I love cooking on the grill and kebabs and I have dedicated my career to outdoor cooking for over two decades. During that time I have seen many mistakes and people tend to make them over and over again. So I have compiled a list of the most popular grills and how to avoid them. Print out this list and pass it on the next time you prepare to grill!
NEVER lubricate the GRILL with oil
any people oil cooking grilles – a big mistake! Follow my mantra: “Lubricate food, not bars!” If you apply oil to hot cooking grills (and a lighted grill), you run the risk of getting very hot. The oil on which you applied the brush will burn instantly, leaving a sticky precipitate that will “stick” the food to the grill, causing it to stick, crumble and dry, as in dehydrating food. If you fix the food with oil, it will stay juicy, promote caramelization – these are wonderful traces of grilling! And helps prevent “sticking”.
DO NOT PUT FOOD ON A COLD GRILL
Always heat the gas grill with all the burners on high or wait until the coal briquettes are covered with white-gray ash. Preheating also burns leftovers and makes it easier to clean the grill. Contrary to popular belief, you should never cook on a grill whose temperature is above 550 F. The hotter the grill, the more likely you are to burn the outside of the food before it is cooked inside.
CLEAN THIS DIRTY GRILL
The outdoor grill is similar to a cast iron skillet. The more you use it, the better and better it gets, but every time you use it, you need to clean it. Clean the grill grill twice at each cooking with a grill cleaning brush with stiff metal bristles before and after cooking. If you do, cleaning the grill will never be a big deal. If you don’t have a grill cleaning brush, break the aluminum foil ball for heavy loads and hold it in a pair of 12-inch brushes that lock to clean the grill.
DIRECT AND INDIRECT HEAT
The most common mistake – the wrong choice of cooking method. To be a good grill, you need to know the difference between direct, indirect and combined grills and when to use them. Direct grilling means that the food is placed directly above the heat source – similar to roasting in the oven. Indirect grilling means that the heat is on both sides of the food, and the burners are turned off under the food – similar to baking and baking in the oven. Combined grill means that you fry food over a direct fire (i.e. to fry a tenderloin or large steak) before transferring it to indirect heating to complete the cooking process. Remember this general rule: if cooking takes less than 20 minutes, use direct method. If cooking takes more than 20 minutes, use indirect method.
THE RIGHT WAY TO DEAL WITH MISTAKES
Never use a bottle of water to extinguish a flash. Spraying water on a hot fire can cause vapor vapors that can cause severe burns. Water can also crack the porcelain-enamel coating, damaging your grill. Fire loves oxygen, so cook with a lid and do not spy. Repeatedly lifting the lid to “peek” and check the food during its preparation, prolongs the cooking time. When you have a full fire, turn off all the burners, remove the food and extinguish the flame with kosher salt or baking soda. In the worst case, use a fire extinguisher, but know that it will ruin your grill.
Avoid frequent flips
If you cook food directly (burgers, hot dogs, boneless chicken breasts, small steaks, vegetables, etc.), turn over only once in half the cooking time. All the protein will stick to the grill as soon as it comes in contact with the hot grill grill. During cooking it will naturally release, and that is when you can turn it over with tongs. Just don’t forget to oil the food, not the grill!
DODGE CROSS CHARGING
One of the most common mistakes of home cooks is to use the same tongs for raw and cooked foods. This creates a cross-infection and can lead to foodborne illness. This problem is easy to fix. I encode my 12-inch tongs with red and green duct tape for as long as I grill. Different colors help me remember which pair of tongs I used for raw food (red), such as chicken, and which are safe for cooked food (green). And don’t forget to use a separate clean plate for cooked food.
DO NOT PROVIDE SAUCE
If I had a penny for every time I saw someone pouring thick sweet barbecue sauce on pieces of chicken bones or whole ribs while they were raw, I would be a very rich griller! All barbecue sauces have a lot of sugar and the sugar burns very quickly. Almost always set fire to food from the outside before cooking inside. Usually I lubricate food with sauce only for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. The ribs, which are cooked for 2-3 hours, I pour the diluted sauce (1/2 beer and 1/2 sauce) for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Cutting food to check readiness is another common way people roam food. If you cut the protein, you allow the precious juice to flow out, and if the food is undercooked, the area where it was sliced will be digested if you put it back on the grill. Use a meat thermometer to check readiness, and always let the food rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing it.