gRoll is a fun, delicious, and healthy way to prepare all kinds of meals, but it comes with proper prep if you want to prevent food from sticking to the griddle. While aerosols and oils are common, it’s important to note that they are highly flammable and sometimes not the best choice at high temperatures. Instead, baking experts say you can rummage through your kitchen looking for something. Well, obviously you can keep your grill from sticking if you clean it with a potato.
Not entirely convinced (since not everything you read on social media is true), I reached out to two barbecue experts for their two cents on the subject. Keep reading for what they have to say about cleaning potatoes for the perfect non-stick baking.
How to clean the grill with potatoes to prevent sticking
According to BBQGuys Chef Tony Matassa, using potatoes to keep your grill from sticking does in fact work. Potato starch creates a natural non-stick coating on the grill.
To properly prepare a baked potato dish, follow Matassa’s steps below:
1. Preheat your oven
The hot surface will ensure that the potatoes can cling to and pick up caked-on residue on the grill.
2. Cut the potato in half or quarter
“You may need more [or less] Matassa said.
3. Use tongs or a baking fork to hold halves or chunks of your potatoes
This will prevent burns by keeping your hands away from the hot grill. Wear oven gloves for extra protection.
4. Press the cut side of the potato into the griddle, rubbing up and down on the griddle
“Rub the freshly cut side, directly on the grill; use a new slice as needed,” says Matassa. “This will coat your mesh with a layer of microscopic starch.”
How to preserve the non-stick grill?
Cleaning the grill with potatoes works, but it’s not the only way to keep your food from sticking to the grill. McCormick’s senior culinary director, Chef Kevan Vetter says that the most effective way to keep your grill clean and non-stick is to clean it regularly before and after you cook.
He instructs: “After cooking on your grill and before turning off the heat, grab a grill brush and scrape off any debris left on the grill. “Before next cooking on the grill, scrape the grills again while the grill is cool, blot a little vegetable oil with a paper towel, and wipe the grills to absorb the light oil.” Then, turn on your grill and cook at your desired temperature.
While this technique works if followed regularly, Vetter admits that once marinade and other debris clings to the grill for extended periods of time, a deeper cleaning may be required. “If your grills are very dirty, you can take them off and soak them in hot water mixed with grease-proof dish soap to help remove the stains from the oven,” he says. (This technique is best for steel rather than cast iron only.) “Scrub with a clean scrub sponge, dry completely, and apply a light coat of vegetable oil before burning the grill next time.” Or, if you prefer the non-stick way of baking potatoes, do that instead of using vegetable oil.
If you’re concerned not just about your grill’s non-stick properties but also its cleanliness, Matassa points out that there’s also a trick to cleaning an onion grill. “Again, the fresh cut is the part that should be applied to your preheated cooking grid,” he says. “With onions, its essential oils will coat your mesh instead of starch.”
More cooking tips for cleaner baking
Some baking methods cause you to clean up more than necessary. Up front, learn how to turn baking into a chore so it can continue to be a summertime favorite.
Use an onion to clean the grill
Did you know that you can use only half an onion and a baking fork to scrub your grill? The heat of the grill combined with the natural antibacterial properties of the onion helps to dislodge any stubborn or sticky sauces.
Choose the right temperature (not too hot, not too cold)
According to Vetter, baking at a lower temperature can make food more likely to stick. “The most important thing to keep food from sticking is to have a clean grill and properly maintain proper heat control during cooking,” he says, noting that he loves to cook. at 500 to 600 degrees F. “Make sure your grill has reached the desired temperature before cooking. Too much heat will burn your spices and meat.” With this in mind, he says buy a two-zone grill. “One high heat zone and one moderate zone will allow you to adjust the cooking process to ensure even and proper cooking,” he explains.
Let your food cook a little longer
Part of the cause of stickiness is that your food isn’t cooked well enough. “If you find that your food is getting a little sticky on the grill, wait another minute or two for better grill marks to form on the food,” says Vetter. “One reason for the cake to stick is that bakers want to flip it too soon and the food isn’t ready to come off the grill naturally.”
Choose the right sauce and seasoning
Vetter says that some grill accessories are designed for specific temperatures. “McCormick Grill Mates Seasonings and Sauces are perfect for medium-high to high-heat cooking and our Grill Mates Rubs are perfect for slow and slow cooking like ribs, pork, or chicken reverse sauté to start the chicken at 275° F and end it too high for the last few minutes of cooking,” he says.
As a general rule, Matassa says that “any spice rub that contains a lot of herb powder or food starch is one of those ingredients that may tend to stick to the grill more than most.” He adds that sugar has the potential to caramelize if used above 300°F, so it’s best to use a lower temperature sugary marinade.
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