Reno, Nevada (NAPSI) - If you’re like 25 percent of grill owners, you can expect to host five or more barbecues in the next few months, according to the new Weber Grill Watch Survey. So now may be the right time to brush up on the do’s and don’ts of grilling.
To help, New York Times best-selling author and James Beard Award nominee Jamie Purviance reveals his Top 10 Grilling Do’s and Don’ts from his latest cookbook, “Weber’s New Real Grilling”:
1. Do preheat the grill. If cooking grates aren’t hot enough, food will stick and won’t have a chance of searing properly or developing grill marks. Even if a recipe calls for medium or low heat, you should preheat the grill on high first to at least 500° F.
2. Don’t start with dirty grates. Leftover “stuff” on the grates acts like glue, binding both your new food to the old and all of it to the grates. After preheating the grill for about 10 minutes, brush the grates off with a sturdy, long-handled brush with stainless steel bristles. Clean grates will provide a smooth surface to perfectly grill steaks, burgers, chicken and more.
3. Do get your act together. Bring everything you need near the grill before grilling. If you have to run back into the kitchen while your food is cooking, you might overcook or burn the food.
4. Do give yourself at least two heat zones. If you set up your grill for one type of heat only, your options are limited. Have at least two heat zones: one for direct heat (where the fire is right under the food) and one for indirect heat (where the fire is off to the side of the food). Many foods, such as steaks, are seared quickly over direct heat and then finished over indirect.
5. Don’t overcrowd the grill. Packing too much food into a tight space restricts your flexibility. Leave at least a quarter of the cooking grates clear, with plenty of space between food for easy maneuverability.
6. Do use the lid. When the lid is closed, the cooking grates are hotter, the grilling times are faster, the smoky tastes are stronger and the flare-ups are fewer. So put a lid on it. Just don’t forget to open the charcoal grill’s lid vent at least halfway to allow proper airflow.
7. Don’t touch the food much. Most people like food seared to a deep brown color with plenty of beautifully charred bits. The trouble is, many move their food so often it doesn’t get enough time in one place to reach that color and flavor. In nearly all cases, turn food just once or twice.
8. Do take charge of the fire. A charcoal fire climbs to its hottest temperatures first and then loses heat either quickly or slowly, depending on the type of charcoal and how you tend the fire. Refuel before losing too much heat, rearrange coals, sweep away the ashes that could clog the bottom vents, and adjust the vents on the lid for ideal airflow.
9. Don’t serve rubbery chicken. If you specialize in chicken breasts so overcooked they bounce, it’s time to learn some doneness clues. A correctly grilled chicken breast should gently yield when you press the surface with your fingertip. Get an instant-read thermometer for an even more reliable test of doneness.
10. Do use the grill for more than grilling. It used to be that grilling meant one thing: meat charred over open flames. Today, everything from appetizers through desserts can be prepared on a grill.
For the Hickory Smoked Beer Can Chicken recipe, visit newrealgrilling.weber.com. Purviance’s new cookbook can be purchased at www.weber.com.