Executive chef/Owner, Chianti on Main,Chianti Tuscan Grill,
Rattlesnake Club, Detroit MI
, Author, Cooking Class: Seasonal
Recipes from a Chef's Kitchen (Ten Speed Press), Cooking for
all Seasons (MacMillan)
Fail Grill Tips
I was a kid in Illinois brings back memories of roasts and
grills full of wonderful aromas that singled the start of
summer. Being the youngest of the family I was drafted to
crank the ice cream machine for the first of the summer's
frozen treats. Now as a father of two the day is spent with
my children helping prepare the meal as a kind of family cooking
adventure, which is the best gift of all."
Preparing the grill:
I prefer hardwood charcoal and some mesquite for hotter applications.
First start the charcoal allowing them to turn white on the
edges then adding the mesquite. Cook over the fire as the
charcoal and mesquite is white hot.
For gas grill applications here's a couple of options. First
have a professional gas appliance company bore the gas orifices
larger for increased gas flow. Second add more of the ceramic
stones or "lava rocks" to the grill. This causes a little
longer preheat time on the grill but has stored heat energy
when you start the grill. This is not so important for fish
but really important on larger cuts of steaks. Preheat the
grill with the lid closed to maximize the stored heat energy.
Clean the grill grate after preheating with a wire brush.
Take a couple of sheets of paper toweling and fold to get
a 3 inch wide sheet. Roll the folded sheet tightly up and
secure with a piece of kitchen twine, with the ends trimed.
With a pair of long tongs, dip the paper toweling roll in
cooking oil, allow the excess to run off then carefully rub
across the surface of the brushed grill grate to season just
prior to placing your seasoned food on the grill. This will
prevent sticking and insure good searing of your food.
Add your seasoned foods to the hot part of the grill to intially
sear and then move towards the sides or cooler part of the
grill to finish cooking. Thin cuts of fish, steaks and meat
are best cooked less than a medium degree of doneness on the
hot parts of the grill. Thicker, dense cuts of fish and meat
are best to sear in the hotter areas then move to a cooler
area of the grill to allow the heat to properly penetrate.
Lower temperature is also necessary for cooking past medium
to more well done temperatures. The grill temperature may
also be lowered by moving the adjustable grill grate away
from the fire or heat source.
Control flames from the grill with a squirt bottle containing
water. You may also be able to control the flames by closing
the grill and minimizing the air openings on the grill to
snuff out the flame.
Must Have Grill Tools
industrial grill brush
stainless steel tongs
stainless spatula for burgers and such
bottle with water
mill for fresh ground pepper
thermometer (just to be sure for more well done cuts...I
never use because I like almost everything rare!)
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