Getting Perfect Grill Marks is Easy! I have been grilling for a long time and one thing that has always given me trouble is getting perfect grill marks.
Grill marks do not improve the taste of your food and as such should not be considered important. The reality though is that the ability to lay down serious grill marks is one of the skills that separate the rookies from the professionals.
There is no way you can ever claim to be the neighborhood Grill Master if you can't consistently lay down wicked cool grill marks. This article has two nice tips for improving your grill marks as well as a recommendation for a wonderful piece of equipment that makes this easy.
Wet Won't Work
Before I tell you what I am using to get these grill marks, let me give you an essential tip. In order to get great grill marks, you must grill food that is warm and dry.
If you put food on a grill that is cold and wet then all you are going to do is create a steaming puddle of a mess that is going to stick to your grill. If you use a marinade on your food make sure you pat the surface dry before grilling. If your food has been kept in the refrigerator make sure you let it warm on a kitchen counter for 30 minutes before grilling.
Remember.....warm and dry is your friend....cold and wet is miserable!
Fix the Fire
Wait, wait!! There is one more thing you need to know before you start trying to put down grill marks like these. Come on, this isn't a job for amateurs! We don't want anyone getting hurt do we?
You have to have the right temperature on your grill before you can really get the grill marks you want. You do NOT want your grill to be screaming hot. If the grill is too hot you will not only get grill marks but you will also scorch the rest of the food. If you are grilling a thick piece of meat then you will burn the surface before the inside gets cooked.
Try to dial in your heat to a Medium to Medium High setting. This will let you have enough heat to set your marks without burning your food. However, these type of heat settings can't be achieved on a Charcoal grills, and for that reason we would recommend to invest in a wood fired grill or maybe a gas grill. Moreover, if you want an easy-to-operate grill then get your hands at the best pellet grills under $500 of range, these grills are great for backyard kitchen and can achieve the searing temperature of 500F to 700F - perfect for grill marks.
It is easier to get the cross hatch pattern on thick cuts of meats. The thickness lets you grill for at least 10 minutes on a single side without the meat becoming over-cooked.
The product I used to get these grill marks is called GrillGrates. These are panels of anodized aluminum with ridges on the top and perforations on the bottom. The aluminum ridges are extremely efficient at transferring heat from your grill onto the surface of your food. The perforated base protects your food from the direct heat of the grill flames.
This lets you keep your food in contact with the grate long enough for the grill marks to form without burning the rest of the food.
GrillGrates are made in the USA and come with a no questions asked money back promise if you don't love them.
The Cross Hatch
To get these marks let your food stay on the GrillGrate undisturbed for five to seven minutes before flipping or rotating. To get the perfect cross hatch you need to rotate the food 45 degrees after it has grilled for five minutes and let it grill undisturbed for another five minutes.
GrillGrates come with an unconditional money back promise from the manufacturer. Don't worry though, once you start playing with GrillGrates you will never want to give them up!
Grill Grates come in multiple configurations to fit every grill. All of the pictures in this lens show grill marks I made with a two panel configuration I used with my Weber Jumbo Joe.
Not Just for Grill Marks
Although Grill Grates are FREAKING AWESOME for putting down grill marks they are also excellent for preventing flare ups.
Although, if you have a Pellet grill then things would go smooth, but if you own a crappy little gas grill that has uneven heat and is always flaring up (Yes, I have been watching you grill!!) then Grill grates are a simple solution that will dramatically transform your situation.
The perforated base of the Grill Grate helps evenly distribute heat while vaporizing dripping fats and marinades. Although some grease does drain through the perforations and catches fire the food is protected from the direct flames by the base itself. In a way, using Grill Grates is like adding Weber Flavorizer bars to a charcoal grill.
I was able to grill a huge batch of chicken wings directly over charcoal. Not only did I get to lay down grill marks on chicken wings but I was able to do the entire cook without fighting a single flare up. I have collected a pile of barbecue gadgets over the years. This is the first one that I have been delighted to own. If you have a Weber charcoal grill put this on your list of upgrades to buy.