How To Grill With Wood Chips
If you’re ready to take your grilling game up a notch, infuse your meats with smokier flavor by adding wood to your charcoal. You can use chunks of wood when smoking or wood chips right on top of the coals for grilling. Always soak your wood chips first, so that they smolder instead of burn.
Soaked cherry hardwood chips add a unique flavor to these easy chicken quesadillas. Make a double batch of the chicken to eat later in the week .
Treat The Meat To A Spice Rub
Taste of Home
Trust us: You want to add the spice rub. Like making the marinade, its simple to prep, just tossing some ingredients together in a bowl. Here, we use the remaining ½ cup sugar, plus salt and seasonings.
Take the ribs out of the fridge. Drain and discard the marinade from the 13×9. Pat the ribs dry . Rub the spice mixture over all sides of the ribs, patting with your fingertips to encourage it to adhere.
Test Kitchen Tip: When it comes to ribs, some people only use a marinade. Some people only use spice rub. We like to do both! Marinading adds layers of flavor that penetrate deep into the meat, while the spice rub adds flavor to the surface of the meat. When the grill sears the ribs, the spicy, crackling exterior of the meat makes a delicious contrast to the tender, succulent meat inside.
Turning The Rib Roast
Grilling indirectly will require that the prime rib roast is turned periodically to ensure even cooking. Even if you are using a large grill and have the heat on either side of the roast, it will be difficult to cook the meat correctly without turning. If you are using a smaller grill and have the heat on only one side, then the roast might need to be turned more than once. This is why a frequent monitoring of the cooking temperature with a reliable meat thermometer is necessary. Test the temperature on either side of the roast to determine how evenly it is cooking and turn to accommodate.
While testing the temperature and moving the roast accordingly, take note of the level of the water in the drip pan. If it is getting low, you may need to add water. It is best to add boiling hot water so that you don’t drop the cooking temperature significantly.
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Mistake #: You Used Lighter Fluid Or Match
The Thinking:If I douse my coals in liquid fuel, of course they’ll light faster! It’s logical and it’s a mistake most beginning grillers make. It doesn’t help that match-light coals and lighter fluid are heavily marketed in the grilling aisle at the home centers and supermarkets. It’s easy to understand why so many people buy lighter fluid: Try holding a match underneath a coal and you won’t get very far.
The Reality: After erupting in a mushroom cloud of fire, the flames quickly subside and die. You end up squirting more lighter fluid on the coals in a desperate attempt to keep the fire going . All seems to be going well until you take that first gasoline-scented bite of a hamburger. Truth is, no matter how long you let a fire that was started with lighter fluid burn, you can taste it on your food, and it’s not pleasant.
The Fix: What you really need is a chimney starter. You place some crumpled newspaper underneath it, pack the top with coals, set the newspaper on fire with a single match or lighter, then let it work its magic as oxygen is drawn up and through the coals, lighting them efficiently without the need for any lighter fluid at all.
Your coals will be lit in record time with no risk of adding off-flavors to your food.
Using The Q Rotisserie
3 models available, to fit all Weber Q barbecues.
To Cedar Plank Or Not To Cedar Plank
Using a plank, one of the thin boards that are sold by the pack in the grilling section of stores, involves cooking your food directly on a piece of wood. The goal of using a cedar plank is to transfer some of the flavor of the wood to the food. Not only do you have to choose what type of wood might taste best with what youre grilling, but you also have to make sure it doesnt burn up while youre cooking with it.
For delicate foods like fish, choose cedar or ash. Ive done cedar plank salmon before. Maple, apple, or pecan make good choices for bolder meats, like chicken or pork, while oak, hickory, or mesquite can stand up to the stronger flavors of beef, lamb, or game.
Before you use a plank, soak it in cold water for at least an hour in order to allow the water to absorb into the wood. The most common cooking method is to work only on the indirect side of a two-zone indirect fire. This will give you slow, even, gentle heat the whole time, allowing you plenty of time on the grill, which leads to more time for flavors to mingle and marry. You might even be able to reuse your planks a few times using this method.
The second method is to char the plank over the hot side of the grill first, then transfer it to the cooler side and place your food on it. This technique will make your meat even smokier.
Which Cut Of Steak Is Best For Grilling
When I first started working on this recipe, my top contenders for the steak were the ribeye , the rib steak , the porterhouse, and the T-bone.
