Staples of the Grill

Special article brought to you by Kent’s Sports

BY JEFF SPENCER

Grill master Jeff Spencer of Kent’s Sports is going to bring tips and recipes all summer in this feature!

There’s no doubt that a juicy ribeye or tasty New York strip are the kings of the grill, but the workhorses for most backyard chefs are still chicken, burgers, and hotdogs. Probably because of cost, availability, and ease of cooking, these three meats rule the grill in most homes.

Who can argue against a juicy burger, dog with just the right char, or a moist, juicy chicken thigh or breast, and every kid’s (and a lot of adults) favorite, the chicken leg? Sadly, too often, these meats are either too overdone or just plain raw because of the method or type of grill used. I’m a big proponent of a good quality instant-read thermometer to avoid failures and serve safe, juicy, delicious fare.

Method is critical in preparing praise-worthy morsels that will make any backyard chef proud.

Professional chefs often use cast iron skillets or griddles to get the results that keep their customers happy. Backyard chefs can use the same techniques to put smiles on the faces of those they feed.

Food cooked on cast iron will tend to get that crisp outer layer that most people love to eat.

Preheat the cast iron in the grill with a small amount of oil or cooking spray before adding the meat. Of course, if you’re cooking with wood, lower temps will produce the best flavor. Always cook to temp and not time.

THE RIGHT COOKING METHOD is important when grilling most cuts of chicken.

Chicken Thighs Recipe

This recipe can be used with thighs, legs, or whole quarters.

Mesquite or hickory are great woods for chicken if using pellet grill.

Preheat grill to 275 degrees.

Lightly coat chicken with olive oil.

Apply favorite seasoning. (We carry a number of delicious seasonings.) Place chicken directly on grill or cast iron pan.

Cook to 160 degrees.

Add favorite BBQ sauce or glaze.

Cook to 175 degrees and remove from grill.

Let meat rest for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

GRILLING TIPS:
• Don’t add sauces too early, the sugar will burn.
• Marinating is always an option with chicken. A simple brine can be used or Italian dressing is a winner too.
• Breast meat should be cooked to 165 degrees, less is too little and more produces dry chicken.
• Thighs and legs have a much higher fat content and can handle higher finish temp. 175 degrees will produce juicy tender bites.

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