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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Celebrate the Fourth of July with Expert Grilling Tips

Technically you're celebrating the birth of our country, deliverance from England's monarchy, our freedom to be a democracy, etc., etc.…..but we all know what the Fourth of July really comes down to: BBQ, BBQ and more BBQ.

And while any Neanderthal can throw a pound of chuck on the grill, it takes a pro to pull off some first-class grilling. Here are some tips and tricks that will have your friends thinking you're the next Bobby Flay, as well as advice on sticking to a healthy diet and avoiding summertime diet pitfalls.

  • Don't push down on burgers or steaks while they cook to keep them juicy.
  • Want expert grill marks? Lightly grease the grate using tongs and a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel before laying the meat on.
  • Eliminate flare-ups by trimming meat before cooking. (Lean meat is also lower in saturated fat, making for a happy heart).
  • Make clean-up a snap by scraping the grate down with a wire grill brush after the grill is turned off, but before it cools down.
  • Load up on grilled vegetables instead of calorie-busting sides like potato salad or coleslaw.
  • Try some healthier substitutions: whole-grain buns for white, mustard for mayo, salmon or skinless chicken breasts for hamburgers.
  • It's easy to go back for seconds (and thirds and fourths…) at all-day events so pay attention to your portion sizes.
  • Find even more ways to keep the pounds off this summer in the Nutrition section of Tips & Advice.

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