The Best Cuts For Summer Grills
Date: 11-08-2017 published by Nick Baines
Whether it’s outside event catering, taking care of a function, or just cranking up the heat in the kitchen, summer is prime time for grilling. From a food service point of view, one of the best things about the summer grill is the speed in which you can get things fired and plated.
The game is all about being hot and fast, despite what your mother may have told you. Chicken breast, flank steaks and pork chops are your go-to, just have them cut thin and don’t be afraid to butterfly the chicken breasts if they’re on the plump side.
At this point, marinades are most certainly your friend. If you turn to a yogurt-based marinade, it’s going to help tenderise the meat, help keep it moist, and caramelise quickly with little burn-off of flavour. The type of fat in your meat cuts needs to be kept in check too. You want some thin wispy bands of fat that will break down and provide succulence, but big, thick bands are going to take too long to break down and you’ll be at risk of drying out the meat while you wait for it to render.
Even though we are going hot and fast, we still have the option to cook in-directly and slow things down just a touch. We’re not talking 8 hour smoked pork shoulder, but just keeping the heat at bay long enough to stop things from developing a cremated, ashy crust – because no-one likes a sooty sausage. At the top of the indirect line-up is a spatchcocked chicken. Opening up the chicken like this rapidly speeds up the cooking time and when rubbed with jerk spicing or a tandoori marinade, you have a pretty fresh tasting sharing plate (read great margin). A sheet of pork ribs also does well slightly off-set from the heat too, as do most bone-in cuts of meat like chicken thighs, wings, and chops.
However, one of the best bone-in cuts of meat that works tremendously under direct heat, is the lamb chop. You need look no further than those served at Whitechapel’s iconic Tayyab’s in London, where sizzling lamb chops come screamingly hot and charred with an impenetrable marinade.
Against the obligatory charred notes your meat now carries, make sure you provide something to cut against it by way of salsa. Mango and chilli salsa is perhaps one of the finest choices with al fresco grilling, or turn to the much loved Argentinian salsa verde (because those guys know a thing or two about serving fire cooked beef). So whether you’re catering that big, blow-out wedding, or putting some plates together for customers to enjoy out in the open air, remember that things don’t need to be complicated. Few things ever went wrong by keeping things simple, and simplicity is what summer grilling is all about.
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