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Help Glenn learn to grill


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#1 glenn__davis

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

So, I'm trying to learn to grill this summer, and I know there are a lot of food buffs on here.

 

Just a quick background - I have no, and I mean no cooking experience.  Growing up, I can count on zero hands the amount of times that my father prepared a meal.  Mom did all of the cooking in our house.

 

When I got married, my wife took over that responsibility as well.  Now I try to be a little more useful than my Dad in this department than he was, but by and large she handles most of the food duties.

 

But I decided that I should at least learn some basics on the grill.  So what are some very basic tips on grilling?  A few other very simple questions I have after a few attempts - how do you keep your meat from sticking to the grill?  And how often do you clean it, and how exactly do you clean it?

 

Any advice would be helpful.  I tried looking around online a bit, but most of the sites just don't seem to be for someone as food illiterate as me.

 

 



#2 JeremyStrain

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:05 AM

So, I'm trying to learn to grill this summer, and I know there are a lot of food buffs on here.

 

Just a quick background - I have no, and I mean no cooking experience.  Growing up, I can count on zero hands the amount of times that my father prepared a meal.  Mom did all of the cooking in our house.

 

When I got married, my wife took over that responsibility as well.  Now I try to be a little more useful than my Dad in this department than he was, but by and large she handles most of the food duties.

 

But I decided that I should at least learn some basics on the grill.  So what are some very basic tips on grilling?  A few other very simple questions I have after a few attempts - how do you keep your meat from sticking to the grill?  And how often do you clean it, and how exactly do you clean it?

 

Any advice would be helpful.  I tried looking around online a bit, but most of the sites just don't seem to be for someone as food illiterate as me.

 

The sticking thing is easy. If it's cooked enough on that side facing the flames, it won't stick anymore. If it's sticking, it's not ready to flip yet.

 

Get the grill hot before you put food on too, that will help sear, which keeps it from sticking.


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#3 NewMarketSean

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:05 AM

Gas or charcoal? I prefer charcoal but gas is convenient and it's what I use the most.

 

1. Get a good grill. Preferably a Weber. It makes the grilling experience so much easier. It's worth the money and they'll last if you take care of it.

2. You can get some non-stick grill spray, but rubbing what you're cooking with a little bit of olive oil helps too. Other than fish, I don't have problems with food sticking. Maybe a little bit with chicken.

3. Marinate your meats and fishes. Improves taste and tenderizes tougher meats.

4. Learn which flame settings you should use for what you're cooking. Steak needs high heat and not a lot of cooking time, whereas chicken and fish need lower flame and longer cook times.

5. I brush the grates every time I cook and try to clean out the inside of the grill once a month. It usually means scraping off gunk and rust. They also have heavy duty cleaning sprays for grills too.

6. Buy a grill cover.

7. Warm up your grill. I usually don't put anything on it until it's at least 400F.

8. Beer. Nothing is better than drinking a cold one while grilling.


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#4 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:08 AM

After every 2-3 times that you grill, you should season your grill. This helps with flavor as well as stickiness. The best way to do this is to get some cans of canola oil. With the gas turned off, spray down the grates with the oil, let it sit for 60 minutes... after that, run the grill on high for 30 minutes to allow the oil to burn off. Once that 30 minutes is up, turn the grill back off, and spray down the grill again... then cover it back up.

 

Also, if you're going to grill chicken or something that easily sticks like that, spraying some canola oil prior to grilling should help with that. (You can use other type of oil if you want, I prefer Canola).

 

(This by the way is all assuming you're using a gas grill)

 

I found Weber's grill guide very helpful in terms of how long to cook things for:

 

webergrillguide_zpsfd31fe8c.png

 

Also, a little cooking thermometer isn't bad if you're going to master the art of grilling steaks. After a few times, you won't need to poke your steak any more (well hello there). Something like this should work fine for that - http://www.amazon.co...ermometer probe

 

9ULSEa4.png

 

Also, for chicken... I find it very difficult to grill a chicken breast well... but if you butterfly it (cut it in half making it thin), it is a ton easier and delicious.



#5 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:11 AM

Also echo what NMS said... you get what you pay for with gas grills, so I'd highly recommend a Weber. The Spirit line they have cooks just as well as the Genesis line, and is a lot more affordable. Upgrading from a cheap grill to the Weber Spirit made the world of difference for me.



#6 Adam Wolff

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:15 AM

I don't know a thing about grilling either, so I too am finding this useful. Always one of those 'manly' things I've wanted to learn that I have never really had a need or situation to do so. Appreciate the insights.


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#7 SBTarheel

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:17 AM

Mike Weber makes grills too? Wow, dude can host a radio show, make grills, and love widlife...Impressive!!!

 

I have nothing else to add. 

 

 

Good luck "Glenn".


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#8 Icterus galbula

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:17 AM

Others have better tips but I'll just add-

 

Do. Not. Mash. The. Meat.

