Grilling is a world wide phenomenon, but in the U.S. it’s a national past time. According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association http://www.hpba.org/consumers/barbecue/grilling-facts-and-figures , 82 percent of American households have a grill, and most use it year-round. And why not? Grilling makes enjoying the outdoors easier and is a simple and quick cooking technique. Grilled food tastes great. What’s not to love?
In some parts of the globe, the terms “grill” and “barbecue” are used interchangeably. Technically, however, barbecues use only indirect heat, taking many hours (or even days) to cook the food. Grilling, on the other hand, frequently uses direct heat and cooks food quickly – usually in less than an hour.
The grill itself can range from an open pit with a grate laid over it to a cheap manufactured open grill without a lid. Most American grillers use a kettle or grilling oven, however. Which you select depends upon your budget and personal preferences.
Grills can be fired with charcoal, wood, or gas, and there is much debate about which is best. Certainly wood and charcoal add flavor to food, whereas gas does not. Again, this comes down to a matter of personal preference.
Tongs are essential. Avoid grilling forks, which pierce holes in food, allowing juices to escape. A sturdy spatula is handy, as is a basting brush. In addition, an electric starter will save you a lot of frustration when using a charcoal or wood grill.
Always use a good thermometer if you don’t want over- or under-cook meat. For best results, choose the type with an insta-read panel you can see without opening a covered grill.
“When you go about grilling,” writes A. Cort Sinnes in The Grilling Encyclopedia, “make yourself comfortable, take your time and feel free to experiment…Grilling is a notoriously inexact process, a fact that confounds some, and pleases others.” In other words, practice makes perfect.
But there are some general guidelines:
Apple Cider Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Grilled Rack of Lamb
Grilled Buttermilk Chicken
Grilled Mustard Chicken Breasts
Grilled Whole Chicken
Flounder Fillets with Mushrooms
Grilled Candied Garlic Salmon
Fresh Fruit Kebobs
Grilled Romaine Hearts
Grilled Spicy Corn
Want to see a different cooking technique, or recipes for a specific diet choice? See all the gourmet recipes and recipe videos at GourmetRecipe.com.
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