The summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean that grilling season is over! Grilling is the classic food prep method of choice for game day barbeques and can be a great way to add flavor and easy cleanup to your menu prep. An added bonus: many stores put their “summer” inventory on sale this time of year, such as patio furniture and barbeques. If you are new to grilling and need a few pointers, this blog post is for you.
Gas vs. Charcoal Grills:
Gas grills run on propane and are convenient to start and maintain. Some grills will have an indicator to let you know how much gas is left in the propane tank and, if you’re empty or close to it, you can exchange your tank at most local home improvement stores or gas stations. In order to get a gas grill started, you will need to turn on the gas at the tank. The next step is to turn your dial (similar to a stove) to the ignition setting and hit the actual ignition button.
Charcoal grills produce a nice, smoky flavor that you can’t get with gas grills, but they are not as easy to clean up or use. Using lighter fluid to start your fire is a no-no and can leave a chemical taste in your food. Instead, opt for paraffin wax cubes that you place in your charcoal mound. Once you light the cubes, they will eventually light your charcoal.
Direct/Indirect Grill Zones:
You can create direct and indirect heat zones on your grill in order to give yourself options with how you want to prepare your food. Cooking on direct heat means you are cooking right over the flame and is akin to using the broiler in your over. Cooking on indirect heat means you are cooking to the side of the grill with unlit burners (gas) or on the side that is empty/cool (charcoal). Indirect cooking is akin to baking in your oven. Either way, you want to preheat the grill just like you would an oven.
Don’t be the host that undercooks the meat or singes their eyebrows off! Use an internal meat thermometer to check your meat temp. Poultry should be 165°F, and pork and fish should be 145°F. The USDA lists the minimal internal temp for beef at 145°F. However, if you like your steaks cooked medium, go for 140°F; medium rare, go for 135°F. Allow your meat to “rest” after you remove it from the grill; this lets the juices really soak into the meat. This, also, allows the temperature of the meat to rise, destroying harmful germs. Always keep your household fire extinguisher close by just in case something gets out of control.
Want to capture the flavor and ease of grilling at your next event? Call us to create that barbeque taste for your party!