When you see blossoming trees, ceaseless rain, and rising temperatures, this means that summertime is just around the corner. While we all are already dreaming and drooling over the long sunny days and spending the time in our backyards, summers also mean the start of the barbecue season. Whether you are new to the world of grilling or an expert in preparing all sorts of grilling recipes, now is the best time to think of outdoor grilling possibilities for the months ahead. In this article, we will cover various aspects of roasting and provide you with some great tips.
What Is Grilling? Why Is It A Healthy Type Of Cooking?
There is a fact that will take you by surprise – there are many people that do not know what grilling means. Even if we have watched our parents do it for as long as we can remember, we were more concerned with the delicious food that was served on the table.
In the simplest sense, grilling can be defined as a dry and fast cooking method that uses a significant amount of radiant and direct heat. It means that while cooking in a griddle or pan uses direct conduction heating, this form of cooking uses thermal heating.
Roasting foods always taste better because the sugars and proteins turn brown, which creates extra flavor as well as provides beautiful coloration on the vegetables and meats. However, this browning can only happen if the temperatures rise more than 155 °C/310 °F.
Benefits Of Grilling
There are several reasons why grilling is healthy. Some of the grilling advantages include:
One of the most important advantages is that you use less fatty products, like butter and oil than traditional cooking methods. Additionally, excess fats from the foods melt away. For roasting, you just need to apply some healthy olive oil for ease of cooking and added flavor. Alternatively, you can also add some cooking spray to avoid the meat from sticking to the metal.
Grilling for vegans is the best aspect of this food group. When you cook vegetables like this, you do not have to do it for a long time, unlike conventional cooking methods. This way, the foods retain more natural nutrition. Most of the minerals, vitamins, and flavors are left behind when you stew or boil vegetables. In roasting, the color, flavor, and texture are maintained without losing their nutrients.
Better Social Activity
Apart from offering health benefits, it’s also considered to be a great mood lifter. Grilling is considered the best social activity of the summer season and provides an opportunity to entertain guests. A nice roasting session is a great time for togetherness and conversations.
Disadvantages of Grilling
While there are many more benefits, there are also some grilling disadvantages:
Requires Skill And Proficiency
It’s more than just placing the foods on the grill. It’s all about skills. You need to hone your eyes and nose to identify how you roast food. This is the first lesson on grilling for beginners. You need to be careful so that you do not end up overcooking or burning vegetables or meats.
Potential For Fire Hazard
It’s all about cooking with direct fire. You need to know which type of fuel you need to use. If left unsupervised, especially during a gathering, doing a barbecue can be a recipe for disaster. For beginners, there are a lot of aspects you need to know, like grilling what is medium heat, etc.
What Are The Different Types Of Grills?
If you decide to buy a brand new grill, you will find four types in the market. Each of these barbecue devices has its sets of advantages and disadvantages. Knowing about these will help you understand what is the healthiest grill to use:
They are considered the most popular type of frills for outdoor use. It offers a lot of conveniences. They can heat up quickly, and the ignition can be done with the push of a button. Thanks to the temperature control knobs, you will have more control over the heat. Most such products feature multiple burners to have various cooking zones – for instance, one zone can be used for heating the sauce while another can be used to sear the steaks.
Propane devices are the most common among gas grills. A single 20-lbs propane tank can be used for 25 hours of barbecue before having to be replaced. In natural gas products, you will have an unlimited supply as long as you have installed a gas line from your home to the grill; however, this will limit mobility. If you are looking for an item that is great for daily use and can be cleaned easily, gas products are a great option. You can easily find something like the top gas grills under 500.
They are known to deliver high-intensity heat and gives a smoky flavor to the dishes, whether you are grilling chicken, fish, or any other type of meat. These are also the least expensive and can be used for different cooking styles – for instance, you can roast the food, push the charcoal to one side, and use it to slow cook other foods.
Of course, the disadvantage of these products is that they can be very tricky to ignite the charcoal for fuel, especially if you are new to the world of doing barbecues. Additionally, there are no knobs in this product, so temperature regulation requires more skill and technique. Although some disadvantages compared to other types of products, charcoal grills add the most deliciousness to your dishes. If you are a barbecue purist, then you can think about purchasing a charcoal device.
They are becoming very popular these days. The hardwood pellets are the heat source for this grill and combine the best of both charcoal and gas products. Most of these grills are powered electrically – all you need to do is ignite the appliance with a power switch and set the variable temperature with the help of the knobs.
Pellet grills are known to give the food an irresistible hardwood smoked flavor. You need to fill the grill fills into the grill via the hopper to maintain the temperature. You do not require propane or natural gas since the grill can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet. However, one disadvantage is that pellet grills are a bit more expensive than other types of grills because of availability.
