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Kick Off Memorial Day With Grilling Tips From Bergen County Meat Expert

Paul Greenblatt, associate meat coordinator for Whole Foods Market Northeast.
Paul Greenblatt, associate meat coordinator for Whole Foods Market Northeast. Photo Credit: Submitted
Paul Greenblatt, associate meat coordinator for Whole Foods Market Northeast.
Paul Greenblatt, associate meat coordinator for Whole Foods Market Northeast. Photo Credit: Submitted

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. -- It's (practically!) Memorial Day so let the grilling begin!

Englewood Cliffs resident Paul Greenblatt, associate meat coordinator for Whole Foods Market Northeast, offers the following barbecue tips, tricks and essentials for kicking up the heat this holiday.

  • Consider dry aged beef. It’s the easiest way to get your guests to say “Wow!" All of the beef at Whole Foods Market is aged within the store and there is a minimum requirement of 14 days of aging on all of the meat. This process allows natural enzymes in the meat to soften the texture resulting in a more tender piece of beef. There’s also some evaporation during the aging process that concentrates the flavor.
  • Use heavy duty tongs. Flimsy lightweight tongs are hard to move large items with. When grilling, I always have a long pair of tongs for reaching items in the back. I personally like one that is 18 inches long that you can purchase online or at any restaurant equipment store.
  • Silicone mopping brushes are great. Starting with a dry rub and finishing with a mopping sauce or glaze can really give your meat a terrific flavor and texture. These brushes don’t melt or catch on fire; they also don’t stain and clean easily in the dishwasher.
  • Butter makes it better! To achieve that perfectly seared and crisp exterior, rub your steak with some room temperature salted butter before cooking. Make sure to start with a hot, clean grill that is about 400 degrees.
  • For a deeper penetration of flavor with your dry rub, season the meat the night before and place into a covered container or bag. If you aren’t the best at planning ahead, you can also season your meat the day of but it's important let the meat stand at room temperature for about two hours as it will open the pores of the meat faster. However you choose to proceed, steaks cook faster and more evenly when the product is at room temperature before cooking.
  • Add some acid to your BBQ sauces . Red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, fresh lemon, fresh lime or almost anything else. Typically I would choose a vinegar that has a slightly higher sugar content, but the fresh citrus really opens up the flavor.

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