 

Keep those tasty juices inside.


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#9 NewMarketSean

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:26 AM

I'm a stickler for grill marks. I put the meat on the grill diagonally, then rotate it clockwise to face the other direction diagonally after a few minutes. Then I flip it and do the same on the other side.


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#10 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:31 AM

Others have better tips but I'll just add-
 
Do. Not. Mash. The. Meat.
 
Keep those tasty juices inside.



Also important to always let a steak sit for a few minutes after taking it off the grill.

#11 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:33 AM

Also... beer brats. Look it up. Easy and delicious.

#12 Icterus galbula

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:36 AM

Also important to always let a steak sit for a few minutes after taking it off the grill.

 

Totally. My chef friend said this is one of the most overlooked but easiest tips. Let the meat rest before serving.


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#13 DuffMan

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:41 AM

Charcoal FTW

 

Indirect heat is your friend



#14 Markus

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:01 AM

Probably already mentioned above but for the love of sweet baby jesus do not press your burgers (or any meat for that matter) down with the spatula.  All it does it squeeze the delicious juices out.

 

Also realize that different kinds of food (meats and veggies) have different cooking temps and different cooking times and plan accordingly.  It takes a bit longer to cook a chicken breast than it does some shrimp.

 

Cooking veggies, make sure to cut 'em wide/thick enough so they don't fall between the grates, as it sucks to lose food to the monsters down below and have to dig 'em out later.  Also, toss the veggies in a tad bit of olive oil before putting 'em on the grill.  Helps 'em not stick and adds a bit of flavor (as does many other seasonings you can sprinkle on).

 

Let the grill properly/fully heat up before throwing food on it.


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#15 glenn__davis

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 12:31 PM

These are all terrific.  Thanks guys, and keep the tips coming if there are more.

 

I did mean to specify that our grill is fueled with propane (and propane accessories).  I would prefer charcoal as well but my wife made the purchase and says she doesn't have the patience for it.

 

Why is it important to let the meat sit before serving?



#16 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 12:39 PM

Basically, when you grill meat, most of the juice goes to the middle. So when you cut into it right away, that's where you'll see all the meat all over the plate your first cut. If you let it sit 5-7 minutes, it redistributes the rest of the meat back evenly to the meat, and finishes cooking the meat as well.

 

For steak in particular, you also want to temper it prior to grilling it. My go-to steak recipe is to marinate it before work with worcestershire and montreal steak seasoning. Leave it in the fridge all day like that. When I get home, let it temper by having it sit on the counter for an hour or so until it gets to room temperature. Makes a big difference.



#17 PatrickDougherty

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 12:58 PM

Someone may have mentioned this and they've probably discussed internal food temperatures, but chicken should be about as firm as the bump on the base of your thumb/palm that forms when you touch the tip of your pinky to the tip of your thumb. Press firmly but don't squeeze your fingers together.

Pro tips: put a dimple in the middle of your burgers. Have thinner cuts of chicken to cook or else the outside will blacken before the inside is cooked. If you want BBQ sauce on your chicken, put it on at the very end of cooking, just before it comes off the grill (it's full of sugar and burns). Always toast the buns.
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#18 PatrickDougherty

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:07 PM

Someone else mentioned veggies - you can always make a foil boat and throw the veggies in there with some balsamic vinegar to sauté or steam them on the grill.

Also, you can make meatballs on the grill. Soak bamboo skewers in water and then skewer a couple of meatballs and couple chunks of onion and put 'em on there.

Last thing - do not be afraid to try things. As long as you practice regular grill safety, the worst thing that could happen is you under- or over-cook something, and the former is fixed by throwing it back onto the heat, and the latter is (relatively) edible and can be a learning experience. Get creative! Want to grill steak and eggs for breakfast? Take your cut of steak out and a pan (as long as you have the little pan-friendly thing) and make your killer breakfast outside! Want to grill some pizza? Get a grill pan for it and you're good to go!

And I think Ricker said everything is better with a cold beer. He's right.
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#19 PatrickDougherty

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:08 PM

Oh yeah - marinate your white meats. Like 24 hours ahead of time if you can. Kosher salt your red meats.
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#20 SammyBirdland

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:14 PM

Charcoal may be easier than you think.

 

First, get yourself a nice Weber ketttle grill.  Either a Weber One Touch for $100 or a One Touch Gold for $150, which is a little nicer.

 

JNlLF7A.jpgUxVjKA2.jpg

 

 

Then get yourself a chimney starter for $10 or so.  You pour the charcoal into the top, and then crumple two pieces of newspaper and put it into the bottom.  No lighter fluid or anything else.   Light the newspaper and you'll have hot coals in 15 minutes.

 

5dxwj0w.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

That being said, I also have a propane grill and use them both.  The propane grill is nice because there is zero prep work.


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¡Hasta la vista, pelota!




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