FOOD FOR THOUGHT




UPCOMING EVENTS

Grilling 101


Alright, I decided to grill tonight, so I am going to pass on the knowledge to you. I know most of you (especially the men) are going to yell at me and be all like "I'm a man, I can grill!" I'm pretty sure you can buddy... calm down, have some dip. There IS a difference between grilling, and just putting the flame on High and burning everything.

You have to look at a grill like it's a type of oven. If you just cook it on High heat, you'll make the surface look pretty (or not if you char it too much) and the inside will still be raw or uncooked. Not yummy. All you peeps out there need to learn how to control the heat, and sometimes cooking things the quickest, isn't always the most delicious.

Tonight I decided to grill chicken. I will go over the steps that I took to get this delicious, perfectly cooked meal.

First of all, no matter what grill you have, I will try to explain it best to set it up like what I have. I like to cook on Low heat first, thus cooking the inside of the food, and not even charring the outside. After, blast the heat on High and char the outside. No need to worry about cooking the interior, your just working on the body work till you like what you see. I have a propane grill with 2 line burners inside. You want to make direct and indirect heat. This can be achieved on a grill such as mine by turning one burner on Low, and leaving the other burner off. On a charcoal grill, simply pile all the charcoal on one side, and leave the other half empty. On a gas grill that has 3 burners, shut off two of them.

Ok, so what I do is I run outside with a couple of items. I have a bottle of Canola Oil, a sponge, and some matches. Now fire up that baby! Remember to create direct and indirect heat. Scrape off all that gunk on there from what you had created before, and don't forget to wire brush after scraping. A clean grill is a happy grill and is more efficient. The sponge is used to apply the Canola Oil. Why? Adding a little bit of oil to the cooking surface will prevent any of the meat from sticking to the grill, and also preventing some of the meat to tear off if you move the pieces around. After applying the Canola Oil, just bag the sponge and use it for the next time you want to use the grill. No need to wash it, you'll only cause a greasy mess. Make sure to change the sponge every month or so.

Close the grill cover and go back inside to prepare. Make sure the meat is either at room temp or at the very least raw and cold. For chicken, I like to use about a pound of boneless skinless chicken breast I find at the local supermarket. I trim all the extra fat off, throw them in a zip bag and pour on the marinade or BBQ sauce... whatever you like. I leave the bag in the fridge to marinate raw for a day. Make sure to leave the bag in a container so cross contamination doesn't happen. Leaving the meat in the fridge to marinate raw is ok... as long as it isn't for more than a day. After that, the bacteria in the meat may start to turn the BBQ sauce sour. If you aren't going to eat it right away, let it marinate for a day, then throw it in the freezer until you're ready.
Ok, so dump the chicken and all of the leftover sauce into a bowl and grab your tongs, we are going outside. By now, your grill should be sufficiently warm enough to start cooking. Make sure the temp gauge reads Medium or at least Low, it will heat up after you close the lid again. Place the chicken on the grill over the indirect heat. For my grill, all I need to do is close the lid and walk away for 5 mins. After 5 mins, I come back and flip them, cooking the other side for another 5... don't forget to close the lid.

After the other side has cooked for 5 mins, now we can start the body work. Turn up the heat to Medium or High and place the chicken over the direct heat. You can decide to leave the lid open or not. Cook for at least 1 min on each side... longer depending how charred you want it. Remove the pieces from the grill and throw in the remaining sauce to get another coating on there.

Make sure you let the pieces rest for at least 2 mins. No, they won't get cold. What happens when you cook meat is the meat expands, also releasing important juices that it can no longer hold. Letting them rest for a couple will return some of the juices to inside the meat, making them nice and moist.. and not dry.

Cooking in this method also takes into consideration a note that I have made for almost all foods. Always take the food off the heat a couple mins BEFORE it's completely cooked... it will cook itself to done off of the heat. If you leave the food on the heat until it is fully cooked, then by the time you cut into it, it may be a little overdone (and possibly a little drier).

Please remember that every grill is different, so the times may be different for you. These are the times it takes me to cook my food. You may need to add or subtract a minute or so. Also remember, if you are cooking with room temp meat, then it will cook faster, so shave off 30 secs or a min.

Above is my finished product, topped with my special uber super secret spice mix. There are somethings the Bearded Chef needs to keep secret haha!

Of course, since I cooked this, I think I deserve a Beard Rating of Lumberjack. Happy grilling!

1 comment:

Nexus976 said...

You sir, are a true grillman!!! Great technique and explanation of whats needed for REAL grill food. I will admit to having broken many of the laws of grilling correctly myself. Way to show how its done! And the chicken looks delicious!