The temperature has been rising, the days have been getting longer, and the sun has been shining a little more. Spring is here and hibachi grills everywhere are being pulled out of storage and dusted off for the up-coming season. Here are a few quick tips to get this season’s grilling off to a tasty start.
Like most things in life, great grilling is learned and mastered over time. “Practice makes perfect”, right? If you want to learn to grill the perfect steak or the juiciest hamburgers with your hibachi grill it is going to take more than one attempt to nail it.
With that said, I know that you are more ready than ever to get outside and get grilling. Whether it is a couple of grilled rib eyes, cheese burgers with a slice of vine-ripened tomato, or a tasty shish kebob with a jalapeno-kick, the warm and sunny weather has put barbecue on the brain in all of us. So here are a couple of quick tips to help get the season off right.
First things first – you want to start with a clean grill. I’m sure this isn’t a problem with most people because I’m sure that most people gave their hibachi a good cleaning prior to packing it away last year for the winter… yeah right. We all do it, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being guilty of it myself. So, the obvious first step for the barbecue season is to give your hibachi grills a good scrubbing, before you’re first cookout!
Nobody wants to slap their top-dollar steaks on a grill that’s encrusted with unidentifiable charred chunks of last year’s leftovers. And besides just being gross to think about, think about what it does to the flavor.
Get reacquainted with your hibachi barbecue grill. If it has been a while since you used it last, you might find it a good idea to do a sort of “solo test-run” before trying to impress the friends and family. Besides being a good excuse to grill a fat t-bone for yourself, you’ll reacquaint yourself with things like “how much charcoal to use”, “where are the grill’s hot spots”, “the cool spots”, and the all important thing, “proper cooking times and temperatures”.
Speaking of temperature, lets cover a little hibachi grilling 101 re-cap here. Some people still believe that there is no need to pre-heat a grill. This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially with direct heat grilling hibachis. The idea of grilling is to sear-in those juices, the flavor – and this requires high heat. You want to get your hibachi grills raging hot before throwing the meat on. This is another area where a cast iron hibachi excels.
Next, preparation – Make sure you have all of your barbecuing utensils ready and clean. This is a good time to do a quick inventory on things like tongs and spatulas. You also want to note things like how much lighter fluid you have on hand (if you still use it), charcoal, and if you still do not have a charcoal chimney starter, now would be the time to put one on order. I find that making a quick checklist is helpful for all these items. It’s no fun to arrive at your destination, get the grill cranked up, slap the marinated steaks down by hand, and then realize the tongs were left at home.
Being prepared is key. Once the meat goes down, there’s no turning back. So be prepared. Being a hibachi grill master is not tough, but it does take a little practice. Remember, the more you fire up your hibachi grills, the better you’ll get at grilling on them. The better you get at grilling, the more you and your family will enjoy it.
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