Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

Summer, and barbeque season, is in full swing and I have been grilling like a mad man every weekend. I’ve grilled up steaks, chicken, hot dogs, brats, sausages, ribs, burgers, vegetables, and have even tried my hand at grilling dessert. Suffice it to say, I am the go to guy in the Winston household when you want something cooked on the grill. As such, I have scoured my brain (and the web) to come up with five hot tips for successful grilling this summer.

1. Safety first. It may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t grill in an enclosed area. Your garage is not the best place to cook up a mess of ribs. Use baking soda, rather than water, to control a grease fire, and be sure to keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of sand, or garden hose near by—just in case.

2. Safety second. Food safety is as important as fire safety—I learned that one the hard way after a rare piece of chicken found it’s way onto my plate. Check for proper doneness with an instant-read thermometer and use separate platters for cooked and raw foods. If you use a marinade as a sauce, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service says to either reserve some that hasn’t come in contact with raw foods, or to boil it first to destroy any bacteria.

3. Speaking of sauce, don’t make the rookie mistake of saucing too soon. If you brush on sauces at the beginning of cooking, chances are they will burn and taste less than good when the food is finally done. If you practice patience and wait until the last few minutes to apply sauces, you’ll get a nice glaze instead of a black, charred mess.

4. Give it some room. Leave a small, unheated space on the grill so you’ll have somewhere to move food that is cooking too fast.

5. Cleanliness is next to godliness. If you use cooking spray when grilling (before you start the fire), clean up will be much easier. I also clean my grill after every use—it’s easier to cut through the grime when the grill is still warm. If you allow the cooked bits to burn off the inside of your grill every time you use it, you shouldn’t have to work as hard at scrubbing the inside. Simply brush off baked-on grease with a wire grill brush. If you really want to go to town, use warm soapy water and a sponge or dishcloth after brushing.

So there you have it, not quite everything you need to know about grilling. The most important thing to have, besides a grill, is a complete set of tools. The Grill Master Barbeque Kit is complete set for barbequing—including a stainless steel grill brush, spatula, basting brush and tongs. Naturally it comes with one color imprint so you can blend grilling with branding—a winning combination.

Well, I’m off to the races—literally. My son’s summer camp is having a three-legged race and they asked me to MC. Remember, “If you grill it, they will come.”