Becoming a Grill Master

Whether you are using a charcoal grill or a gas grill, there are certain tips you need to know that will make you a better grill master.  Below we have provided you with these tips. Follow them and you will be forever known by your family and friends as the “grill master”.

  1. The addition of wood chips and chunks to your coals can add awesome flavor to your food. You should soak mesquite, alder, hickory and pecan chips for one hour before scattering over the hot coals.
  2. Soak wood skewers in water for an hour before use.  They are best used for foods that can be cooked quickly, like vegetables and fruits.  Use flat metal skewers when cooking meat kabobs. Round skewers will let the food turn and will not provide even cooking.
  3. You should follow the recipes cooking times carefully, and make sure you cover the grill if the recipe calls for it.
  4. When using sauces containing sugar and fat, apply them only during the last 10 minutes of cooking, unless the recipe instructions are different, or you will cause flare ups and the food may burn.
  5. Weather can affect grilling times and so can the length of time the food is being cooked.

Here are some rules for maintaining cooking temperature:

  1. To lower the cooking temperature, you can raise the cooking grate, spread the coals farther apart, or adjust the vents on the grills pan to halfway closed.
  2. If you need to raise the temperature,you can lower the cooking grate, tap ash from the coals, move the coals closer together, or adjust the vents so that they are opened further.  You can also add more charcoal to the outer edges of the hot coals.
  3. When the weather is cold, you will need to use more briquettes to achieve an ideal cooking temperature. Grilling will also take longer.  Wind will tend to make the fire hotter and on a humid day, the coals will burn slower.
  4. The thickness and the temperature of the food when it is placed on the grill will affect it’s cooking time. The colder and thicker the food, the longer it will take to cook.
  5. The closer the cooking grate is to the coals, the quicker the food will cook.
  6. Fires using hardwood will burn hotter than charcoal briquettes.
  7. Using a thermometer is the most reliable way to test when your food is done.
  8. Always follow the recipe instructions for testing doneness.  Using a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat is a great way to prevent undercooked meat.

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