Any of those cuts will taste great grilled due to the significant marbling of fat, which leaves the meat tender, and flavorful. Let’s take a closer look at each:
- Ribeyes vs. Rib steaks: A ribeye has the bone taken out a rib steak, also known as a bone-in ribeye, is a ribeye with the bone in. Due to its extensive marbling, this cut cooks beautifully on the grill, bone in or out. Trim the thick fat from the outside edgeleaving it on will cause flame flare-ups that can give your steak an unpleasant burnt flavor. Don’t worry, trimming it off won’t result in lost flavor!
- T-Bones vs. Porterhouses: People often confuse these two cuts, which is understandable because both cuts come from the loin and both have a T-shaped bone with meat on both sides. But porterhouses are larger and actually have more of the tenderloin than the T-bone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications say the tenderloin of a porterhouse must be at least 1 1/4 inches thick at its widest, while that of a T-bone must be at least 1/2-inch.
Ultimately, I chose to use ribeye steak for its flavor, size, and the lack of bone — I wanted to slice and serve this steak family-style, and the fact that it doesn’t have a bone makes that easier.
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Start A Fire Without Breaking A Sweat Or Burning Dinner
One thing we routinely find in our testing of charcoal grills is that the resultshow your food turns outare largely dependent on the skill of the user, who has to be ready to adjust dampers, monitor cooking temperatures, and handle coals to get outstanding results.
But despite all the oversight, charcoal grill enthusiasts think it’s well worth the effort. Smoke is a byproduct of combustion, and the smoke from burning gas and charcoal are different,” says Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn, a celebrated grilling expert and judge on the professional barbecue circuit, on his website, Amazingribs.com. “Charcoal makes more smoke than gas, with a broader range of tasty flavor molecules, because it’s burning complex organic molecules. In other words, the smoke from charcoal makes food taste better.
Below you’ll find our video tutorial on how to cook on a charcoal grill, as well as step by step directions. If you’re still looking to learn more about all kinds of grills, start with our grill buying guide. CR Members can also jump right to our ratings of charcoal grills.
Mistake #1: You’re Serving Your Food Too Soon
The Thinking:The meat is hot, my guests are hungry, let’s get this food on the table NOW.
The Reality: Cutting into a steak that’s too hot not only ends up burning your guests’ mouths, but it also causes the meat to unleash a torrent of juices that run all over the cutting board or plate.
The Fix: Let your meat rest off of the grill for a few minutes before serving it. This will allow the internal juices to thicken and redistribute, which in turn reduces the amount of spillage you get after cutting into them. So you like the outside of your meat to be hot and sizzling right when you serve it? No problem: rest your meat as usual, then right before serving it toss it back over the highest possible heat on your grill for just around 30 seconds per side. You’ll end up with perfectly rested, juicy meat and a nice crisp, sizzling crust.
Check out my piece on the importance of resting meat for more details.
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How Hot Should The Grill Be For Steak
Raichlen recommends establishing two cooking zones in your charcoal grill: one thats very hot for searing the steak, and one thats medium for finishing the steak and cooking it through.
On a gas grill, heat the grill to 450°F with two burners going, which should only take about 10 minutes, then turn one of the burners down to medium to create two cooking zones.
Not sure if the grill is hot enough? Raichlen’s tip is to hold your hand 3 inches above the grill grate and count “1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…” If you can only hold it there for a second or two, the grill is hot and you’re ready to cook.
I followed Raichlens advice, and started my steak in the hot zone, then moved it to the medium zone to finish cooking. It worked like a charm.
Barbecue Tips And Tricks
- To avoid losing juices during turning, always flip your meat or vegetables using tongs or a spatula, rather than a fork.
- Try to limit the flips. Ideally, you should flip each item once during the grilling process.
- Whatever you do, dont press down on burgers or chicken with a spatula while theyre grilling! This squeezes out the juices and once theyre gone theyre gone! If youre bored and need something to do with your hands, learn to juggle .
- For great smoky flavor, soak some wood chips in water for a while, then throw them onto your charcoal and cover the grill, or if youre using gas, put them into your smoker box following the manufacturers instructions.
- To infuse grilled foods with herb essence, toss herbs directly onto the charcoal while youre grilling. Or, if youre using a gas grill, soak the herbs in water, and place them on the grate before putting your food on top of them.
