Grilling

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Purpose[edit]

To cook food on a metal rack above a moderately intense to extremely intense heat source.


Equipment[edit]

A grill of some sort, long utensils.

Technique[edit]

  • Ignite fuel source, heat grill
  • Lay ingredients over the grill
  • If crosshatched grill marks are desired, rotate either 45 (diamonds) or 90 (squares) degrees and continue to cook on that side.
  • When proper browning has occurred on one side, flip. Repeat on other side.
  • When proper doneness has been reached, remove from grill and serve.

Considerations[edit]

Many books are written every year about grilling. There are almost as many opinions about the proper way to grill as there are people who cook on the grill. Generally, grilling involves preparing the food by cutting it to an appropriate size/thickness, often marinating or brining ingredients, often tossing or brushing with oil (less common with red meats). The oil will enhance the flavor of the item, and prevent sticking. Doneness of grilled protein items should be calculated using internal temperature. Sticking can often be avoided by a) having clean, properly seasoned grills, b) having impeccably clean unseasoned grills, and/or c) using an appropriate amount of oil or pan release on the food/grill.

Outdoor Grilling[edit]

With outdoor grilling, there are several options for fuel sources. The most common fuel source because of convenience and consistency is propane. Propane grills are quick and easy to light and warm up and can hold a fairly consistent temperature without much effort, but are generally expensive and lack the flavor of charcoal. The second most common fuel is briquette charcoal which is usually chosen over gas and lump charcoal because of it's convenience, price and availability. Briquette charcoal is a mixture of ground hardwood charcoal with waxes and other compounds to aid in lighting, binding, and consistent burning. The waxes and other components of briquette charcoal impart a distinct flavor on food that some people find objectionable. A fuel source which is gaining popularity amongst both chefs and home cooks is whole lump charcoal, free of waxes, fuels and binders. It's valued for the clean smoky flavor that it imparts as well as the intensity of the heat. There are many people that assume they dislike charcoal cooked food in general, when what they actually dislike is the burnt chemical solvent flavor imparted as a result of the gross misuse of lighter fluid. Sure it's fun to play with it... play with it on your own food. Chimney lighters or simply using newspaper under the charcoal grate is often enough to efficiently light a fire that will have no chemical aftertaste. If lighter fluid must be used, it should be squirted in a small pool under the charcoal grate and ignited. This way, no lighter fluid is actually on the charcoal itself.