To kick start this campfire, let’s understand a few concepts. Grilling, like some other cooking methods, is as easy as applying a source of heat to food. With a grill, however, the heat source is a bit more difficult to manage and can be applied directly (as in, over a flame), or indirectly through convection of heated air. This is important to keep in mind when grilling, depending on the food in focus. Direct may be better suited for cooking thinner slices of meat, providing a slight char, or searing to cook from the outside in. On our first video accompanying this topic, look for our recipe on seared flank and tuna steaks. Generally, speaking, you can cook any food for a similar amount of time and comparable temperature grilling with indirect heat as you would baking in the oven. Keep this in mind when trying to grill some of your favorite baked dishes, whether its a casserole, pizza, chicken, or fish.
When grilling, a few more suggestions go a long way. First, make sure your grill is fully heated to needed temperature before using. This allows for more evenly cooked foods with reliability. Next, ALWAYS allow your food to cool appropriately. This is particularly true for meat, as cooling allows for the protein to contract, keeping the moisture intact. Always try to plan your meal… if you are planning on cooking multiple items at once, try to anticipate the timing when foods goes onto the grill. For instance if making kabobs with both meat and fruits/vegetables, consider adding the meat, on separate skewers first, and the fruit and veggies separately to reduce risk of overcooking. This week, watch the video on searing over direct heat, and choices for side dishes.
In the accompanying days, I’ll try to introduce basic grilling concepts, how to consider or prepare a meal, and provide some ideas for cooking to perfection!