6 Tips for Grilling for a Crowd
Words Rebecca Ulanoff
Have a big group coming over for a summer cookout? Check out these smart ideas from OXO’s grill-savvy engineers.
At OXO, we’re all about making the most out of every meal, from prep to clean-up. Even though many of us live in small NYC apartments, that doesn’t keep us from firing up the grill come summertime (outdoors of course).
We asked two OXO engineers-slash-grilling experts for their tips on grilling for a group. Both have true meat-tastic bonafides—Matt D. developed our Thermocouple Thermometer which provides temperature readings with ±0.9°F degree of accuracy, and Mack M.’s had his hands in some of OXO’s most popular grilling tools including our Meat Shredding Claws.
Read on for Matt and Mack’s summer grilling suggestions:
Tenderize Your Meat
Mack uses our Bladed Meat Tenderizer (which he worked on) to shorten marinating time and makes thinner cuts of meat such as flank steak, veal tenderloin or chicken cutlets. The Tenderizer has 50 sharp blades that create pockets for meat to absorb marinades and retain its juices. Alternatively, the Die Cast Mast Tenderizer works well to get a uniform thickness for even cooking. Plus, get more advice on why tenderizing meat is worth the effort.
Make Sure to Marinate
Mack likes using this marinade on skirt steaks which he’ll even make and freeze ahead of time (you never know). You also can’t go wrong with any combination of garlic, fresh herbs, soy, lemon, olive, mustard and even fish sauce. Or go for our Rosemary Lemon Pepper Marinade. Use a marinade injector to take your flavor to the next level.
Salt Your Steak
If you’re grilling a thicker piece of meat like rib eye, porterhouse or bone-in pork chops, be like Matt and generously salt your meat at least 45 minutes before grilling which boosts both flavor and tenderness
Use a Headlamp
Yep, you read it right. Mack swears by his and says it’s the only way to tell what’s happening on your grill in low light.
Matt says that 2-zone cooking, or cooking over indirect heat, is a game changer when it comes to hitting a perfect medium/medium rare every time. By cooking over indirect heat, you take out the risk associated with getting distracted (since it’s a slower process) meaning your margin for error is much wider. Or learn how to reverse sear your steak with this handy guide.
Temperature (Not Timing) is Everything
Both Matt and Mack ONLY cook to temperature—not time. If you use an instant-read thermometer you get super accurate readings in less than three seconds. No more overcooked strip steak!
Matt cooks thicker cuts to about 10 degrees shy of his target temperature and lets it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. The carryover temperature and letting the juices redistribute while resting means meat is perfectly done. If it’s too rare for a guest, he can always throw it back on the grill.