Imagine the time and effort you spent preparing the burger, chicken breast, or steaks for grilling; then you realize it’s stuck on the grill plate. You further use force on the spatula, and it’s ripped. These are some annoying experiences even the chefs could face if they don’t apply simple tips while grilling.
How do I keep food from sticking to the grill? The simple ways of keeping foods from sticking to the grill include cooking on a clean grill and using proper temperatures. This post addresses more of such tips and reasons why food sticks on the grill.
Why does Food Stick to the Grill Grates?
Scientifically, foods stick on the grill because of the chemical bond between proteins and grill metals grates. Also, foods with sugars are likely to stick on the grill because sugar burns and turns to carbon and Carbon sticks to the grate.
Among other reasons that cause food to stick on the grill grates include:
• Cooking on a grill that is not hot enough
• Cooking on a dirty grill (dirty grill plate/grate)
• If the grill plate/grate is not non-stick and you don’t use oil or cooking sprays.
Now that you have an idea of what causes the above problem, let’s find effective solutions.
How to Keep Food from Sticking to the Grill
Have you experienced food sticking on the grill grate/plate while grilling your favorite meal? Here are five tips that can help you prevent such situations while cooking:
A. Cook on a clean grill
The first thing to think about if you want to grill is to clean your grill. If you previously cooked on your grill last time and didn’t clean it after use, avoid cooking on it. It will cause food to stick on the grill surface.
For instance, sauces used on food while grilling tends to stick on the grill’s surface. If you cook on the same grill in that condition, food will stick to it. Therefore, ensure your grill has a clean and smooth grill plate/grate.
What is the best way to clean your grill anyway? Ensure the grill is fairly warm and gently clean the cooking surface using a scrub pad or brush. If it’s an electric grill, you can remove the grilling plate and clean it in a dishwasher.
B. Preheat the grill properly
If you cook on a poorly heated grill, your food will probably stick on the grill plate because it cannot form sear and grill marks.
Therefore ensure your grill is well heated before you start cooking foods. It helps prevent the food's proteins from bonding with the grill plate’s surface. Also, a well-heated grill results in nice grill marks.
However, how hot a grill should depend on the food you’ll be cooking.
So, how long should you preheat a grill? It should be about 10 to 15 minutes.
C. Use the right temperatures for cooking
As highlighted above, the ideal temperatures for cooking various foods vary. Therefore, you should note the suitable temperature you need to grill your favorite food to prevent sticking of food to as grill.
For instance, grilling some food at an extremely high temperature will result in sticking while others don’t.
D. Use oil with a high smoking point
Oil can prevent food from sticking to a grill in two different ways, i.e., on the grill grate/plate or the foods. Most importantly, you should use oil with a high smoking point since it doesn’t evaporate quickly. For instance, canola oil, grapeseed oil, and peanut oil.
Some grills, such as electric grills, have non-stick cooking surfaces; therefore, seasoning them with cooking oil is unnecessary. However, other grills might need, and you should use oil on their grates.
You can also rub foods such as steaks and fish with oil to prevent them from sticking on the cooking surface. However, other foods such as burgers do need it because they already have high-fat content and release some while cooking.
E. Use cooking spray
Not everyone finds it suitable to use cooking oils while grilling. But there is an alternative, cooking spray.
They give your grill grate a smooth surface, thus preventing food from sticking while cooking.
1. Should I clean my grill after every use?
Yes, it’s recommended you clean your grill after every use. It prevents food from sticking particles from building up on the grill grate/plate. Therefore, the next time you cook, your food is not likely to stick on the grill.
2. How do I keep the marinated chicken from sticking to the grill?
First, ensure you’re using a clean grill. Then preheat your grill for about 10 minutes before applying a light coat of oil on the grill plate. Lastly, maintain grill temperatures of about 400 degrees F. Most importantly, maintain your cooking time to about 4 minutes on each side.