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Fire Up the Grill: Tailgating Tips from Executive Chef Ian Lynch

Cooler weather and tailgates go hand-in-hand. There’s no better way to kick-off a game than with a sizzling steak, or elevate an average game day spread with expertly grilled chicken, pork, or fish. This time next year, we plan on being your go-to destination for pre-game meals and post-game celebrations. Until then, our Executive Chef, Ian Lynch, has put together a few grilling tips to raise the bar for your next tailgate.

It needs to be hot, hot, hot

“Heat up your grill for at least 20-25 minutes to make sure the grates are nice and hot. This also kills any bacteria and ensures a nicer sear on your protein. I recommend you start cooking when the temperature is around 400-450 degrees.

I set up my charcoal and/or wood briquettes in a pyramid, and then I use a butane torch to start them. If possible, I recommend avoiding lighter fluids. It can leave an undesirable flavor on the protein and unhealthy chemicals that you don’t want to eat.”

Great meat starts with the grill

“Once the grill is hot, brush it off with a grill brush. A good trick is to use a balled up piece of heavy-duty foil to clean the grill.

Oil your grill up. At the Cowford Chophouse’s sister restaurants, we use a rolled-up kitchen towel that is tied tightly and soaked in oil to brush the grill every time we put on a protein. This way, nothing sticks and it keeps the meat from being too oily.

Flare-ups can affect the protein. I recommend keeping a squirt bottle filled with water handy in case any flames get out of hand. When the meat is kissed by the flames, it adds an undesirable taste.”

Take care of your meat:

“Pull your proteins out 20-30 minutes before grilling, and let the protein rest until it comes up to room temperature. This technique will help ‘relax’ the meat and improve its tenderness.

Marinate your meat! Tougher cuts of meat should marinate overnight to help break them down, which will enhance the flavor and make the protein tender.

After removing the meat from the grill, it’s important to let your protein rest for about five minutes before cutting.” 

Add some unexpected flavor:

“I prefer grilling over wood or charcoal. Try adding oak, pecan, or other types of wood chips to your flame. It adds a subtle smoke flavor to the proteins.”

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