Sunday, August 20, 2017

Tips For Grilling

June 1, 2017

 

Ready, Set, GRILL

PREHEAT YOUR GRILL~

The right temperature is always important. Many gas grills come with built in thermometers, and reliable grill thermometers are widely available. A thermometer will tell you exactly what heat you are working with. That being said, the standard is still the caveman method. LOL!

This consists of holding your hand approximately 6 inches above the coals or heat source, about the spot where the food will be cooking, and counting how many seconds you can keep your hand in this position. Count ‘one-barbeque, two-barbeque…’

High Heat: 3 seconds or 500 F (260 C)

Medium High Heat: 5 seconds or 400 F (205 C)

Medium Heat: 7 seconds or 350 F (175 C)

Medium Low Heat: 10 seconds or 325 deg F (165 deg C)

Low Heat: 12 seconds or 300 deg F (150 deg C)

DIRECT HEAT COOKING vs. INDIRECT HEAT COOKING

There are basically two methods of using a grill.

Cooking directly over the heat source is known as grilling over direct heat. The food is cooked for mere minutes on a hot grill, and the lid is rarely if ever closed. Thin cuts of meat, fillets, kabobs, sates, and vegetables are good candidates for this method.

Indirect heat is used for larger pieces of meat, such as thick steaks, roasts, and whole fish. In this method, the food is cooked just off the heat at about 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). The lid is closed, and the cooking times are somewhat longer. On a gas grill this generally means firing up the two outside burners, and cooking the meat over the middle, unlit burner. When using charcoals, the coals are pushed to the sides of the grill, leaving a place in the middle to cook. Traditional barbeque is a form of indirect heat using very low temperatures over long periods of time.

TIME IT RIGHT~

A thermometer can measure the heat exactly, but where’s the fun in that? There are variables that can make two seemingly identical cuts of meat cook at different times – exact thickness, texture, age, and temperature of the raw meat.

That being said, timing is everything. There might be only a minute or two between a moist and tender chop and dry, tough shoe leather. So, check for doneness at the approximate time given in the recipe.

An instant read thermometer is a good tool. Insert it into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, to measure the internal temperature of the food. The most popular method of determining the doneness of the meal is, again, the caveman method. Slice the meat, and observe the color of the juices. If the juices are red, the meat is rare. Pink juices indicate medium rare, and well done meat will have clear juices.

SAFETY FIRST~

Prepare all ingredients before you begin grilling. Not only is it unsafe to leave a hot grill unattended, but it can be very stressful to run back and forth between your kitchen and the grill.
Do not allow raw meat and fish to come into contact with other foods. Use separate cutting boards, or thoroughly sanitize the one you are using. Wash with hot soapy water, spray with a 5 % solution of chlorine bleach, and air dry. Plastic cutting boards can also be sanitized in the dishwasher.
Do not carve cooked meat on the board used to hold or cut raw meat.
Cut the fatty edge of steaks and chops to prevent curling. Slice through the fat at 2 to 3 inch intervals, cutting just to the meat.
Most basting sauces can be brushed on throughout the cooking process, the exception is sugar based sauces. Many commercial barbecue sauce preparations fall in this category. These tend to burn if applied too early, so apply during the last few minutes of cooking.
Marinades should be boiled if they are to be used as basting sauce as well.
Poking and stabbing the meat will cause the loss of juices that keep your meat moist and tender. Do not attempt to turn the meat with a carving fork. Instead use long handled tongs or spatulas to turn the meat.

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