Phew! We are really moving into the deep heat of the Arizona summer. When temperatures soar into the triple digits, we’re never far from thoughts about how to stay cool. Lucky for us, we run a sunscreen company!
Sunscreens are one of the best ways to beat the central Arizona heat, but we can think of a few other “hot tips” as well. For starters, it’s officially time to turn off the stove and fire up the grill. Grilling food is a timeless culinary art, and a delicious way to keep your home cool in the summer. Cooking outside is fun and easy, and you can get delicious, juicy flavor even with the simplest seasonings.
Cooking meat over a flame imbues it with flavor and depth. Grilled meat loses much of its fat as it melts away in the cooking process, without sacrificing the flavor fat brings to food. How your meat will be grilled depends on the type of meat, the cut and the grill you are using. The breadth of grilling spans from roasting a whole pig to minimally smoking delicate fillets of fish.
The flavor and texture of grilled meat can be enhanced by marinating it overnight. Your grilling marinade can have a bold spicy flavor or a complex texture of spices and sweetness – the important thing for marinades is that they contain an acidic component like vinegar or lemon juice. Acids are what breaks down some of the cellular structure in meat, tenderizing it for a full-flavored experience.
Grilled vegetables pack so much flavor, we’ve seen them seduce even the most stalwart carnivore. The plant sugars in vegetables caramelize quickly over the grill’s heat which seals in flavor and keeps the inner flesh moist. Most vegetables can be grilled without fancy sauces or spices, they’re delicious with simply salt, pepper and a little oil – or even undressed.
Covered or Uncovered?
If you are new to grilling, understanding how to cook on one can seem a little counterintuitive at first. Open grilling (grilling without a lid) and covered grilling each provide a different kind of heat. Use open grilling when you want a hot flame that cooks things quickly. This hotter fire is great for small vegetables (or pieces of vegetables) and things like seared steaks or grilled pizzas.
Covered grilling is what you will use when slow cooking at lower temperature is the better option. Here, think about thick cuts of meat like roasts, and bigger vegetables that need thorough cooking, such as whole eggplants.
Small and Delicate
Don’t be deterred from grilling smaller items like green beans or delicate foods like fish. Using foil or a cage to keep small items from slipping through the grating of the grill into the ash below. We recommend grilling fish in foil to make handling its flaky texture far easier. When cooking with foil, you’ll still want to have a way for the grill’s smoky flavor to permeate your food. Perforate or vent your foil so smoke can seep in.
Another way to handle small pieces of meat and veg is to thread them onto skewers for grilling. Skewers and kebabs are an excellent way to layer flavors into your food. Try alternating meat with onions, peppers and pineapple. Don’t squish food onto a skewer, give each item a comfortable amount of space so it can fully cook.
Up In Smoke
With grilling, don’t just consider what seasonings you put on your food, also take into account the flavors that go into your flame. Grills impart a smokiness to food that can infuse it with subtle, savory tastes and smells. Grilling a bundle of herbs alongside your food is a great way to create irresistible dishes, or adding herbs to the grill’s fire creates a bolder, smokier taste.
The classic way of adjusting a grill’s smoke is by adding aromatic wood to the flames. You can usually find common grilling woods like mesquite or hickory next to charcoal briquettes at the store. To add them to your grilling repertoire, soak your wood before adding it to the fire so it creates abundant smoke and burns slowly.
Installing sunscreens at your home or business is an easy, sustainable way to reduce energy expenses and bring year-round comfort into your space. Sunscreens block up to 90% of the Sun’s UV rays, preventing heat from entering your home and protecting your belongings from sun damage. Contact us today to learn more!