BACKYARD GRILLING TIPS
Top 10 Charcoal Grills from About.com
Author: Arleen M.Katur
Barbecue season is here and everyone wants to
light that fire and charcoal their next meal. A few
tips might prevent your entree from becoming the
next "burnt offerings to the gods."
Make sure that your grill is on a flat surface
away from shrubs, grass or any flammable
material. Check the vents to make sure that
ashes are not clogging them from any previous
meal preparations. Use lighter fluid starter but
never gasoline or kerosene.
How much charcoal to use - this depends on
how big your grill is, what kind of food you are
preparing and weather conditions. If there are
strong winds, cold temperatures, or if it is very
humid out, you will need more charcoal to get
a good fire going. A rule of thumb - it takes
about 45 briquettes to grill 6-8 burgers.
If you don't have a grill thermometer, you might
try this. Do not let a child do this and be very
careful as you would not want to get burned.
Hold your hand, palm-side-down just above
the grill. Count "one thousand one, one thousand
two, and so on". If you keep your hand in place
without pulling it away for 2 seconds it is a very
hot fire (375); 4 seconds its a medium fire
(300-350); and 5 seconds or more it is a low
fire (200-300). Once again use reasonable
caution when testing the heat.
If you would like to try some of the flavored
hardwoods, a general rule is that a little goes a
long way. They should complement and not
overpower. Always soak your hardwoods in
water 30 minutes before using. When placed
in your grill, they should smolder and smoke,
but not burn. Grapevine cuttings give great
flavor as do shells from nuts such as almonds
and pecans. Small bunches of dried herbs
soaked in water will add fragrance as well
as flavor. Rosemary, bay leaves, and oregano
are great on a grill.
To "line" your food with those great "marks"
just like you see in magazines, allow the grid
to heat thoroughly before adding the food.
Some food safety tips: Always serve cooked
food from the grill on a clean plate - never
the one that held the raw food. In hot weather
never leave food out longer than 1 hr. and the
old adage keep hot foods hot and cold foods
cold applies whenever you cook outdoors.
One last hint - the secret to evenly cooked
vegetables on a kabob is to parboil starchy
vegetables before they are threaded on a
Steaks and chops: baste with sauce after you
have flipped the meat for the last time, about the
last 3 min. of grilling;
Chicken - baste the last 10 minutes
Hot dogs/sausages - baste the last 5-6 minutes
However seasoned oils may be brushed during
the entire time the entree is grilling.
With just a few of these hints, you are on your
way to a summertime of great outdoor eating
and your grilled food will make you proud.
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 April
Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles,
cookbooks, and the novel: SEARCHING FOR
Monday, July 29, 2013 06:20 PM