Grilling is basically cooking your food over an open fire, but just as how easy it may sound, achieving perfectly grilled food is far from easy. So if you are planning on picnics and parties with grilling cookouts sometime in the near future, learn first the basics of grilling and some useful tips to live by.
Being acquainted with the grill itself is your first major step in grilling. There are various types of grilling equipment, each working differently. You either have a charcoal grill, gas grill, or electric grill. Electric grills are not so preferred for large cookouts because aside from the fact that it cannot achieve an exceptional taste of grilled food, it also lacks the ability to cook large amounts because it is relatively small. The two most preferred grills are the charcoal grill and the gas grill, particularly when hosting outdoor cookouts. While debates are going everywhere about what produces the best taste between the two, both, all the same, produces great smoky and rich taste of food. Charcoal grill utilizes charcoal for the heating while gas grill uses lava rock or ceramic coals heated by gas flames. The rule of thumb is to always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for your own grilling equipment especially when using it for the first time.
Direct or Indirect Heat
The type and amount of the food and your desired result will dictate of which heat is to be used for the grilling process. Direct heat cooking is cooking the food directly over the heat source, resulting to fast cooking at high temperatures. In indirect heat grilling, the grill lid is closed and the space directly under the food is flame-free. Indirect heat grilling takes a longer time for cooking at lower temperatures.
Recipes for Grilling
One great secret for exceptional tastes of grilled food lies in the spice rubs and marinades. Different recipes of grilled food are widely available, but you can just as well experiment on your own. Learn about the particular spices that best complements to the type of you are planning to cook. For spice rubs, you can choose either a dry rub or paste rub, and for marinades, you can have acidic marinades, flavoring marinades, or tenderizing marinades.
Random Grilling Tips
- Place your grill on a solid even surface away from any potentially flammable materials and from shrubbery, grass, and overhangs.
- Always keep your grill clean to prevent the food from sticking. You can also apply non-stick spray to the grill grates prior to lighting up the grill.
- During grilling, oil the food and not the grill.
- Flare-ups are normal and is caused by too much fat from the food or too much heat. When flare ups are coming in, turn the food and move it to another part of the grill.
- Never use gasoline, kerosene, or highly volatile fluids in lighting up your coals.
- For charcoal grills, the amount of charcoals to use for the heating depends on the amount of food you will be grilling. Generally, 30 coals are needed to grill one pound of meat.
- For the gas grill, open the lid first before lighting up the grill to prevent gas build up inside the grill. Also, be sure that all the burner knobs are turned off before turning the gas on at the source.
Have proper grilling tools and accessories.