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10 Ultimate Grilling Tips for Memorial Day
Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer: longer days, warmer temperatures and the start of grilling season! If this approaching holiday has your taste buds tingling and your fingers itching to clean the dust that’s collected on your grill over the winter, we’ve got just the tips for you! Whether you’re hosting friends or grilling solo, these tips will help make this Memorial Day one to remember.
1. Unsure of which cut of beef to buy?
Flank steak is a great option, as it has nearly 30 percent less saturated fat than top sirloin, but is still packed with flavor.
Try adding smoked paprika to your spice rub for a great taste profile. Be sure to let the steak rest for several minutes before cutting in order to retain the moisture—no one likes a dry steak! Slice the meat thinly and against the grain for the juiciest, most tender cuts.
2. Get smoky!
Experiment with different varieties of hardwood chips this grilling season to find your favorite. Try Applewood for a versatile, yet sweet flavor. Maple pairs nicely with pork, and hickory lends a strong, bacon-like taste.
3. Try something different.
Surprise your guests (or yourself) with pork! One tasty way to cook this often-overlooked meat is on kebabs. Marinate thin medallions of pork in your favorite sauce and arrange them on skewers. Cook over high heat until the edges are crispy and starting to blacken.
For a unique paring, serve the meat with peanut sauce and crunchy cucumbers. Wrap the combination in lettuce leaves for an Asian-inspired meal.
4. Thighs, thighs, thighs!
This portion of chicken is the best piece to grill, as it has more flavor than the breast and will stay moist even after cooking. Try marinating the chicken with a combination of fresh lemon juice, your favorite summer herbs, salt and pepper. For a perfect finishing touch, grill some lemon halves and serve them alongside the chicken.
5. Get your healthy fats.
Fish (particularly salmon) is known as a great source of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is a fat essential to good health. Give your salmon a flavor boost by grilling it on a cedar plank.
Prior to grilling, soak the plank in water for one to four hours. Bring out the flavor of the wood by adding one tablespoon of salt to the water. Place the salmon on the plank, cover the grill, and cook for 18-22 minutes, depending on its thickness. Serve with fresh lemon slices or a tropical fruit salsa for a summery flavor.
6. The grill isn’t only for meat!
Put your favorite vegetables over the flame and crank up the heat to get some beautiful charring. Try a tasty combination of bell peppers, onions, corn on the cob and avocado. That’s right, avocado!
Watch each item carefully, as they all take different amounts of time to cook. (Pay extra attention to the avocado, which only requires a couple of minutes on the grill.) Toss all the veggies together to create a killer salad that’ll make you swear off the boring green variety for good.
Add a squeeze of lime, some cumin, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. This summery salad can compliment a main course, or stand all on its own.
7. If you’re grilling burgers or brats, don’t forget to toast the buns!
Place them on the grill just before serving so they have a little char and a crisp texture.
Add a gourmet touch by serving your grub with condiments made from scratch. Puree a mixture of slow-roast tomatoes, fresh basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a tangy homemade ketchup.
8. Grill your drink!
Yes, you read that correctly. Try a Grilled Pineapple Mojito this Memorial Day for a smoky twist on a summer favorite.
Start by peeling half small pineapple and cutting it into 1/2-inch slices. Use 2 teaspoons of canola oil to brush each side of the fruit before putting it on the grill on medium-high heat. Turn the pineapple occasionally for about eight minutes, or until lightly charred.
Following your favorite mojito recipe, add the tangy grilled fruit to your mixture of freshly muddled lime, mint and sugar. Add seltzer water and light rum, or skip the alcohol for a virgin version of this refreshing drink. You may never go back to your standard mojito!
(Half of a small pineapple should be enough to add to four servings of your favorite mojito recipe.)
9. Don’t forget to clean up.
While this is not everyone’s favorite part of grilling, it’s certainly an important step in keeping your equipment working properly and ready for the next grill out.
If you keep your grill outdoors, be sure to cover it up when you are done in order to protect it from the elements. Investing in a quality cover will ensure that your grill doesn’t rust and stays in good shape for your next barbecue.
10. Score the meat lightly before marinating.
This will help absorb the flavors and make the meal extra flavorful. Be sure to choose marinades with acidic liquids like vinegar, lemon juice or wine, for the fullest flavor and the tenderest meat.
If grilling just isn’t your thing…
Or if bad weather ruins your plans, head to the restaurants at Lady Luck® Vicksburg and let the chefs do the work for you. With three dining establishments to choose from, you’ll be at no shortage of options.
Choose from finger-licking ribs and lobster tails at Otis & Henry’s®, or juicy burgers and cheesy sandwiches like the Mississippi patty melt or our Philly cheesesteak at the O&H Express®. Craving seafood? Look no further than Farmer’s Pick® Buffet, where we’re serving up a Backyard Crawfish Boil each Sunday in May. There truly is something on the menu for everyone!