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home > grilling tips

Grilling Tips
Tips adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, June 2001

For a list of our grilling recipes, use any of the following three links:
Meat, Game and Fowl
To create your own grilling recipes, reference main ingredients with the grilling methods listed below, their seasonings, and accompaniments.

For definitions of grilling methods, scroll down or click here.

method season with serve with
FLANK STEAK direct grilling garlic, ginger and soy sauce grilled onions or scallions, steamed brown rice

BEEF RIBS indirect grilling salt, pepper and Chinese five-spice powder hoisin barbeque sauce and a slaw of bok choy, rice vinegar, and black mustard seeds

BEEF BRISKET indirect grilling a Texas spice rub of paprika, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper slices of white bread and hot, not-too-sweet barbeque sauce

VEAL CHOPS direct grilling a marinade of rosemary, garlic, lemon and olive oil arugula with grilled bell pepper salad and grilled mushrooms

PORK CHOPS direct grilling oregano and garlic buttered orzo and Greek salad

PORK SHOULDER indirect grilling salt, pepper, paprika and sugar; baste with North Carolina vinegar sauce North Carolina vinegar sauce, a hamburger bun and vinegared coleslaw

SAUSAGES direct grilling after simmering briefly in beer

nothing mustard and sauerkraut

FISH FILLETS direct grilling in a fish basket or on a fish grate cajun spices and hot sauce grilled garlic bread or pita bread, grilled zucchini

SHRIMP direct grilling Cajun spices and hot sauce red beans and rice

CLAMS AND OYSTERS  direct grilling just until shells open nothing wasabi whipped cream, green salad and crusty bread

direct grilling on a vegetable grate sesame oil, salt and pepper Chinese mustard aioli

Direct grilling means cooking the food right above the fire. Use this method for meats and veggies that are thin and tender, i.e. steaks, burgers, sliced vegetables, fish fillets. Direct grilling is typically done over medium-high to high heat.

Indirect grilling is used for tougher or larger cuts of meat or whole birds, i.e. racks of ribs, beef briskets, legs of lamb. Directly grilling these meats would burn the exterior before the center gets hot.
For a charcoal grill, rake the hot coals into two piles at opposite sides of the grill. Place a foil drip pan between them. For extra smoke and/or for additional flavor, toss wood chips on the coals. Install the grate and place the food in the center, over the drip pan. Cover the grill and adjust the vents to obtain a temperature of 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit—use an oven thermometer if your grill doesn't have its own. After an hour, add 12 fresh coals to each side, leaving the grill uncovered until the coals light.

For a two-burner gas grill, preheat one burner to high and place the food above the other. For a three- or four-burner gas grill, light the outside burners and cook the food in the center. If the grill has a smoker box, put wood chips in it. If not, wrap them loosely in foil, poke holes in the top and place the package above one burner.
Three-zone grilling is a more sophisticated form of direct grilling, useful for regulating heat on a charcoal grill. Rake half the hot coals into a double layer at one side of the grill to make a high-heat zone. Rake the remaining coals into a single layer on the grill's center; this is the moderate-heat zone. Leave a portion of the grill without any coals at all for cooking over low heat (or stopping something from burning).

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