Summer Grilling Tips from Saugatuck Craft Butchery

Ryan Fibiger

Craft Butchery is an old-fashioned shop with modern-day ideals (not to mention beautiful new digs). It carries only pasture-raised, organic meat from small farms located within a 150-mile radius of Westport. They sell premium beef, pork, lamb and poultry from animals that have never been given antibiotics, hormones, steroids or animal by-products. These guys know a thing or two...or three...(well, actually Ryan has 5 tips here), about grilling. 

Owner and head butcher Ryan Fibiger helps us make the most of his offerings with tips on grilling perfectly.

1. Keep it simple. When it comes to grilling high-quality, pasture-raised meats, less is more. Stick with just a salt rub on our steaks and burgers. Pepper, garlic, spice rubs and oils can burn, so use only if you’re cooking at a lower temperature.

2. Get the perfect sear. To get a deliciously crusty surface and great, grilled flavor, quickly sear each side on direct high heat (400-500 degrees). To do this, be sure your grill is preheated on high with the cover on before you place the meat on the grill. Be careful not to overcook the meat on this high heat. Once you have achieved a sear, move meat to a cooler side of the grill or turn the heat down to finish.

3. Don't be a classic over-flipper. When grilling, try to minimize flipping as much as possible. The heat needs to restart penetrating the meat every time you flip, so each turn over lengthens the overall cooking time. 

 4. Use a meat thermometer. Yes, you can time it or use the touch test to gauge the doneness of your meat, but it's safest to rely on the meat's internal temperature when grilling. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, fat and griddle. We suggest removing the meat when it reaches the following temperatures: 125 degrees for medium rare beef and lamb, 140 degrees for medium done pork, and 160 degrees for poultry. 

5. Let it rest. Regardless of what type of meat you are cooking, you want it to be juicy and bursting with flavor, right? So no matter how badly you want to dig in, hold off a bit—let the meat rest on a plate or cutting board for at least ten minutes (longer for larger cuts of meat or roasts). That way the meat’s internal juices can redistribute, giving you juicy, succulent meat, cooked evenly throughout and ready to enjoy. Believe us, it will be worth the wait.

Happy grilling!

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