How to Grill Food Properly

Grilling is just like any other kind of cooking, it is a learned art. Keep this in mind while you are learning.

You are sure to have some failures. The major difference between grilling and cooking on the stove or in the oven is that grilling is a combination of the two.

You have direct heat from the gas burners or the charcoal and you have indirect heat that fills the grill when the lid is put down. Grills also have higher heat and less control over that heat.

With your oven you can set the temperature precisely, but with a grill you either turn on or light the fire and the heat will just keep rising.

The average gas grill can reach temperatures of 500 degrees in a just a few minutes. This is why you can’t throw the food on the grill and walk away until the timer goes off. You must remain ever attentive. Monitoring is the key. The high heat, both direct and indirect is the basis of grilling.

You want to use this high heat to cook the food quickly, but, because foods will cook fast on a grill, you will have to turn them to get them to cook evenly and without burning.

Although, if you turn the food too often you will just slow the process of cooking and this can lead to food that is tough and dry. The trick is to turn only when necessary. To check when the food is ready to be turned you will need to get down low, by the edge of the grill, being careful not to burn yourself, and lift up the corner of the meat. When the lines from the grills cooking grate start to turn black it’s time to turn the food.

Knowing when to turn and when your food is cooked is the whole skill of successful grilling. The rest is just recipes and tricks. This skill however is also the hardest thing to teach, especially in a book. Ideally, a steak should be turned only once. If you are cooking a thick cut of meat (over 1-1/2 inches) you may need to turn it three times to ensure it is cooked through to the center.

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