Labor Day is about celebrating the end of a great summer with family and friends. It’s also about one more important thing: the barbecue. Here are some tips to help make your Labor Day barbecue a success.
Whether you are new to the grilling game or you are a seasoned grill master, following these five simple steps will help ensure your guests walk away raving about your food.
Oil: Keep your grill grates clean and oiled using olive oil and a clean kitchen cloth before and after you grill. This helps prevent delicate foods like salmon from sticking and helps prevent rust.
Heat: Preheat your grill 15 minutes before you start cooking. You want an established temperature before placing any protein or veggies on the grill.
Season: Season both sides of your protein and remember to grill your meat, fish or poultry evenly on both sides.
Marinate: A great cut of meat needs little help; with proper grilling and maybe some salt and pepper, it can be delicious. There are other cuts that need some assistance though, and nothing dresses up a cut of meat like a good marinade. The acids in the marinade like vinegar, lemon juice and wine help break down the tissues of tougher cuts and help the protein absorb moisture, rendering a juicier finished product.
Rest: This is the most important and often most overlooked step in grilling. Make sure to let your meat rest for 10 minutes after you pull it off the grill before slicing and serving. The radiant heat of the grilling process pulls all the juices and sugars of the protein to the edge of the meat. The resting process allows the juices to return to the center of the meat, resulting in a moist and delicious finished product.
While it has been often maligned and given a low end image here in the US due to many wineries producing it en masse in large bottles, a well made Rosé is a pleasant and versatile wine that pairs well with many grilled items. One of the first wines to ever be produced in the Provence region of France (dating back almost 2600 years), well-made Rosé is not cheap and generally well worth its price.
Its versatility comes from its color which is derived from the skin of the grape, similar to that of a red wine just lighter. The skin imparts substance and a backbone to the wine that allows it to stand up to grilled meats, dark fowls and vegetables.
A few suggestions for quality Rosé: J Winery Vin Gris, Toad Hallow “Eye of the Toad,” Charles & Charles Rosé from Washington State and Campuget Rosé from Southern France.
This article is courtesy of Tommy Cortopassi, IVGID Director of Food & Beverage; and Bill Vandenburg, IVGID Executive Chef.