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Grilling Techniques

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of

Add some sizzle to your grilling by following these tips to help refine your cooking techniques.

Flavour Savers

Nothing is more disappointing than a meal that's had all the flavor cooked out of it.

  • Lock in juices by searing steaks, chops and burgers before cooking at the recommended recipe temperature.
  • Grill with the lid down for perfectly cooked food every time.
  • Use tongs rather than a fork when turning foods to avoid piercing meats and losing their natural juices. Forks are great for lifting large foods like roasts or whole poultry from the cooking grate after they're done cooking.
  • Perk up your favorite meals with some new marinades and sauces. Marinades make meat, poultry and fish more tender, juicy and savory. Sauces add a little tang or sweetness to an ordinary meal.

Timing is everything

  • Allow more cooking time on cold or windy days and less in extremely hot weather.
  • The size, amount and shape of the food you are grilling can also affect cooking time. In general, small pieces of meat will require more cooking time per pound than large pieces of meat. Foods on a crowded cooking grate will require more cooking time than just a few foods.
  • Using a timer alerts you when "well-done" is about to become "over-done."

Cooking on a Gas Grill

  • Always preheat the barbecue before cooking. Set all burners on High and close the lid; heat for 10-15 minutes or until the thermometer registers 500 to 550 1/4 F.
  • If a flare-up should occur, turn all burners to OFF and move food to another area of the cooking grate. Any flames will quickly subside. Then light the grill again. Never use water to extinguish flames on a gas grill.

Cooking for a Crowd

  • Have a plan. Start with a list of every food item and beverage you will be serving.
  • Barbecue favorites such as burgers, chicken pieces or quarters, hot dogs or sausages are great tasting and easy.
  • Select other menu items that can be partially or completely prepared in advance such as salads, relishes, side dishes, casserole, breads and desserts.
  • Set table and assemble buffets well in advance. Heavy-duty paper plates come in many attractive colors and patterns and will save you the hassle of doing dishes later.
  • Make a time schedule for cooking foods on the grill, plus any supplementary indoor cooking. Working backward from a planned serving time, decide when to start cooking each foods so that everything is ready to serve at the right time.
  • Best yet, let everyone lend a hand. It will help break the ice and you will have a great time at the party!

Play It Safe: Food Handling

  • Food poisoning is serious business. To avoid it, wash hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water before starting any meal preparation and after handling raw meat, fish or poultry.
  • Never place cooked food on the same platter that raw meat, fish or poultry was placed on. Wash all utensils, plates and containers that come into contact with these raw foods with hot, soapy water.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Do not leave hot foods out of refrigeration for more than two hours.
  • Defrost meat in the refrigerator. Do not defrost meat at room temperature or on a countertop.


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