The Best Tips for Grilling
The better it tastes the more you will enjoy grilling! Here are few tips to make it more fun and relaxing.
Choosing the right grill
This is a topic that is debated with almost religious fervour among professionals. The conversation can range from prosaic and practical to philosophical! Here are the basics to guide you.
The classic is the charcoal grill. This type of grill is perfect for grilling in the garden, on the terrace or on a picnic, because it comes in a large variety of shapes and sizes.
If you are using a charcoal grill, it is a good idea to use a chimney starter. This is a metallic cylinder with a handle where you place some kindling at the bottom followed by charcoal on top. Light it up and as soon as the coals are covered with a fine layer of ash, you can pour them into the grill and you're good to go. All you have to do then is distribute the coal pieces cleverly. For foods that need to be seared such as steaks, hamburgers or fillets, you should use direct heat. Larger pieces such as a whole chicken should be placed on indirect heat, otherwise they will end up burning on the outside whilst still raw on the inside. If you want to grill both types of food at the same time, you should place hot coals on one side of the grill for foods that need direct heat. The other side of the grill can be used for foods that need indirect heat.
A gas grill is great because you just turn it on and you can start right away. You can regulate the temperature easily and it does not produce smoke. This type of grill is especially suitable for grilling at home.
There are also electric grills that are suitable for quick grilling for a small group on the balcony. Another advantage is that these grills can be cleaned quickly and easily.
Grilling is often considered unhealthy because carcinogenic substances can be produced when grilling. But that doesn't have to be the case if you keep a few things in mind:
Always use vegetable oil that can withstand high temperatures in your marinade.
Set up a charcoal grill out of the wind and do not baste grilled food with liquids such as beer. This will prevent ash particles from flying around and getting stuck on your food, which is not healthy and does not taste good either.
Another thing to bear in mind when using a charcoal grill is to always grill on aluminium trays or foil. This prevents marinade, meat juices and the like from dripping onto the hot charcoal, leading to the development of harmful smoke.
For grilled food to taste really delicious it needs to be marinaded for at least two hours, preferably longer. Marinade your food, cover it and place it in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill.
When it comes to marinade, everyone has their own favourite recipe. But a basic marinade usually contains a combination of olive oil, vinegar, herbs and spices.
It is best to prep everything before you start grilling.
Double-check that you have everything you need such as the food you want to grill, tongs, aluminium containers, spatulas, timer or watch etc. Much better to have it all at hand immediately when you need it rather than risk burning your food while you're off frantically searching for the tongs! It's way more enjoyable and relaxing when you're well prepared.
Grilling different foods differently
Steaks require direct heat that sears them sharply. If a steak is thicker than 2.5 cm, then after searing you should place it on the side of the grill with indirect heat and let it continue to cook there.
Fish fillets tend to get stuck on the grill, which means that you end up serving little bits and pieces of grilled fish. To prevent this from happening, grill fish over high, direct heat and turn it only once (the first side should be grilled longer). Then carefully lift the fillet off the grate with a large, thin spatula. Grill baskets are a good idea for whole fish.
Skewers are a classic when it comes to grilling. To prevent wooden skewers from burning, soak them in water for around 30 minutes before grilling.
Professional tip: To flip skewers more easily and for more stability use two skewers inserted crosswise.
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