The Genius Clock Hack For Perfect Grill Marks Every Time

steak on grill with grill marks
steak on grill with grill marks - Norbertas/Shutterstock

There have been countless books and food articles dedicated to grilling -- not to mention tips from TV chefs, YouTube videos, and advice all over social media. If you're simply cooking up a few burgers or steaks, however, grilling is actually pretty easy. After all, it's just a matter of controlling the heat of an open flame and cooking the food to the proper temperature. A lot of the secrets to good grilling are very straightforward. For example, if you've ever wondered how restaurants seem to get the perfect diamond-shaped grill marks on their meat every time, all you need to remember is the same advice you got when learning how to drive a car: Keep it at 10:00 and 2:00. That is, place your steak (or whatever you're cooking) on the grill at angles that look like 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock on a traditional clock face.

Grill marks are the dark lines that the hot metal grill makes when it comes in contact with raw meat or vegetables. When you're grilling up a couple of prime ribeyes or strip steaks, to get those perfect, pointed hashtag marks, you just need to make two small turns on both sides of the steaks while you're cooking.

Read more: 14 Celebrity Chef-Approved Grilling Tips To Help You Become A Grill Master

Grill Placement And Turns

steaks on a flaming grill
steaks on a flaming grill - Real Fantasy Art/Shutterstock

If you've ever been to a fancy steakhouse or even just a local gastropub, you've probably noticed that all the meat has perfect diagonal grill marks seared into both sides. The truth is that grill marks, which are called quadrillage in French, don't actually add much flavor to your food, but they add everything to the presentation. The criss-cross marks give every piece of food that comes off the grill a professional, finished look, and since we all eat with our eyes first, it's nice to achieve that aesthetic at home. Plus it's very easy to do.

To get the perfect grill marks, first place your steak (or other piece of protein) in front of you on the grill at an angle that replicates 10 o'clock on a clock face, or about 45 degrees. It's important that you don't put the food down on the grill first and then adjust it to 10:00 because the grill will create marks whenever your food touches the hot surface. Now, resist the urge to move the meat around until it has a chance to get a good, dark sear, then turn it on the same side until it's aimed at 2 o'clock, or a 45-degree angle in the other direction. Allow those marks to sear, then flip the meat over and repeat the process on the other side.

Prep Your Meat And Grill

a large grill with meats on backyard patio
a large grill with meats on backyard patio - REC Stock Footage/Shutterstock

While making perfect grill marks is easy, it does take a little bit of prep and grilling know-how to get it exactly right. Before you start grilling, make sure that the grates are clean and rubbed down with oil so that your meat doesn't stick, which will rip the grill marks right off of a more delicate piece of meat like salmon. Also, season and oil your meat before you put it on the grill, which will also help to keep it from sticking to the grates.

Controlling the heat is the most important part of grilling, and it's especially true when you're going for grill mark perfection. Make sure the grill is preheated to medium or medium-high before you add any meat to the surface, and make your marks over direct heat, otherwise, the meat will stick or you won't get dark marks. Worse, if you don't preheat, some marks will be lighter and others darker as the grill heats up while you're cooking, which looks a little sloppy.

Practice your grill marks by grilling pieces of sliced white bread at 10:00 and 2:00 to get the hang of it before you go pro with a pricey tomahawk. You can also use burger buns for practice if you don't want to waste bread. Once you get the hang of how to make perfect grill marks, you'll be marking up all your backyard barbecued foods just to flex your grill skills.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.