When I left you last we were discussing Holidays spent at the grill in your back yard so I thought we should talk a little about some grilling basics. Grilled foods are cooked by radiant heat located below the food and any sauce that accompanies it is always prepared separately. Adding mops, dry rubs, marinades, flavored butters or wood chips only enhances the food on the grill. Your grill must be very clean, hot and lightly oiled so you don’t impart bitter old flavors from left on charred food. I built this grill on my back deck about 3 years ago from retaining wall blocks and retro fit a grill that I took the wheels and left side shelf off. I get a lot of ideas from our sister magazine The Family Handyman.
I’ve broken it down to 5 easy steps that will ensure great results:
1. Thoroughly clean and preheat your grill with the lid closed.
2. Season the main item; marinate, dry rub or just brush with a little oil, S&P.
3. Place item on a hot grill at a ten of twelve angle for 3-6 minutes.
4. Turn item at a ten after twelve, (this will create diamond marks)
5. Turn item over and complete cooking to desired doneness.
** Mentally divide your grill into Zones : Rare, Medium Rare, Medium and Well Done with a cooler, holding zone near you.
Now LET’S GET COOKIN! I found some great recipes that lend well to the steps above and should make you the envy of your next party. I love when you marinate chicken with a natural acid like limes. TIP: Add the zest of 1 lime before you squeeze them, don’t forget a few grinds of salt and don’t overcook these little gems. A meat thermometer at 155°, foil and hold, keeps em juicy. Grilled-Lime-Chicken
- 8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Flatten chicken breasts to 1/4 inch. In a resealable plastic bag,
- combine the lime juice, oil, onions, garlic, 2 tablespoons dill and
- pepper; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate 2-4
- Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, uncovered, over medium-hot
- heat for 6-7 minutes on each side, or until a meat thermometer
- reaches 170 °. Sprinkle with remaining dill. Yield: 8 servings
This Asian influenced salmon dish is really wonderful, blending the salty/sweet tastes of the orient. TIP: You can marinate a whole side of salmon leaving the skin on. Place skin side down on the grill and close the lid immediately on medium heat (do not turn fish over). The skin char’s and is its own base so you can turn off the heat and serve directly from the grill by easily scrapping the meat from the crispy skin. Firecracker-Grilled-Salmon
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
- In a small bowl, combine the first ten ingredients. Pour 1/4 cup
- marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the salmon; seal
- bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes. Cover and
- refrigerate remaining marinade. Drain and discard marinade.
- Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and
- lightly coat the grill rack. Place salmon skin side down on grill
- rack. Grill, covered, over high heat or broil 3-4 in. from the heat
- for 5-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting
- occasionally with remaining marinade. Yield: 4 servings.
Now go show em your skills and have a great time telling everyone how to “grill like the pros”. YOU CAN DO IT!