A Beginner’s Guide to Grilling and Beyond

A Beginner’s Guide to Grilling and Beyond

The term grilling brings about a picture of a juicy, soft, pink, and scrumptious T-bone steak in mind. This method of making food is unmatched for the flavor it gives to fish, meat, and even vegetables. It does not come as a surprise that most of America set up their grills during the holidays.

Firing up a grill allows one to bask in nature and reunites them with their internal caveman. Don't worry, and this is no rocket science.

Even if you have never grilled before, this guide can help. Because in this post, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of grilling. Let’s dive in.

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What Are the Benefits of Grilling?

There are a few benefits of using this method instead of cooking over a pan. Here are some of them:

  • Taste and Texture: It adds a smoky and charred flavor to the food which is undoubtedly a gift from above. Also, it allows the outside of the meat to become burnt, which is known to store the juices inside that gives it the divine touch.
  • Short Cooking Time: Since this is carried out at a high temperature, it only takes a few minutes to serve the food on the table. Grilling temperatures guide here.
  • Nourishment: Oil causes one to become overweight and develops heart-related diseases. Thankfully, a small amount of oil would get you going.
  • Keeps the Flavor Intact: Quite often, the flavor of the food is compromised because of the low heat cooking method. Fortunately, grills provide a blazing temperature for the vegetables and meat to become more aromatic and flavorful, which is a delight for the taste buds.

This, of course, is because of the caramelization of the food due to the Maillard reaction, which causes the proteins and sugars to go brown while cooking. Just imagine a plate full of caramelized potatoes and steaks. Tempting!

Equipment Required for Grilling

Apart from the obvious such as a grill, there are a few other things that one requires to start with the process. One of them being a tong. This tool over here would let you turn and move food such as vegetables around the grill quite easily.

Spatulas can also be used along with tongs, but they are generally needed to turn soft food.

You cannot even plan to do grilling without squirt bottles. You can make one using a plastic container with many holes pierced in the cap. This is needed to manage the fire if it rises too high.

A better way of knowing whether or not your food is prepared is by using a special kind of thermometer. You have to put it inside the steak to read the temperature.

Lastly, a grill brush is required to clean everything up in the end.

Types of Grilling

There are mainly three ways in which you can grill your food: with the help of gas, charcoal, or wood grilling.

• Charcoal Grilling

A charcoal grill does a conventional yet enjoyable way of cooking items. Coals can be arranged in multiple numbers of ways which are determined by what is being cooked.

This component can get very hot, and it becomes ideal for the perfect smoky steak. Although, you need to make sure the coals are placed somewhere dry or else they won't light up.

There are two types of charcoals: one is called a lump, and the other one is briquettes. Lumps usually blaze hotter than briquettes. The latter lights up swiftly and burns continuously for a long time because of chemicals and additives packed in it.

Lumps need a chimney starter or a charcoal lighter fluid to light up. 

Check here to know the differences between lump charcoal and briquettes.

• Gas Grilling 

This method is time-saving and uses the gas propane to light up the fire. It's unable to reach high temperatures like charcoal grills, but it is easier to set up.

Grilling guide for beginners

Gas grilling is quite similar to a stove used in kitchens. Be sure to keep some extra supply of propane because you don’t want to run out of it while you are cooking.

•Wood Grilling

Generally, people with some grilling experience go for this one. One needs a safe spot for a fire pit. This process is more expensive than the others as a grill which can accommodate open firewood inside it is required. Since it is towards a more experienced side of the spectrum, we won't be discussing it further.

How to Fire Up a Grill Using a Chimney Starter?

This cylindrical metal starter is, undoubtedly, the most efficient way of starting a fire in a charcoal grill.

  • Step 1: First, place the right quantity of charcoal inside the chimney and put it at the bottom of the grate
  • Step 2: To the bottom of your starter, throw in some sheets of newspaper and light it up in different spots. The flames of the burning paper from the chamber below causes the edges of the charcoal to catch fire. Take a peek from the vents of the chimney to see whether it not the edges of the coal has turned grey or not.
  • Step 3: After about 10 minutes, you will notice the coals beginning to glimmer through the vents and the topmost section of the fuel would start to flare with flames. Once all the coal has turned grey lay it out.

How to Use a Lighter Fluid? 

Chimney starters are a better option than a lighter fluid; they tend to have a neater taste and less amount of chemicals. But if you don't have any other choice but to use lighter fluid, you have to use it very attentively as it is highly flammable.

  • Step 1: On the center of the bottom grate of the grill, stack up the coal.
  • Step 2: Spurt on the lighter fluid on top of the coals and light it up instantly. Do not spritz this onto burning coals as it may lead to an explosion.
  • Step 3: Once they are lathered in grey ash, the coals can be used.

Clean-up Time 

It is imperative to clean up your grill before and after you utilize it to increase the lifespan of the item. If you don't tidy up the mess and cook there, then your food may have a bad taste to it.

Once you are done making food, wipe away dirt with a washcloth from the exterior and remove all of the ashes.

Vaguely go over the grates with a grill brush. Be sure to do all of this after some time has passed of grilling as you don't want to get yourself burned. Before storing it, seal the product shut. Water from rain could get inside the grill and might end up forming rust in the internal space.

Many types of grill cleaner available in the market. You can try one of them to better clean.

A Few Tips and Safety Measures

There are ways with which you can get the grilling done more simply and efficiently. You also have to keep your safety in mind while doing the chore as you are playing with fire at the end of the day. Here are the things that you can apply:

  • To ensure your grill is hot, preheat it for about 15 minutes.
  • Use a spatula to see if the meat is ready or not. If the meat is stuck, then you might want to place it down and cook it for a few more minutes.
  • Char only one side of your food as a risk of overcooking arises if all sides are to be done.
  • Close the lid when cooking thick food items such as chicken breast as it provides better convection heat. But when it's a thinner item such as onions remove the cover to prevent it from getting overcooked.
  • Always stay stationed beside the grill as the fire keeps shifting. Ask someone to stay near the grill if you need to take a break.
  • Use gloves to avoid the irritation caused by the heat to your hands. 

Final Words: We know you are ready to invite your friends and family over for a backyard BBQ party after reading this article. On a serious note, it would take you a couple of batches of meat to get the hang of grilling.

Don't be disheartened if your first time isn't the best of the best. Hold on to your patience, and soon enough you'll be serving tantalizing steaks and shrimps on the table. 

Theresa Lori
 

Hi, I'm Theresa. My passion for grilling delicacy gradually built during the time I was living with my parents. My family members especially my mother was a great fan of grilled dishes to and from the love of food. I started preparing smoked food with my mom. This bonding helped me to know more and more about to smoke, grill what always I share on SmokeGears.com. So, in two words you can call me a BBQ lover.

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