By: Leanne Ely
One of my very favorite parts of hotter weather is the incessant use of the barbecue or grill as we call it in the South. Being able to cook everything over an open flame would be wonderful for all seasons, but for most of us, it’s confined to summer months. The key is using the grill in an understanding way so your food is always cued to perfection. So to do that, here are Five Easy Ways To Improve Your Grilling–
1—Some Like It Hot. When using a barbecue, whether it is gas or charcoal, it is imperative to preheat the grill. You cannot put the food on a cold grill and start that way for the same reasons you don’t stick food in an oven that hasn’t been preheated—it messes up the
cooking time and the way it should cook. Don’t do it!
2—Cool Tools. You just might want to check out your favorite hardware store so you can try some new fun barbecue implements. There are some wonderful grilling accessories that you just cannot live without. One is a hole-y wok. That’s right…big holes in a flat bottomed wok. I grilled the most incredible stir fried squash in one of those things. It was easy — sliced zucchini, summer squash and a little oil and garlic tossed together in the bowl got thrown into that wok and those vegetables were amazing. Think of the possibilities!
I also purchased a flat hole-y cookie sheet looking thing. That is how I cook my fish without losing it through the grill slats.
3—More Cool Tools. Don’t forget when you fire up the barby, you will be needing some good grilling tools. I use to use my kitchen spatula till the one day I burned the hair off my arm when I was turning chicken and that was enough to convince me. Use real grilling tools
and spend a few dollars on some nice ones. Lousy tools give you lousy results.
4—The Brush Off. Don’t forget to get a good wire brush to clean the grill, too. Keeping the grill immaculate will improve what you’re eating immensely. “Burning off” the old food only works to a degree—you need the brush!
5—Use Marinades. Marinades infuse themselves into foods and makes for a delicious choice for healthy cooking. Marinades also tenderize and turn even the most mundane piece of meat or poultry into something exotic and full of flavor.
To make your own marinades, remember you need these elements:
Oil: Any type will do, but I prefer a higher burning oil like sunflower or peanut oil.
Acid: You can use wine, citrus fruit or vinegar.
Seasonings: The world is wide open on this one—from your own special blend of herbs and spices to soy sauce, and everything in between.
Now go fire up that grill!