grilling tips for holiday bbq

Did you know that you can cook just about anything on the grill? It’s not just for meat, you can grill everything from vegetables to pizza, even some desserts. Instead of being cooped up in the house and preparing food in your stove, why not try preparing them on your deck or patio? 

Grilling is a good, healthy way to cook your food. There’s no need to add extra fats to your food, it takes just about as much time as conventional cooking, and, possibly best of all, clean up is a breeze! If you’ve never tried grilling, this can be your time to try out this great American cooking technique.

Gas Grills vs Charcoal Grills

When choosing between grills, both gas and charcoal have their benefits. For instance, gas grills are far more precise when it comes to temperature maintenance. Although you may not get the authentic grill taste, you have much more control over the gas grill over the charcoal grill.

Charcoal grills are a little trickier, but they work wonders if you know how to use them. And you can use the grill differently depending on how you want to cook your food. For example, one pound of meat cooked with a direct heat method (directly over the fire), you would use 30 charcoal briquettes, and for indirect heat, you would need 50 charcoal briquettes.

Charcoal Briquettes

When using charcoal briquettes, you should pile them prior to lighting your grill. It should take around 20 minutes for the charcoal to reach the optimal temperature for cooking. The briquettes should be about 70% covered in ash with a faint orange glow. Once that is done, spread the charcoal out so that it extends at least an inch beyond the edges of where the food will go. Then, all that’s left is to achieve the proper temperature.

If you don’t have the instructions for your grill, here’s a time-honored method to determine the temperature; by holding your hand five to six inches above the coals, you can reasonably guess the temperature that the grill is at. Count in seconds how long you can comfortably hold your hand over it. If you can hold it for 5 seconds, the temperature is somewhere between 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit; 4 seconds is about 300-350 degrees; 3 seconds is 350-375 degrees, 2 seconds is 375 degrees and above. Please use caution while using this method, and perhaps look into buying a grill-safe thermometer to more accurately measure the temperature.

equipment for barbecuing

What Equipment Will You Need?

  • A set of spring loaded tongs will make adjusting and moving the meat far easier than with a fork. Plus, using a tool that would puncture the meat could cause you to lose some of the juice in the meat.
  • For turning meat or serving, consider getting a long-handled spatula is recommended.
  • Different sizes of basting brushes come in handy, especially for putting sauce on whatever you happen to be cooking.
  • Skewers are perfect for roasting marshmallows or cooking the perfect kabobs. They come in metal, wood, or bamboo varieties. To keep the wooden ones from burning up on the grill, soak them in water for 30 minutes before use.
  • Have wire baskets and grids for vegetables and items that can break apart easily, like fish filets. 
  • A sturdy wire brush is necessary to clean your grill racks. Clean while the racks are still hot from cooking, use the brush to remove stuck on bits.

Perfect your Grilling Technique

  • Remove and dispose of ashes once cooled. When mixed with water, ashes can eat through the metal of your grill.
  • Arrange food 3/4” apart for even cooking.
  • Keep children and animals away from the grill when it’s in use.
  • Always set your grill up on a flat, even surface 
  • Don’t store extra gas tanks near or under your gas grill.
  • Don’t wear loose, flowing clothing when working with fire.

Are you looking for the perfect backyard for grilling? Contact me, and start your home search today!

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