Get simple grilling tips, as well as food safety standards and more.
Grilling is more than just cooking your meal over a fire. If you want juicy chicken cooked on the inside but not burned to a crisp on the exterior, soft steaks and chops with exquisite grill marks, and fish cooked just right, you’ll want these hot grilling techniques. Please continue reading for our top grilling suggestions.
Grilling with Direct Vs. Indirect Heat
The distinction between direct and indirect heat is determined by temperature and time. Each strategy yields significantly different outcomes.
Direct heat grilling involves placing food directly over a source of intense heat while leaving the grill lid off because food cooks in seconds, thin slices of meat, fillets, kabobs, and veggies are the most excellent options.
Indirect heat is employed for larger pieces of meat, such as roasts, exceptionally thick steaks, and whole fish. With this approach, the dish is cooked just off the flame at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Because the lid is closed, the cooking times are slightly longer. This usually entails lighting the two outside burners and grilling the meat over the center, unlit burner on a gas grill. When utilizing charcoal, the coals are moved to the grill’s sides, leaving a space in the center to cook.
Some grilled recipes require a mix of high and low cooking temperatures. Grilled chicken, for example, can be started on high heat to obtain grill marks or crusty skin, then moved to moderate heat to continue cooking within without charring on the exterior.
What’s the Difference Between Grilling and Barbequing?
- Grilled food is cooked at greater temperatures for shorter periods over direct or indirect heat — or a combination of both. Consider quick and hot.
- Barbecued food is cooked over indirect heat at low temperatures for extended periods. Consider low and sluggish.
What about the difference between gas and charcoal grilling? It’s the excellent grilling argument. This is where we look at the issues causing the fight to erupt.
Preheat the Grill
Preheating the grill before cooking is just as vital as preheating the oven before baking. If your grill has a built-in thermometer, keep the lid closed while it heats up and begin grilling when the thermometer indicates it’s ready. Nonetheless, the gold standard remains the caveman method: Hold your hand about 6 inches above the heat source, near where the meal will be cooking, and time how long you can keep it there.
Know How Long to Grill
When it comes to grilling, timing is crucial – a minute or two might mean the difference between a juicy and delicate chop and dried, brittle shoe leather. Also, two seemingly identical chunks of meat will frequently cook at different periods, depending on the raw meat’s specific thickness, texture, age, and temperature. To be safe, begin checking for doneness before the time specified in the recipe. Your outcomes may vary, as they say.
Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness for the best and most consistent results. To test the internal temperature, insert it into the thickest section of the meat, away from the bone. You can use a simpler alternative if you don’t have a meat thermometer. Examine the color of the liquids when you slice the meat. The meat is rare if the fluids are crimson. Pink denotes medium rare, whereas clear denotes well done.
Allow the meat to sit for about 10 minutes after transferring it to a tray to allow it to absorb the juices.
Food Handling and Safety
When prepping and grilling, follow these guidelines:
- Before you start grilling, prepare all of the ingredients. A heated grill cooks food quickly. Grilling becomes much less stressful when everything is prepared ahead of time.
- Allow no uncooked meat or fish to come into touch with other foods. Separate cutting boards should be used for raw and cooked meats or mixed-use cutting boards should be fully sanitized. Wash in hot soapy water, spray with a 5% chlorine bleach solution and air dry. Dishwashers can be used to clean plastic cutting boards.
- Cooked meat should not be carved on the same board that holds or chops raw meat. More information can be found in our Top Tips for Safe Summer Grilling.
To prevent curling, trim the fatty edge of steaks and chops. Cut through the fat at 2- to 3-inch intervals, stopping short of the meat.
- Most basting sauces can be applied at any moment during the grilling process. Sugar-based sauces, which include many commercial barbeque sauces, are an exception. These tend to burn if used too early, so use them only in the final few minutes of cooking. For 3 minutes, bring marinades that will be used as a basting sauce to the table to a boil.
- Turn the meat using long-handled tongs or spatulas. This will help your meat stay juicy and tender. Poking and prodding the flesh allows fluids to escape into the fire.
Learn more: Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe