After coming home from a long day of going to classes and studying there is one thing that I especially look forward to. Some people may want to go grab a beer or turn on the T. V and lounge around, but my vision of a perfect evening is one spent in front of a grill, cooking whatever it is I’ve chosen for dinner. I’m not sure why I like to grill so much but my guess would be because my dad loves to.
I’m from Tampa so it was never to cold to grill and a day rarely passed, rain or shine, that my dad wasn’t out grilling something.
I actually thought it was normal to grill everything, and I mean everything, until I was about 13. Fruits, vegetables, meat, you name it, my dad grilled it. Because I enjoy grilling so much I have decided to let you know exactly what the art of grilling is.
Today I’m going to discuss three topics, types of grills, types of food to grill, and to finish it off, some basic grilling techniques. The definition of grilling is “cooking an ingredient over high heat, on a metal grill.
” On the grill food is cooked quickly because of the heat coming from a gas, electric, charcoal, or wood heat source. The first way to grill I will discuss is by using the wood grill. Wood grills are the oldest and most primitive way of cooking. Today wood grills are obviously more advanced than the one used by people hundreds of years ago, but the heat source is still the same, burning wood. Although charcoal and gas grills are more commonly used these days, wood grills are still thought of as a great heat source because it “perfumes the grilled item with a smoky flavor.
” Experienced “wood grillers'” advice is to make sure to let the wood burn down in to embers before cooking, because grilling on an open flame will easily burn the food. According to the Culinary Education Center website, “The best kind of wood to use when using a wood grill is hardwoods, such as fruit wood, hickory, or mesquite. ” The next types of grill I will be talking about are electric and gas grills. These two are usually grouped together because they are the easiest to use. Lighting them is as simple as pushing a button or flipping a switch.
Also, unlike wood and charcoal grills, these grills keep a steady heat across the grilling surface. In the past, gas grills were always used more because of the electric grills inability to reach a high heat. Within the last couple years electric grills popularity has risen because of their new ability to reach and sustain a high heat and because they are considered safer in a home environment. These two types of grills are definitely the quickest way to cook dinner. The last type of grill I want to tell you about is the charcoal grill.
Charcoal grills used to be the most common grill used in family homes, but as the electric and gas grills became more popular charcoal grills are now mostly used on camping trips or picnics. In addition to the other grills being safer, there is also a hassle in lighting charcoal grills. According to an article on the website of “Learning the Art of Grilling at Home”, “charcoal grilling is cheaper but more troublesome to light and keep at a steady temperature. ” It takes 30- 45 minutes after lighting the charcoal until you can actually cook on it.
Personally, charcoal grilling is my favorite because in my opinion it makes the food taste better. Unfortunately, because of the hassle that goes along with a charcoal grill, they are now a dying trend. Now that we have the three types of grills out of the way lets move on to what you can actually cook on them. The best types of foods to cook on a grill are red meat, poultry, vegetables, fish, and fruit. When choosing a red meat to grill you should try to get the most tender cut of meat, such as a filet or strip because on a grill there isn’t enough time for the meat to tenderize by themselves.
Another type of food to cook on the grill is chicken. Chicken is the most grilled items in households across the US. When cooking chicken, leaving the skin on will prevent the chicken from drying out and will also taste great when its finished. If you are cooking a skinless chicken breast you will need to be more careful because it is very easy to overcook them and dry the piece out. The same goes for fish. Fish tastes great on the grill but overcooking it will cause it to be dry and not taste very good.
Vegetables such as squash, mushrooms, and peppers are also great. After a dip in oil, and some salt and pepper you will be amazed at how good they taste right off the grill. The last food that I will suggest cooking may surprise you. Fruits such as apples and pears are great after being thrown on the grill. All they need is just a little warm-up on the grill and it will completely enhance the flavors of the fruit. The taste will really surprise you. Ok, the last thing I’m going tell you about today are some basic grilling techniques.
First, you want to turn the grill on and turn the temperature to high, make sure the grill is hot. The Culinary Education Center says “if the grill is not hot, it will be hard to develop the caramelized, smoky flavors of a properly grilled meat. ” Also, if the grill isn’t hot the food you’re cooking will stick to the grilling surface. After making sure the grill is hot you will want to clean off the grill surface with a wire brush. This cleans off any old pieces of food left on the grill.
Finally you can now toss the food of your choice on. Barbeque N on the Internet says “the goal of perfect grilling is to give the item delicious, brown grill marks on both sides, while making sure the item comes off the grill at jus the right amount of doneness. ” Today I hope I taught you a little bit about grilling that you didn’t know before. I also hope you can now understand my weird obsession with grilling. An article I read in The Sun Valley Guide for Grilling said it best, “food cooked over a fire, simply tastes better. “