In this article:
- Beef cuts for grilling
- How do you grill a steak properly?
- How do burgers on the grill work?
- Grill the pig: Fillet to spare ribs
- The best grilling tips for poultry
- Why is my chicken shrinking?
- Grill fish directly or indirectly?
- The best fish for grilling
- 3 grill sauce recipes for fish
- Can seafood also be served on the grill?
- Bottom line: Grill more, girls!
Which parts of the beef do best on the grill?
The best the beef has to offer for the barbecue are fillet and loin cuts: lean, fine-grained and yet juicy. But everything else is not to be sneezed at either. Here is an overview of the most important cuts and their use:
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- Neck / neck: Sinewy muscle meat that needs to be cooked longer and with a lot of moisture, for example as goulash. You can also grill streaky neck pieces.
- Shoulder: Very lean, but rather tough. Better for braising, goulash, soup meat or sauerbraten.
- Rib/back: The prime rib is a part of the back, tender and evenly interspersed with fat. Beef chops and braised meat are made from it, among other things.
- Loin: Also called roast beef.
Forms the T-bone steak together with the fillet. Results in tender rump steaks – perfect for grilling.
- Filet: The noblest piece of beef. Very lean, but still tender. With a fat content of only 3 to 5 percent, it is ideal for short roasts. How to grill the perfect fillet of beef.
- Mallet: Consists of upper shell, lower shell and sphere. You cut lean hip steaks, braised beef and roulades from it.
There are many beef cuts and most of them are perfect for grilling © Lisovskaya Natalia / Shutterstock.com
Do I have to treat a steak in any way before grilling it?
No, basically, you just put it on the grill. But take it out of the fridge in time and let it rest at room temperature for about half an hour before you heat it up properly. That way it stays nice and tender. The cooking time depends strongly on the size. A 2 to 3 cm thick steak needs about 3 to 5 minutes per side until it is medium. To ensure that the meat has a nice pink core, you should measure the core temperature so as not to “miss” the desired cooking point.
The ideal core temperatures for fish and meat
- Rare: 48-52 °C Core temperature
- Medium: 52-59 °C Core temperature
- Well done: 60-62 °C Core temperature
Can you also prepare a burger on the grill?
Of course, the king of fast food dishes is not only much healthier fresh from the grill, but also sensationally delicious. The path to the ultimate burger experience begins with the shopping: Only the freshest minced meat belongs in the patty (burger patty), preferably pure ground beef. Seasoned with salt and pepper.
A grilled burger like this really has nothing to do with unhealthy fast food © gorillaimages / Shutterstock.com
The following applies during preparation: Do not knead too hard! Press the mince loosely together so that it does not fall apart and form a meatball about 2 centimetres thick. Press lightly in the middle with your thumb or a teaspoon so that the patty doesn’t swell too much when you grill it, and then onto the grill. The grill should not be too hot, the meat is best cooked through at medium heat. The burger is perfect when it is nice and crispy on the outside and pink on the inside.
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Which parts of the pig fit on the grill?
- Neck: Also called comb or neck. Very tender thanks to the high fat content of 10 to 14 percent. Neck chops can therefore be grilled or fried very briefly.
- Shoulder: The meat is interspersed with coarse tendons and fibres. A long cooking time is required to tenderise it, so it is ideal for the smoker.
- Pork chop: The cutlet from the back is the classic cutlet. It is also called rib chop because of the rib bones attached to it. Becomes slightly dry – marinate before!
- Belly flesh: Very popular for grilling thanks to the crispy rind.
- Ribs: Cut from the breast, they are preserved as spare ribs in barbecue sauce.
- Filet: The best part of the whole pig. Very tender and juicy. Preparation: as a whole or in medallions.
Then you will lick your fingers! © stockcreations / Shutterstock.com
What is special about poultry on the grill?
The great thing about poultry is its versatility. The only prerequisite for full flavour is quality: for a few euros more you get juicy, tasty meat instead of tough fibres. And: When the bird is on the grill, you handle it gently! So, don’t fry the breast or leg too hot, but best of all gently cook it through with the lid closed and medium heat.
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Should different methods of preparation be used for wings, breast and leg?
Yeah, because chickens aren’t made in one piece. The many tasty parts have very different needs.
- Wings: The wings are the perfect finger food. Grilled or baked in the oven, they are far less fat than from the deep fryer. Use the direct grilling method (i.e.: grilling over the hottest part of the grill without lid) at medium heat. Nutritional values with skin: 223 calories, 18.6 grams of protein and 16 grams of fat*.
- Thigh/lower leg: The drumstick is the star on the grill. Before grilling, marinate with oil, salt and paprika powder.
Grill directly on the edge of the grill or indirectly at medium heat.
Nutritional values with skin: 219 calories, 16.4 grams of protein, 16.8 grams and fat*.
Nutritional values without skin: 119 calories, 19.5 grams of protein and 4.4 grams of fat*.
- Chest: The chicken breast consists mainly of the very lean fillet. Preparation tip: Push rosemary twigs and garlic under the skin.
Grilled chicken on braised Caesar salad
- With skin and bones – grill indirectly (i.e. with closed lid): at medium heat.
Nutritional values with skin: 173 calories, 21.2 grams of protein and 9.3 grams of fat*.
- Skin and bone free: grill without lid at medium heat, but rather at the edge of the grill.
Nutritional values without skin: 129 calories, 18.8 grams of protein, 2.7 grams of fat*.
* Nutrition information per 100 grams
Why does my chicken filet shrink on the grill?
