Regardless of what grill you use, some rules never change where grilling is concerned.
These basic rules will aid you in learning how to grill:
- Maintain the cleanliness of your grill grate to prevent sticking.
- Leave plenty of time to prepare and get the grill heated before you start cooking.
- Never leave what you’re grilling to do something else, as it can go south really fast.
- Avoid using spray bottles of water to get flare-ups under control because it will only worsen the flames.
- Too much fat on meat and too much heat is what causes flare-ups, so remember to trim the excess fat from any meat you plan to grill ahead of time. Also, when you flip the meat, move it to a different part of the grill, so the fat drips get spread out.
- Apply oil to the food, not the grill. This is because oil burns away at high temperatures, which makes it pointless to oil the grate itself.
- Apply the spices to your food at least one hour before the grilling begins so the flavor can sink in.
- Avoid adding sugary sauces or marinades to your meat while it’s on the grill as it causes burning over naked flame.
- Put your grilled food on a clean dish, especially when you’re cooking raw meat.
- Keep anything flammable, like lighter fluid, away from the grill to avoid any accidents.
Cooking Meat and Vegetables on a Grill
A hot grill has a high temperature which means food cooked on it will get done fast. For thin slices of meat and smaller food items, crank up the heat and do the cooking quickly.
Of course, this does not apply to all foods. Where fish, chicken, vegetables, and fruit are concerned, the temperature should be lower.
The heat should be kept at a medium level with foods like that. If you’re using a gas grill, reduce the temperature, and if it’s charcoal, build a smaller fire.
Regardless of which one you use, you still need to keep a close eye on, but foods like that typically take longer to cook at a lower temperature.
Temperature Guide for the Grill
A simple guide that you can use to gauge temperature with your hand is to carefully keep your hand hovering above the cooking grate, then start counting the seconds until you cannot take the heat.
If you can hold your hand above the fire for an extended period, it signifies low heat. This method can be used for both gas and charcoal grills.
The basic rules to follow are:
- 5 Seconds means Low heat
- 4 Seconds equals Medium heat
- 3 Seconds equals Medium-high heat
- 2 Seconds equals High heat
- 1 Second equals Very high heat.
How To Tell When the Cooking Is Done
It is not an easy task to know when food is done cooking, but there are three laws that can help you successfully determine when your food is done.
- It is better to cook for longer than to overcook the food
- Undercooked meats can harm you
- Trust and verify. Experience is great, but it is essential to have a meat thermometer on hand to ensure you have it right.
Remember to keep to the rules, and you’ll be just fine.