been made many times by many chefs and cooking authorities over the years.

Searing meat does not seal-in flavor and juices. This myth has been disproved numerous times. You can read one example here from the America’s Test Kitchen blog.

What searing does is create great color and flavor on the surface of meat as a result of caramelization and the Maillard reaction. These processes create an array of flavor compounds that give grilled meat its wonderful flavor. And interestingly, you can sear meat at the beginning or at the end of cooking and get good results either way.

So go ahead and sear those steaks and chops…but do it to create great color and flavor. To keep the meat juicy, measure internal temperatures using an instant-read thermometer so you don’t overcook the meat.

Go Ahead…Poke Your Meat

Weber 6615 Grilling Fork
Weber 6615 Grilling Fork

Contrary to popular belief, a piece of meat is not like a balloon filled with water. It won’t pop and let out all the moisture if you poke it or “nick and peek” to check for doneness.

A piece of meat is more like a sponge. It holds almost all of its moisture even when poked or probed.

America’s Test Kitchen did a test in which they cooked two sets of steaks to medium rare. One set was poked constantly with a fork, the other was not. The result: Both sets of steak lost exactly 19.6% of their moisture during cooking.

So go ahead, use a grill fork or stick your steak with a probe thermometer to check for doneness. You’re not doing any harm.