Grilling on the barbecue has never been more exciting. Not only do barbecues come in a wide variety of designs and options, but with the advent of popular cooking shows, cookbooks, and magazines, the grill has reached a whole new dimension. Grilling is no longer just about steaks and burgers, the BBQ grill is filled with adventurous and stylish recipes and menu plans. Some of the tempting grilling recipes have names like grilled mango blossom, grilled portobello with avocado sauce, and grilled beef tenderloin with cabernet sauvignon sauce.
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the basics of the grill before you begin. The two most popular types of grilling are the direct and indirect grilling methods. The indirect method is a slow cooking process because less heat is used. A suggestion for indirect cooking is to use a disposable drip tray or aluminum foil placed under the food to be cooked, with tongs place the embers around the pan. The food is cooked with the hot air that circulates around the food (similar to a convection oven), this process is ideal for cooking roasts. It is always a good idea to check with the owner’s manual for your specific barbecue.
The direct broiling method is accomplished by positioning the coals (with long-handled tongs) so that they are spread evenly in a single layer, extending about an inch beyond the food area. Then the food is placed directly on the fire. The direct roasting method is fast due to the intense heat and allows fast browning on the outside of the food. Direct broiling works best for foods that require short cook times, such as hamburgers and steaks. It is important to turn the food over to allow it to cook on both sides.
The three most popular ways to add flavor to your selected barbecue foods are with sauces, marinades, and spreads. You can say that the sauce defines a great barbecue, you can use a little sauce or a lot. A sample sauce recipe is this Maple Barbecue Sauce; Combine equal amounts of maple syrup, tomato sauce and white wine add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, ginger and chili powder with a bay leaf, bring the ingredients to a boil, reduce and bring to a simmer. A sauce should be applied in the last five to ten minutes of grilling as sugar can cause the sauce to burn. There are a wide variety of barbecue sauces and recipes available.
Marinades are another way to turn mediocre food into amazing. They are a great way to add flavor while softening and promoting crisp brown exteriors. The three basic ingredients in marinades are flavorings (herbs, spices, and sweeteners), oils, and acids (citrus juices, wines, vinegars, and yogurts). A simple marinade recipe is lemon rosemary marinade. Mix grated lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, white wine, rosemary, salt and pepper and pour over selected meat, tofu, or vegetables in a sealable plastic bag or shallow dish and refrigerate for an hour or two, remembering to shake the bag or flip on the plate midway through the marinating process.
Rubs are a wonderful bold blend of seasonings, which, as the name implies, are rubbed right into food. The food is rubbed with spices before grilling, transforming the mixture into a crisp brown crust that seals in the juices and enhances the flavors. A very basic spread recipe is this herb mix; equal amounts of dried rosemary, dried thyme, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, with smaller amounts of salt and pepper, combine all ingredients in a food processor until thick. Sprinkle mixture evenly over meat, then rub with fingers. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to two hours and then grill.
When you grill outdoors, there are a few simple things to remember to avoid food contamination. Any marinated food should be stored in the refrigerator (not on the counter) to prevent bacteria from having a chance to grow. Reserve some marinade at first and never reuse any marinade that has been used on raw meat. Always keep vegetables and fruits separate from raw meat; Utensils and dishes should also be washed before use. Make sure you cook all meats properly. Serve food right away so hot food doesn’t have too long to cool down and bacteria start to grow. Perishable food should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, and if the outside temperature is over 85 degrees or higher, serve it within an hour.
Grilling vegetables is a great way to bring out seasonal flavors. Vegetables and fruits such as; Eggplant, bell peppers, summer squash, sweet onions, roma or cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, mangoes, pineapple, or peaches are great options for grilling. Cut the vegetables into 1/2-inch slices or coarsely chopped. Brush with a little olive oil (it can be seasoned with garlic or other selected herbs). Grill vegetables until tender, turning only once. The fruit should be cut in half pitted and broiled until tender (no oil is needed), pulp side down. Vegetable cooking sprays or small amounts of oil will prevent vegetables from sticking (avoid spraying vegetables near the lit grill). Marinating the veggie beforehand also makes the veggies easier to handle and less likely to stick to the grill surface.
Roasting cooked corn cobs in corn husks (without the corn silk) is a unique and tasty alternative to boiled corn. Peel the corn husks and put butter and herbs around the corn. Fold in the corn husks and tie them with kitchen twine. Roast the corn for about thirty minutes, remembering to flip it about three times.
A simple and elegant meal can consist of a grilled pizza and some crunchy grilled fruit for dessert. To grill a pizza, use a store-bought Italian bread peel topping with pesto, thinly sliced plum tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, kalamata olives, and basil (drizzling olive oil on top). Use foil folded in half by placing the pizza on top by folding the edges of the foil to the edges of the pizza. Using the indirect grilling method, grill the pizza for about 10 minutes. For the crunchy grilled fruit dessert, toss peaches, pineapple chunks, and brown sugar on a metal baking sheet. Then combine large amounts of brown sugar, flour, and butter with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg by sprinkling over the fruit mixture. Grill about fifty minutes (indirect roast method) or until hot and bubbly, serve with ice cream if desired.
Grilling outdoors is a convenient and enjoyable alternative to cooking indoors. The menu options are limitless. Grilling is one of the easiest and most tempting ways to cook low-fat. Whether you’re sticking with the traditional steak and burgers or going for something a little more adventurous, grilling is always a tasty and enjoyable way to be outside with family and friends.