Well it's that time of year again: time to fire up the barbie. I couldn’t be happier to be able to prepare most meals outside over the grates of the grill. Whether you use a charcoal grill or a gas grill doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you take the time to cook food properly. In order to do that, we've assembled an essential list of grilling tips to make every cookout perfect.
12 Grilling Tips You Can't Live Without:
- Make sure the grill is in good working order and it is located in a safe place in case you have an accidental fire.
- When preparing the grill, make sure that you keep the grill cooking surface clean. The best way to clean the metal grate is to use a wire brush and to brush when the grill is nice and hot.
- Oil the grates of the grill by using tongs while holding a towel with some cooking oil on it. Rub it over the cooking surface, this will prevent foods from sticking.
- Decide on direct heat (cooking directly over the flame) or indirect heat (grilling with a cover on while food is one area of grill not receiving flame).
- Single serving foods (chicken breasts, hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks and most fish) work better when grilled over flames or direct heat. Not too hot though!
- Foods such as bone in-chicken, pizzas, large cuts of meat, and foods marinated with sugary marinades work best over indirect heat.
- If cooking high fatty foods, such as hamburgers and sausages, make sure to keep the flames low to prevent flare ups from the oil dripping into the flames.
- When cooking burgers, try to turn and flip burgers as little as possible. NEVER press down on burgers while on grill. This causes flare ups and releases all the grease or flavor.
- When cooking steaks, season steaks and brush a light coat of vegetable oil over steaks, then place them on the grill. Use tongs to turn steak (not a fork). Once the meat has seared, using a fork will allow juices to escape.
- When meat is cooked to desired temperature allow meat to rest for a short time, approx 5 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to absorb back into the meat.
- When grilling fish, it is best to use a “steak cut” such as tuna, swordfish, halibut etc. If using a filet, try using a skin on product and cook with the skin down side first. Be careful when turning the fish over.
- Steamed vegetables on the grill are easy and healthy: wrap vegetables (broccoli, beans, potatoes) in foil with a few ice cubes and place on grill grate. As the ice melts it will steam the vegetables.
Check out Table Magazine for the recipe to our Gourmet Burger (featured above).
You can use your grill to cook almost all foods. There are very nice products available now to aid in cooking some non-traditional items: grilling pans to cook a pizza, grill skillets to cook vegetables, and skewers to cook shrimp and vegetables so they don’t fall thru the grates.
It may seem intimidating at first, but my golden rule is to strive for warm juicy food, not dry, over-cooked food.
There is no limit to what can be cooked on the grill; I have even baked brownies on the grill before!