It’s that time of year when winter has loosened its frosty grip on us all and summer has finally decided to bless us with some sun and heat. This is the time when the guys start suggesting that they eat outside.
Thousands of men who would never normally venture into the kitchen are dragging out their grills and coolers full of ice-cold beer, and are cooking up a storm.
For those of us who aren’t experienced grill-masters, however, If you aren't an experienced grill-meister, however, the appeal of cooking and eating outdoors might accompanied by the fear of setting your house on fire, hospitalizing half the family with a not-so-healthy dose of botulism or, even worse, looking incompetent.
Grilling doesn’t need not be such a minefield. Just follow the 10 commandments of the grill below and you are guaranteed to not only produce great food but also have the time to enjoy your beer, all while looking like a grilling god in front of your peers.
Of course, investing in a Lousiana Grill that is designed to take the guesswork out of grilling, can make even the newest newcomer to grilling a pit master in no time. Louisiana Grills are designed to look good so they make you look good!
1. Thou Shalt Be Safe
The first thing you should have in mind when cooking outdoors should always be of fire safety. Place your grill well away from any buildings and make sure the ground is clear of any potentially flamable debris. Have an extinguisher, a bucket of water, or a garden hose close by in case of emergencies, and a spray bottle of water in case of flare-ups on your grill.
Be safe with your food preparation as well. Do not bring food from the fridge until ready to cook. Keep any raw meat covered to protect it from dirt, flies and other insects. Always use a different plate for raw and cooked foods.
2. Thou Shalt Be Smart
Be savvy, in terms of equipment and the food you buy. Impressive as they might be, unless you are cooking for an army and have lots of space, the large grills are not going to prepare food any more efficiently than a regular sized grill. Select the grill that will meet your needs most of the time, and that fits within your budget. Be wise about the food you buy. If you're new to grilling, it's probably best to steer away from luxury items like lobster and expensive cuts of meat. If you overcook them, it's a rather expensive lesson. It's best to become proficient with your grill using cheaper cuts, such as pork chops, chicken or hamburger. Your family and friends will enjoy it just as much, and you can practice before moving on to filet mignon and lobster tails.
3. Thou Shalt Prepare
The French have a fraise, mise en place, which literally means, "everything in it's place. If you take the time to prepare all your raw food in advance and lay it out along with all the other equipment you'll need, the whol process of throwing a barbecue party will go much more smoothly. Bring your food out only when you're ready -- you'll be able to spend more time talking to your guests and being a host.
4. Thou Shalt Clean
The first thing you need to do, before you start preparing food on your grill is make sure it is clean. Make sure you remove any food debris at the end of each grilling session. If you forgot or were enjoying your company to much to bother last time, make sure you clean and oil the grates of the grill before cooking again. If you don't, the old debirs will burn and cover your food in acrid, unpleasant smoke.
With Louisiana Grills, this is a simple process. Just turn the heat up to 425o F. and let it burn for at least 10 minutes. Then scrape the grates with a grill brush to clean of any remaining buts. Oil the grates by folding a paper towel 4 times and soaking it with cooking oil, wipe this over the grates and, of course, all your utinsels so that nothing sticks.
5. Thou Shalt Preheat
Regardless of what type of fuel your grill uses, it can take up to 30 minutes to bring your grill up to heat. The Louisiana Grills make life much easier for you with the added Digital Control Center that is standard with all grills. With the Digital Control Center, you simply set your desired temperature, hit start, and the grill starts to feed pellets into the burn pot. In a few minutes the igniter will start the pellets burning and in no time your grill will be up to heat. When your desired temperature is reached, the Digital Control Center will automatically begin to control the pellet feed and ensure the temperature you've set is maintained.
6. Thou Shalt Marinate
There are two basic reasons for marninating. First, acids like vinegar or citrus can help break down the meat so it becomes tender. Second, adding spices and other seasonings will make the end result more flavorful. You can marinate meat a few hours or overnight, depending on the cut and recipe. Fish and seafood, however, should only be marinated for a short time or it will be mushy.
7. Thou Shalt Trim
When it comes to cooking meat, fat is usually your friend. Without fat, pork chops, steaks and even burgers end up being nothing more than slabs of very dry meat with no flavor. On the other hand, if you have to much fat on your meat before grilling, it can drip onto the burn plate, causing flare-ups which can burn the meat. Trimming off any excess fat before grilling is always best.
8. Thou Shalt Season
Although it's always best to purchase the best ingredients available, sometimes the budget just won't stretch that far beyond chicken or steaks at the supermarket. That's where seasoning comes in. Even just using a sprinkling of salt and pepper can really bring out the flavor. Of course, you can go further and add spices and rubs that will enhance the flavor even more. Louisiana Grills has a selection of 18 different spices in two different sizes to help you create tasty dishes with even the least expensive meats.
9. Thou Shalt Grease
Greasing the grates before placing items of food on the grill prevents it from sticking, which is particularly important if you are cooking more delicate items like fish, or seafood. The safest way to do this is to take a double layer of kitchen paper towel, fold it over on itself four times, dip this in cooking oil and rub it along the grates using a pair of tongs.
10. Thou Shalt Time>
The best advice for cooking on the grill is to use the "60/40" method, allowing 60% of the time on one side and then flipping for the remaining 40% of the time. Remember to rotate the food on the grates to get cross-hatched grill marks and to rest your food before serving to allow the juices to settle.