When it comes to user-friendly features and conveniences, you cannot simply beat electric grills. These appliances are fitted with almost every type of cooking mode so that you can cook all types of dishes at a single point. Additionally, they heat up very quickly when you plug them into a power source. You also do not require fuel, and they are very easy to cook and clean.
Due to their smaller sizes and the lack of fuel like gas and charcoal, electrical products are great options for people living in apartments and condos with limited outside space and safety restrictions. However, one downside of electric items is that they do not get as hot as other types, which is why you may have to forgo the smoky flavors of grilling meat.
What Is The Most Common Grilling Method?
In this section, we will see how grilling works. Depending on the type of grill you have, this is the most common grilling method:
For any type of product, except for an electric grill, you need a fuel source – it can be anything like charcoal, natural gas, wood pellets, etc. The type of fuel you use will affect the flavor of the dish. Whatever fuel you choose, ensure that it does not contain chemicals. You can also mix up the fuels for a unique flavor. In the case of charcoal, avoid any that smells like petroleum; the charcoal was likely used as an accelerator fuel.
Understandably, your grill needs to be hot; however, it should not be too hot! If the grill is too hot, you will not be able to stand anywhere near it, let alone cooking the dishes. The fire should just be enough that the flames die down when you are done cooking; the charcoal needs to be burned down coated in white ash. Additionally, you need to ensure that the seasoning is done well. There is no need for oil – if the temperature is right, the foods will not stick.
Understanding The Meat
The most important aspect of learning how to do a proper barbecue is to understand the role of collagen in meat. When you look into the muscles, there is not a lot of work to do – there are less collagen and connective tissues, which makes them tenderer. These cuts are known as prime cuts. On the other hand, cheaper cuts have more collagen and connective tissues, which is why they tend to be tougher.
If you want to turn a lump of tough collagen-rich meat into something tender and juicy, cook the meat in low and even heat. This will break down and dissolve the soft gelatin, which moistens the meat from the inside. Overall, cheap cuts are perfect for indirect and slow cooking, while prime cuts are often used for more direct and quick cooking.
Tempering And Seasoning
You need to take the meat out of the cold storage (refrigerator) and keep it at room temperature. This process is known as tempering. The ideal thickness of the meat needs to be at least 4-cm; this will allow you to get a good char on the outside while keeping the insides tender and juicy. This kind of cooking is not possible in thin meat pieces. Before seasoning, make sure the meat is dry.
Great Grilling Tips
Is grilling good to eat? Well, the answer depends on many factors. If you want to ensure that you have the best barbecue experience, ensure that you remember the following tips:
1. Prepare The Ingredients In Advance
Whether you are grilling bacon or vegetables, it is advised that you prepare the ingredients well in advance. It means that you need to chop the vegetables and marinate the meat before you can start cooking. This way, you will be more focused on cooking the dishes after the fire is lit up.
2. Do Not Start With The Cold Ingredients
You have to ensure that the ingredients are at the right temperature before you cook, bake, or roast them. Getting the ingredients right from the cold storage to the grill will cause uneven cooking. Additionally, the cooking time will also be longer, especially if you are grilling meat. Therefore, keep the ingredients and foods for some time at room temperature before starting with the prep.
3. Always Preheat The Grill
It is a widespread mistake committed by most people. Preheating the grill is very important if you want the dishes to have an even cook or prevent it from sticking to the grates. When you start the fire, leave the lid on for some time before you start the barbecue. It will ensure that the metal is scorching.
4. Use The Right Tools
You must have the right grilling equipment. It will keep you safe from unwanted burns and prevent your dishes from falling. Look for equipment like kitchen towels, a spatula with a long handle, metal tongs, and grilling aprons to protect your hands when dealing with the vents and lid. You also need to look into knowing what grilling barbecue appliance you want to use.
5. Dry The Meat
Whether you are grilling fish, chicken, or any other type of meat, you should dry them before doing the barbecue. If the meat is a bit damp, dry them with paper towels before seasoning them or adding spices.
From the above, we are hopeful that you now have a basic idea about grilling. With practice, you will understand how long grilling pork chops or any other meat or vegetable takes. Then, all you need to do is understand which grilling is good for you. With the right barbecue appliance, your work will be cut short substantially.
What’s your take on this? Would you add anything? Let us know in the comments!
Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson is a journalist and a blogger living in California and writing articles for different websites since 2015. She has a degree in medicine; hence she is covering everything related to health, wellness, etc., including motherhood and breastfeeding.