Fun things always happen in summertime. There are gatherings here, there, everywhere! Fire up the grill—it’s time for a cookout!
When it comes to the best food, preparation and taste come into play. And when thinking about the type of food that gives you a full, happy stomach but isn’t too hard to prepare, there’s only one thing that comes to mind: barbeque!
Grilling is one of the best ways to enjoy making and eating delicious food during the warmer months. So, to get the most out of your barbecue party, the first step you should know is the grilling essentials.
The Basic Supplies Needed for Grilling
First off, you can never start grilling if you don’t have the proper materials by your side. To get started with grilling, these are the things you need to have:
- Charcoal or a gas grill
- Meat thermometer
- Grill brush
- Sturdy tongs
How to Grill Properly
You won’t enjoy a savory barbecue if you don’t know the techniques to make them. To master grilling this summer, here are the top things you should know.
1. Clean your grill
Starting with the most basic one, cleaning your grill does wonders! You always want to be sanitary in everything, especially when it comes to food. A stainless steel brush must be used to clean your grill so that you can remove food stuck in your cooking grate. Try and remember to do this when the grill is hot because it will be easier to clean.
2. Preheat your grill
Onto the exciting part, preheating your grill. You have to close the lids for 10-15 minutes until the temperature reaches 500˚F.
If you’re wondering why it’s a must to keep the top down while preheating, it keeps the grates hot enough to make it ready to sear the food. Another reason is that it prevents you from having to flare it up again because of limited oxygen. Lastly, cooking time becomes less because it speeds the whole thing up!
3. Monitor your time
Not many people do this, but you should be one of the crowds that does! If you use a timer during grilling, there are fewer chances that you will overcook your food.
4. Maintain your grill temperature
To avoid overcooking or undercooking your food, maintain your grill temperature by controlling the individual knobs provided by the grill itself.
If you want to slow down the fuel burning rate, you need to close the top vent halfway while keeping the lid on. The top and bottom dampers’ role is to control the airflow inside the grill, so when there’s more air into the grill, the hotter the fire.
Be reminded of the types of charcoal fire; a charcoal briquette fire typically loses 100˚F of heat over 40 to 60 minutes, while a charcoal fire loses heat even faster.
If there’s too much flame, simply keep the lid on as much as possible. This controls the amount of oxygen inside the fill, which can eliminate intense flare-ups.
If the heat is getting out of hand, you can always move the food to indirect heat, wait for the heat to die down, and then move the food back.
All About Direct and Indirect Heat
Now that we’ve mentioned direct and indirect heat, let’s differentiate them and learn which to use on different meats.
Direct heat is when the food is directly hitting the food. For direct heat, the best food to cook is relatively small and tender pieces that can be cooked in 20 minutes or less. Some examples are hotdogs, kabobs, burgers, and shrimp. It’s also ideal for dishes like steak, boneless chicken breasts, and pork chops.
Indirect heat is when the meat is placed to the side of the heat source. This type of heat is best for larger and tougher cuts of meat that usually require more than 20 minutes to cook. It is also ideal for whole chickens, roasts, or cedar plank fish.
All About Gas vs. Charcoal Grills
Every grill is suited for different people. Both gas and charcoal grills have their fair shares of benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the things you should know when deciding on a grill
Benefits of a Gas Grill
Gas grills can be convenient because of their low maintenance.
- You don’t need to use charcoal, and you don’t need to wait for the charcoal flame to ignite.
- Gas fuel is cheaper.
- It’s easier to clean.
- They come with different accessories like smoke boxes that can help get a charcoal flavor.
- They give off steam that adds moisture to any meat.
Disadvantages of a Gas Grill
Heading on to the drawbacks of a gas grill. Gas grills don’t always have the heat of a charcoal grill. Plus, its mobility is limited.
- They are difficult to move around as compared to a charcoal grill.
- They can cause uncontrolled flare-ups, which can be dangerous.
- They aren’t as hot as a charcoal grill.
Benefits of a Charcoal Grill
Just like a gas grill, charcoal grills also have benefits that you might want. One that’s significant to mention is that they cost less than a gas grill. But to give you more, here is a list that will help you out.
- They don’t flare up like gas grills because the charcoal provides the heat for cooking.
- They are more portable.
- They are hotter because charcoal burns hotter than gas.
- The smoke flavor given by charcoal gives food a yummier taste.
Disadvantages of a Charcoal Grill
- They take more effort to clean.
- Longer cooking sessions mean more charcoal.
- The grills don’t come with any accessories or additional features.
- They may sometimes have a petrochemical smell.
Simple Tips to Make It Yummier
Above all, what makes people rave over grilled food is its delicious taste. If you’re grilling pork, barbecues, and hotdogs, don’t forget to give them a good marinade and seasoning first.
This lets the flavor seep in more and gives every bite a taste of heaven.
Avoid putting cold food into the grill
Before grilling it, make sure that the meat is not frozen or cold. This doesn’t make the meat cook evenly, and it will take longer to cook it.
Rest the meat
After cooking, let the meat sit for about 15 minutes. This is because the juices will redistribute, making it tender and juicy. The bigger the meat, the longer the resting time.
How to Know When Your Meat is Done
Now that we’re done with the nitty-gritty, we’re down to the fun part! To know if your meat is cooked, there is the most obvious option, cutting it! You’ll know if it’s done if there’s no blood seeping.
But if you don’t want to cut the meat, there are also other options for you to know when it’s ready.
The first option is simply using a thermometer. This is easier and saves you the hassle of having to cut the meat. For pork, beef, and lamb, the ideal temperature is 145˚F.
For the second option, you can always use the touch test method. If you don’t want to touch food you’ll serve to your family and friends, a tong can do just the same. Remember that the more cooked the meat is, the more malleable it is.
When you’ve done everything you need, followed all the steps and tips and tricks, prepare to have a barbecue party of a lifetime! Your friends and family will certainly want to come back for more barbecue sessions with you and your barbecuing skills.