Grilling is a healthy way of cooking – especially as it gets warmer outside! The Sprout team share tips for perfect grilling every time, and an easy recipe.
As the heat cranks up outside, so does our enthusiasm for grilling. Whether on the barbecue or with a grill-pan inside, it’s fast, fuss-free and arguably one of the healthiest ways to cook. Grilling tips:
Grilling’s good for you because...
It uses less oil compared to frying or roasting.
The grooves in the grill allow excess fat from meat to drip away.
Grilling at high heat seals in flavours and juices reducing the need for butters, oils or sauces.
Preheat your grill. You’ll know your grill is ready when it makes a nice sizzle when you place your meat on it.
Start with your grill on high and after your meat has been cooking for one or two minutes, turn the heat down slightly to ensure it doesn’t burn and you don’t end up with charred meat.
Use a silicon brushto lightly brush your meat with oil, this will help prevent meat from sticking. Canola, avocado, sunflower, rice bran or sesame oils are the best to use as they have a high smoke point which makes them good for high-heat cooking.
Be prepared! Grilling doesn’t take long and the meat won’t wait for you! Keep all of your utensils and ingredients close by to reduce the chance of you over-cooking your meat.
Leave a portion of your grill without heat. Place meat that is cooking too quickly there.
Grill vegetables whole as this will ensure they stay moist. If you use a barbecue with a lid, place the lid down for one or two minutes to lightly steam the vegies too.
If you grill kebabs held together by wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for 20 to 30 minutes before placing meat on them to prevent them from burning.
If you marinate your meat before grilling, do so in stainless steel bowls to ensure the acid in the marinade does not react with the bowl (keep meat in the fridge while marinating).
Top choices for grilling
Scotch, porterhouse and backstrap are all very tender cuts of beef or lamb and can be cut to the preferred thickness for grilling.
Pork cutlets or fillets are very lean and great for grilling due to their appropriate thickness and the tender, moist result you get. Cook pork much like beef or lamb. Unlike chicken, pork can be eaten medium so try not to overcook it!
Chicken breast or tenderloins are tender, low-fat cuts and if not overcooked are juicy. You can marinate to boost the flavour!
Thick cuts of fish such as salmon, snapper or barramundi are ideal for the barbie. Thinner cuts such as flathead or garfish are still full of flavour, but due to being thinner they cook faster and can fall apart on a barbecue.
The best cuts of meat for grilling can be quite expensive. This is because such cuts are more tender. Cheaper cuts such as chuck steak are perfectly fine to grill but ideally should be served medium-rare so you don’t end up with a dry and tough dinner!
Recipe idea from Sprout
This Grilled snapper with pea and broad bean mash recipe is a healthy, balanced meal. Grilling is a great technique for cooking fish. It’s low-fat, gives the fish a delicious favour and you can achieve attractive-looking grill marks. Fish is a great source of protein and valuable poly-unsaturated fats, important for brain and heart health, while broad beans are an excellent source of fibre. Cranberries are high in antioxidants, but are often associated with breakfast so sneaking them into an evening meal is a bit different, but tastes great!
The broad bean mash takes longest so you should get started on this first. Once you’re mashing, you can get the fish into the pan and put the kettle on to boil water to add to the couscous. When the fish is cooling you can plate up the mash, stir the almonds, parsley and cranberries through the couscous and then bon appetit!
Masterchef All Stars winner Callum Hann runs an Adelaide-based cooking school with APD and personal trainer Themis Chryssidis. Each month they share with us great recipes and advice to help you create fresh, tasty and healthy dishes. Visit Sprout at www.sproutcooking.com.au.