FOOD >> COOKING 101
Great Grilling Advice
5 tips for getting your barbecue ready for cooking , PLUS 8 tips to becoming a grilling guru
- If your barbecue grill is coming out of storage, check the burner ports for rust and dirt. Make sure the gas supply is clear of dust, dirt and cobwebs. Insects aren’t the only critters that might hole up for the winter: relocate any mice and their kin.
- Check the gas line and fittings for leaks. The nozzle-type fitting on the hose that screws onto the propane cylinder has a rubber O-ring on the end. Replace if it is cracked or torn.
- If you prefer the results of old-fashioned charcoal grilling, time-management skills will be very useful for serving up steaks before midnight. Place the charcoal in a stack in the centre of the barbecue (charcoal chimneys are helpful for getting the coals heated much faster). Avoid presoaked charcoal briquettes and fire starters, which can impart an unpleasant flavour. Electric fire starters are handy for charcoal and wood. When a grey ash appears on the coals, you are ready to cook.
- Organize yourself so you are not running in and out of the house, which will prevent you from watching your grill.
- For easy clean up, brush the grill while it’s still hot.
8 Tips to Becoming a Grilling Guru
- Clean your grill before every use with a sturdy wire brush
- Bring meat and fish to room temperature before grilling
- Cook on a preheated grill to prevent your food from sticking
- Don't play with the food. Close the lid and wait it out
- Place sheet of foil over the grill when cooking delicate items
- Use tongs instead of a fork to turn meat to keep in all the flavourful juices
- Douse fire flare-ups with a four-to-one ratio of water and baking soda in a spray bottle
- Test for doneness by pressing with your finger. Meat feels tighter and more resistant as it cooks (Use our cooking charts to ensure your food is cooked to perfection)
First published in Wish Summer 2007