Because it’s of poor quality. If your chicken comes from factory farming, it has much more water in its tissues – animals that are systematically crammed in can hardly move. And you can taste that: the meat contracts when grilled, becomes tough and tastes of nothing. Look for firm meat with a pink colour and avoid pale chicken meat with a spongy consistency.
Grill the vegetables: tips & tricks Pay attention to quality when buying meat, otherwise your chicken will shrink on the grill © Bon Appetit / Shutterstock.com
Even better: buy organic. Organic chicken it is free of hormones and antibiotics. And because it is kept outdoors, it contains valuable omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients such as iron, B vitamins and zinc. So anyone who can afford it should go for organic, especially when it comes to poultry.
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Grilling fish is complicated, isn’t it?
It’s true that you have to keep a closer eye on a fish fillet on the grill than chicken wing and co. because it is cooked faster and falls apart more easily. But it is worth the effort: there is hardly anything more delicious than fresh fish straight from the grill. The smoky aroma and the taste of the sea are a combination that makes it worthwhile to reconsider your grilling habits. And once you get the basics right, the fish will soon grill itself.
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The rust must be clean in any case, otherwise the delicate marine life will stick to it. And be careful with the grill tongs: fish decomposes more easily than meat. Even if you turn too soon, there could be a massacre.
Whole fish, like the gilthead, are easy to prepare on the grill © Victoria43 / Shutterstock.com
Place the fillet on the grill and wait 3 to 4 minutes. Then it should lift up immediately and easily. Turn around and grill on the other side for another 2 minutes. Clever alternative: a fish basket or grill grid to trap whole fish or larger fillets. Nothing can bake or fall apart with it.
Is it better to grill fish directly or indirectly?
Fish fillet is very sensitive and should rather be grilled indirectly. If you are in a hurry and give too much fire, it falls apart and does not offer the most beautiful sight on the plate. More robust are whole fish like trout or mackerel. However, it is difficult to tell when they are ready.
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Therefore a kettle grill with lid is ideal. Scoop the coal on one side and place the fish on the other. Close the lid and wait (about 15 minutes). This way, the heat spreads ideally and the fish is cooked nice and crispy but evenly.
Are there special grill sauces for fish?
Oh yes! Here are three suggestions for every taste. Tip: Warm up briefly before serving.
- Anchovy-herb sauce: 3 handfuls of mint leaves, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 spring onions, 2 EL Finely chop the capers and 4 anchovy fillets (anchovies), puree with 100 ml olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Keeps for 2 days in the refrigerator and also goes well with poultry.
- Tomato and lemon sauce: Chop 2 shallots, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 handful of parsley, quarter 400 g cherry tomatoes, all with 100 ml olive oil, grated zest of 2 organic lemons and 4 EL Mix lemon juice in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Lasts up to 3 days and, with a little vinegar, can also be used as a salad dressing.
- Ginger chili sauce: 4 EL fresh ginger (chopped), 3 chillies (cut into rings) and 4 EL Grind the sugar in a mortar to a paste.
With 4 EL white vinegar, 8 EL Fish sauce (Asian market), 4 EL Water, 2 EL Mix lemon juice and 2 spring onions (chopped). Lasts only 1 day, so use up quickly!
Which types of fish can be grilled particularly well?
Wrong question! The type of fish doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s fresh! Once it has been in the fridge for more than 1 day, even the best grill master cannot save it. If you don’t know anything about fish, it is best to move your shopping from the supermarket to the fish shop. There you will find super-fresh goods and above all personal advice. The experts will be happy to explain to you which fish goes with which side dishes and how it should be grilled.
Salmon is a good fish for beginners who have only grilled sausages so far © nadianb / Shutterstock.com
The ideal fish for beginners is salmon. It is juicy and tastes less fishy than its colleagues. A lean top protein supplier is tuna. It is particularly delicious when it is grilled only briefly on both sides and is still raw in the middle. Oily fish such as mackerel or sardines can be grilled whole because they do not dry out so easily.
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But also gilthead and sea bass (Loup de mer) do well on the grill, as they have very firm scales. A trout is particularly low-fat. But they feel more comfortable in the foil.
Is it actually allowed to eat the skin of fish?
This is purely a matter of taste and is entirely up to you. However, the skin should be properly descaled before grilling if you intend to destroy it as well. The silvery flakes can spoil your enjoyment.
Do seafood also work on the grill?
Sure! Small shrimps are good to roast on a spit and serve as finger food. Squids, such as calamari or cuttlefish, also taste great from the grill. Cut into rings, they only need a few minutes on the grill. They should be cooked in a grill tray so that they do not slip through the grill. Or you can grill the so-called “tubes” (the bodies without heads and legs) whole: carve them in a diamond shape, grill them for 3 minutes on both sides and sprinkle them with lemon. This tastes like a holiday!
Shrimp skewers from the grill are quickly made and are actually always successful © Oksana-Mizina / Shutterstock.com
General tip for seafood: With thick, greasy sauces like aioli you ruin the healthy effect. Take a marinade of good olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic and lemon. Salt, pepper, put it in a freezer bag with the seafood and put it in the fridge for 2 hours.
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Grill more, girls!
Dry chicken breast fillets or decayed trout are now history: With your new BBQ know-how, nothing can go wrong with the barbecue. Thanks to our tips, you now also know exactly how long a steak should stay on the grill for the desired cooking point, how to prevent the chicken from shrinking and which sauces go best with grilled fish. We wish you a good appetite!