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Six Rules Of Grilling

Six Rules of Grilling

Before you fire up the grill for the season, read these tips to help you tame the flames.

1. Preheat You wouldn't bake in a cold oven, and you can't sear on a cold grill. Preheating is vital. Turn the grill to high (even if the recipe calls for a lower setting), close the lid, and let the grill warm up at least 15 minutes. Adjust the heat before grilling food.

2. Clean For good results, start with a clean cooking grate. Clean grates prevent "off" flavors, soot on food, and help keep food from sticking. The easiest way to get rid of charred-on debris is to scrape preheated grates with a stiff wire brush. Finish cleaning with a lightly oiled paper towel—this will pick up grit and dust that the brush leaves behind.

3. Seasoning Oiling the grate helps keep food from sticking. Swab an oil-dipped paper towel on the grill just before putting on the food. Use enough oil to coat the grates but not so much that it drips onto the flames and causes grease fires or flare-ups. Like your favorite cast-iron pan, the grates will blacken, or "season," over time.

4. Turning Know-How The proper way to turn food on the grill is with tongs or a spatula. Never stab meats with a carving fork to turn them. Piercing leaves holes that allow flavorful juices to run out of foods. So not only do you lose flavor and dry out the food, you also start clogging up the gas ports on the grill.

5. Quadrillage While it doesn't actually make food taste any better, quadrillage, or "crosshatching," does make food attractive. To do this, arrange the food at a 45-degree angle to the grill grates. Cook for half of the required time on that side, then rotate each piece 90 degrees for the remaining time. Flip and repeat.

6. When It's Done, Let It Rest It's important to allow meats and poultry to "rest" before carving or serving. All this means is to let grilled meat sit about 3 minutes per pound. The meat will continue to cook slightly by means of residual heat. As the meat sits, the juices redistribute, making it much more tender and juicy.

Tags: Equipment, Meat

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