The Trick To Preventing Lean Meat From Sticking To The Grill

The popularity of cooking shows like "Chef's Table" and "Chopped" may inspire home cooks to try grilling up their own firey cuts of meat. And let's be honest, a smokey, perfectly cooked, beautifully grill-marked meat as the centerpiece at dinnertime makes for a perfect evening. Unfortunately, achieving the picture-perfect grilled steak, ribs, chicken, or even salmon is much easier said than done. From overly cooked meat to bland-looking, uncharred cuts, many issues can arise during the barbecue process — one of the most frustrating is when your beautiful filet of salmon or steak sticks to the stubborn grill grates, leaving the texture torn and unsightly.

Spraying the grill grates with cooking spray when the grill is heated up can lead to scary heights of flame, making it a bit risky. According to Survival Freedom, an alternative is to rub oils with higher smoke points, such as peanut oil, canola oil, and olive oil, onto the grates before cooking, but fat, in general, will cause flare-ups once the heat is cranked. There's a better, safer way to prevent your meats from sticking to the grill.

The power of the potato

This effective trick doesn't include oil and instead uses something you probably already have in your kitchen — a potato. The flesh of a potato is a great way to create a barrier on your grill grates to prevent your meat from sticking. As outlined by The Little Potato Company, start with a hot grill, cut a potato in half and skewer it, slip on an oven mitt, and in sweeping motions, carefully rub the potato flesh-side-down onto the grill grates until you hear a sizzling sound. From there, you're good to grill. Good Housekeeping states that the starches in the potato act as a barrier to prevent food from sticking.

Instagram user kalejunkie posted a video on five summer grilling hacks and included this nifty trick, stating that it is especially important when grilling lean meats, as they don't contain as much natural fat to act as a lubricant. And don't forget flaky fish; grilling seafood yields so much flavor, but a lot of the meat tends to get left behind. With this trick up your sleeve, you'll be a grill master for any type of protein.