5 Pointers for mastering the grill

There's a lot more to grilling than throwing on a slab of meat and trying not to burn it. This article will help you use your grill to its full potential and wow your friends and family with your skills.

5 Pointers for mastering the grill

Master the art of grilling

Most people never use their grills for more than the basics. Restaurants that rely heavily on grilling are really pleased about that, although one celebrated chef has shared some of his secrets for mastering the nuances of grilling.

  1. Select different woods for their subtle yet distinctive flavours they impart. For example, use mesquite for a slightly sweet, smoky flavour. For a smokier taste, burn oak.
  2. Use different parts of the grill for their different heat levels. Different woods burn at different temperatures. Mesquite produces a very hot fire, suitable for cooking fish, while oak burns at a temperature favourable for vegetables and meats. For a juicy steak, first sear the meat on a hotter part of the grill, then move it to a medium-hot area to allow the flavours to develop more slowly.
  3. Avoid added fat for fewer calories. Grilled fresh vegetables – in addition to meat and fish, of course – cooked with very little added fat. Grilling also helps you steer clear of deep frying, pan-frying and even sautéing to keep high-calorie foods out of your diet.
  4. Butter up your grilled steak. When you order steak in a good restaurant, don't be dazzled by exotic spices or cooking techniques listed on the menu. There's an astoundingly simple chef's secret that provides the knock-'em-dead flavour that you can't seem to achieve when you grill steaks at home: butter. When you're grilling at home, as soon as you remove your steak from the grill, shave seven grams (1/2 tablespoon) butter onto it and let the butter melt. Don't tell your guests — they'll wonder how you found the time for cooking school.
  5. Take the spilling out of grilling, use kebab baskets. Those cute little wooden skewers were supposed to work fine if you soaked them in water first. Well, you can't soak them enough to keep them from catching fire — and then there goes the shishkebab. Round metal skewers were just fine until it came time to turn them over. You'd no sooner get the whole thing flipped over than gravity would take over and all the stuff on the skewer would swing around too. Then there were flat skewers, which kept the food from flopping over, but they had to be bigger in order to be effective. That was fine for the meat, but the peppers, onions and especially fragile mushrooms would often split while you were attempting to thread them onto the skewer. Kebab baskets eliminate both problems. They're a kind of long wire box with a lid and a long handle. You put the stuff into the box, close the lid and place it on the grill or over the fire. The handle allows easy flipping.

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