Grilling Know-How


Types of Grills
Braziers are designed for direct grilling with a firebox and rack. There are also more elaborate models with hoods, rotisseries, and air vents.
Hibachis are miniature-sized grills for direct-heat grilling. They are great for smaller quantities and the size makes them ideal for toting to a park or beach. Most have rack adjustments and air vents.
Kettle or Wagon Grills are designed for covered grilling, but also work well for direct grilling.
Starting the Fire
For gas grills, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Always be sure to have the grill lid open when lighting. Some grills have spark igniters that will start when the igniter is turned on. Others require a lighted match to be inserted into the lighting hole located at front or side of grill box. The first use of a grill will require longer preheating to temper the coals. Subsequent use normally requires about 5 minutes preheat time to heat the coals.
For charcoal grilling, allow about 30 minutes to preheat the briquettes. Self-lighting charcoal takes only 10 to 15 minutes to preheat.
Use enough charcoal for a single layer to extend about 1 inch beyond cooking area for direct grilling. For indirect grilling, use enough charcoal for a single layer around the perimeter of the grill. Additional charcoal may be necessary if the weather is humid or windy.
To light charcoal, push charcoal into a mound in the center of the grill. For regular briquettes, you can use an electric starter or one of the liquid or solid types of starter. Always follow manufacturer's instructions carefully. Starters work best if you wait about a minute after adding so there is time for it to penetrate the briquettes. Never add more starter after fire is started! And, only use starter designed for barbecuing. Never use gasoline or kerosene! Self-lighting briquettes don't require starter-just light them with a match.
When ready to use, coals will appear ash gray in daylight or glowing red at night.
Direct or Indirect Grilling
Direct cooking is where the coals are arranged in a single layer directly beneath the food. For highest heat, place coals close together. For more moderate heat, place coals about 1 inch apart.
Indirect cooking is where the coals are arranged away from the food so the juices do not drip directly on the coals and cause flare-ups. Arrange the hot coals around the perimeter of the area where cooking will take place. Place a disposable foil drip pan directly under the food. A cover is necessary with this type cooking to hold in the heat and allow the heat to radiate back to the food indirectly.
Recipes indicate the timing for each method. Some smaller, quick-cooking foods only have directions for direct cooking while some larger items only include indirect cooking directions. Many items include both directions and you can select the method you prefer.
How Hot Is Hot
Test the heat of the grill by holding your hand, palm side down, at the same height where the food will cook. See how long before you must pull your hand away and use along with the following as a guide for determining the temperature;
Hot: 2 secondsmedium-hot: 3 secondsmedium: 4 secondsmedium-low: 5 secondslow: 6 seconds
Never allow excessive flare-ups to burn your food. Flare-ups are caused by excessive fat and/or too much heat.
Reduce flare-ups by lowering the heat. To accomplish this, raise the grill rack, cover the grill, spread the coals so there is more space between, or remove some coals.
For excessive flare-ups it may be necessary to remove the food from the grill and mist the flames with a water-spray bottle. Once the flames die down, you can resume grilling.
Selecting lean meats and trimming excess fat from meat before grilling will make flare-ups less of a problem. Choose indirect grilling for fatty cuts of meat.
Care and Cleaning
Clean your grill shortly after cooking. Soak the grill rack and utensils in sudsy water while you enjoy your barbecued foods. If the rack is too large for your sink, wrap it in wet newspapers or cover with wet paper towels. After standing, the rack and utensils should wipe clean. For cooked-on foods, use a stiff brush or a special grill-cleaning brush.
Before grilling, remove excess ash to allow for good air circulation around food. Always be sure air-vent holes are not covered with ash. Be sure ash is completely cold before discarding and always place recently used ash in a fire-proof container.
Gas grills self-clean the coals if you leave the burner on for 10 to 20 minutes after each use. Occasionally clean the interior of the grill box to eliminate build-up of grease or ash. Follow manufacturer's directions for cleaning.
Food Safety
Always keep foods refrigerated until just before grilling, even when marinating foods.
If precooking meats before grilling, transfer immediately to the hot grill. If they must stand before grilling, refrigerate rather than leaving at room temperature.
If grilling away from home, pack meats, salads, and sauces with lots of ice in a cooler to keep chilled until ready to grill.
Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers promptly after serving.




1.0 servings


Friday, February 12, 2010 - 3:41am



Related Cooking Videos