- If you want to baste your meat or vegetables, save this step for last. That way the sugars in ,your marinade or sauce wont have time to caramelize or burn.
- If this all sounds too complicated, or if its raining or cold outdoors, you can grill indoors with a contact grill or use a grill pan.
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How And When To Apply Bbq Sauce
Now is not the time to skimp on the BBQ sauce. A good sauce while grilling will help to lock in moisture and add tons of flavor. However, if you’re using a sweet sauce , wait to brush it on until the middle and end of cooking to prevent it from burning. Make sure to have some sauce set aside that is just for the grill and one just for serving, so you don’t cross-contaminate raw and ready-to-eat food.
Watch the video to see how to grill spice-rubbed baby back ribs over indirect heat, and how to brush on the barbeque sauce at the end before a quick final grill to finish them off.
How To Grill Chicken Breasts
Buying bone-in or boneless poultry will affect your grilling method.
Boneless: Grill five to six minutes per side. Go ahead and grill over direct heat to get the best sear, since theyll cook nice and quick they wont dry out unless you overcook them .
Bone-in: Grill 40 to 50 minutes, covered, over indirect heat, so the meat doesnt dry out over the long cooking time. Flip periodically to ensure even cooking.
Temperature when done: 165º F
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How Do You Cook A Filet Mignon On An Electric Grill
Cooking a filet mignon on an electric grill is definitely possible, even if it might be a challenge because of the thickness of the cut. Youll want to start by seasoning and marinating your steak. After two to four hours, youll take the steak out of the refrigerator and pre-heat your grill to about four seventy-five. From here, youll want to cook the steak for at least six minutes, flipping it once about halfway through. Check the temperature with a digital meat thermometer to determine when it is done.
How To Grill The Perfect Chicken Drumsticks
Along with the drumsticks, I grilled up some green and yellow zucchini. I use grill stones which is perfect for grilling up veggies. Seasoned grill stones are totally non stick and provide a flat grilling surface, making sure that the vegetables do not fall through the grate. These summer vegetables were tossed with oil, herbs, salt, pepper and they perfectly complemented the drumsticks.
One of the great things about grilling drumsticks is that even the most modest sized grill can cook many drumsticks at once. These are ideal for grilling parties as it is possible to grill enough at once to feed a big crowd. On top of that, adults and kids alike tend to love grilled drumsticks. Children love eating with their hands and drumsticks, with lots of sweet sauce, are always a hit.
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How To Grill Burgers
Form patties that are about 1/2 thick, with a light hand: overhandling burger patties makes the meat tough. Cook them over medium heat: hold your hand about four inches over the grill if you can keep it there for four to five seconds before pulling away, the grill is at medium temperature.
1/2 beef burger patties: Grill 5-7 minutes per side over medium heat.
Temperature when done: 160º F
What Culinary Problem Is This Method Solving
Without the searing high heat of the grill, wed be forced to cook with less heat and sacrifice flavor. Grilling meats and vegetables give a delicious boost to aroma and flavor because of caramelization when proteins and sugars undergo a transformation due to something called the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction that is responsible for food browning as it cooks. Think marshmallows, caramelized onions, and yes, that steak, too.
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Mistake #: You Didn’t Preheat The Grill
The Thinking:That fire is hella hot. It’s ready to cook on NOW.
The Reality: That fire might be producing plenty of radiant heatthat’s the infrared heat you can feel on your hand when you hold it above the grillbut the grill grates themselves are still relatively cool, which means that your food will not receive much conductive heatthe heat transferred directly by the grill grates. Rather than picking up dark, attractive grill marks and releasing easily, your food will stick to the metal. And meat sticking to metal is an actual chemical bond that is nearly impossible to cleanly break. Instead of coming up cleanly, your food tears and shreds.
The Fix: After your fire is lit, cover the grill and let it preheat for at least five to 10 minutes in order for the fire to transfer heat to the grill grates. With pre-heated grill grates, your food has much less of a chance of sticking as its proteins alter their shape before they even come in direct contact with the metal.
Hot grills are also easier to clean, which takes us to…
Using The Charcoal Rotisserie
Fits 57cm charcoal Weber barbecues.
N.B. If the barbecue is burning too hot, close the lid vent slightly.
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