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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Summer grilling tips

Mom_steaks The upcoming Memorial Day weekend marks the "official" start of summer as well as that delicious time of year known as grilling season.

The folks from have coined 2010 as “The Summer of Sizzle,” and Chef Dave Zino offered his top grilling tips to help kick off the season in a recent interview. 

He suggests marinading for both flavor and tenderizing. Flank, chuck, round and skirt steaks are all excellent candidates for tenderizing marinades, while dry rubs should be used on more tender cuts. Use one acidic ingredient in your marinade like lemon juice, vinegar or wine to help break down the tissue in the meat. 

When making burgers, use an 80/20 ground beef for patties that hold up well on the grill, but if you go with a leaner 95 percent, then mix in a little egg white and bread crumb to give the burger more staying power. Top your burgers with interesting toppings like mango, pineapple or a simple salsa to give your meal a dose of healthy fiber. More tips to get the best results:

* When shopping for beef, always select those packages that are bright cherry red in color and well before the sell by date. Chef Dave suggests making the meat case that last stop in the grocery store so it doesn’t sit out too long.
* Maintain medium heat on your grill to ensure proper cooking times. The goal is to brown, not char, so pat dry marinades from meat before placing on a hot grill. Trimming excess fat from meat also helps prevent flare-ups.
* Turn properly, and sparingly. Piercing meat with a fork lets out all of the natural juices run out onto the coals and dries it out, so use a long-handled pair of tongs.
* Always follow good food-safety practices. That means keeping beef refrigerated until the time of grilling and cleaning plates and utensils in between raw and cooked plating. Bacteria can form on room temperature food quickly.
* And finally, always use a thermometer to check for doneness. A temperature of 145-160 degrees is necessary for optimal flavor, texture and tenderness for beef.

For more recipes, tips and tools including a new interactive meat case which can help you figure out the best cuts for your buck, check out the website.

-- Tracey Henry, Suburban Diva

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[Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:24pm]


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