Marinating Know How III

When marinating meat to grill, try to let it soak for a 1-4 hours before cooking.  If you are using acid based marinade, it can actually start breaking down the texture of the meat if you let it sit in the marinade for longer than 4 hours.  Acid based marinades would be marinades that include vinegar, lemon juice, or wine.

When grilling the marinated meat, apply extra coats of the marinade just before turning.  Do not add any more marinade during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Throw out any marinade that you have left over. Do not ave and re-use marinade for another meal if it has already come in contact with raw meat.

Charcoal Grilling

You have a new charcoal grill that you want to cook with, but how do you use it and take care of it properly? Here are a few tips to help you out the first time you are grilling.

To start, remove the lid from your grill and remove the top cooking racks.  Make sure that all of the vents are wide open.

Place 2 pieces of newspaper in the bottom of the grill, crumpling it well.  Set your chimney starter on top of the newspaper. Place the briquets inside the chimney.  Light the paper on fire, and allow to heat up until the coals have a light coating of ash, usually about 20 minutes.

Wearing protective gloves, carefully lift the chimney and pour the coals onto the fire grate.  Carefully spread the coals where you want them. Full coverage for total grill cooking, or off to one side for indirect heating

Replace the cooking grate and close the lid. Allow to heat for a few minutes.  Using a wire brush, clean off any buildup from the grate.

Place the lid on the grill and adjust the top vents to control your heat. Open more for hotter cooking and closed more for cooler cooking. (keep bottom vents full open or your coals will die out)

Start your cooking process. Don’t forget to add more coals 20 minutes before you need them, as it can take at least that long for them to reach full temp.

When you are done cooking, open all vents and let the charcoal burn out. Let the grill cool down. Pour your ashes into a non combustible container.

I use my ashes in the garden, so after placing my ashes in the bucket,  I then fill the bucket with water (to make sure to put out any embers) then pour onto my garden.

Gas Grill Guru

You have a gas grill, but do you use it properly?

Before you start cooking, check your propane and make sure that you have plenty for what you are cooking. Nothing is worse than running out of propane half way through cooking.

Raise the lid of the grill before turning on the propane. Once the propane is on ignite your burners. If the burner does not ignite right away, turn it off and wait a few minutes for the gas to dissipate.

Once it is lit, close the lid and wait for the grill to heat up. During this process you will also heat up the grills. Once they are hot, give them a quick clean off with a wire brush to clear off any left over debris.

Take a paper towel and soak it well with vegetable oil. Using a pair of tongs, coat all of the grates with the vegetable oil to prevent sticking.

Set the temperature for what you are cooking and close the lid. Make sure that you close the lid for at least 10 minutes before you start cooking.

When you place your food on the grill, have it ready to go before you open the lid. Open the lid for as short of time as possible and close the lid quickly.

Once you are done cooking, make sure that you turn all knobs to the off position and shut off the propane tank valve.

If you live near salt water you are going to want to get a cover for your grill to protect it from corroding salt air.

Sticky Grill

When grilling meat, sometimes it sticks to the grill even though you cleaned the grill thoroughly and oiled it well.

When grilling items that do not have any external spices or marinades, try spraying the meat with non-stick cooking spray before you place on the grill.

It will not only help keep it from sticking, but it will also help keep the meat from drying out.

When you go to turn it, if it still appears to be sticking, let it cook for a few more minutes until you can lift it with out any resistance.

Marinating Know How II

When marinating meat to grill, try to only marinate for a 1-4 hours before cooking.

If you are using acid based marinade, it can actually start breaking down the texture of the meat if you let it sit in the marinade for longer than 4 hours.

Acid based marinades would be marinades that include vinegar, lemon juice, or wine.

When grilling the marinated meat, apply extra coats of the marinade just before turning.

Do not add any more marinade during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Toss any marinade that you have left over. Do not re-use marinade for another meal if it has come in contact with meat.

Grilled Corn

During the summer and late fall, corn is in abundance at the corner fruit stands and grocery stores. Everyone knows how to boil an ear of corn, but a great way to prepare corn is often overlooked. I grill mine year round. The house doesn’t get hot with the boiling water and steam and it gives the corn a great nutty flavor that you just can’t get any other way.

About 2 hours before you are ready to grill the corn, remove all of the husks except one layer. This will protect the corn from getting singed. Place the corn into a large tub filled with salt water. (1tbs salt per gallon) Let soak for 2 hours. This will help keep the corn from drying out as much while grilling.

Prepare your grill and preheat the coals to medium hot. Place the corn directly from the water onto the grill. Cook for 15-20 minutes turning often to prevent scorching.

When the corn is done, remove from the grill and using potholders or clean cloth gloves to protect your hands from the heat, remove the remaining husk and silk from the corn. Serve piping hot with herbed butter.

Flank Steak Help

If you have cooked flank steak before and you found that the edges keep curling up on you, try this the next time that you are preparing one.

Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the steak with diagonal slits making a diamond design.

Do this to the front and the back of the steak before seasoning.

Also make a few slits in any fat that is around the outside edges of the steak.

These cuts will also help to tenderize the steak.

Grilling/Roasting Various Steaks

When grilling meat on a barbeque it is usually a mystery as to how long to cook it for. The best way to tell doneness is to check the internal temperature. Invest in a good meat thermometer. I found one that is cordless so I can stick the probe in the meat and carry the unit around the house with me and it will beep when it is almost done and give updates on temperature. There are many varieties on the market so find one that works for you.

Here is a quick list of different types of meat and their temperature.

Turn each item over once about half way through the cooking time with a spatula or tongs. Don’t use a fork as it will pierce the meat and cause juices to escape that will leave the meat dry.

Don’t forget to remove the meat from the cooking source when the temperature reaches about 5º below the doneness level. As the meat sits before serving it will continue to cook a bit.

Flank Steak, Beef (¾ inch thick) is generally served medium at 150º. Cook for 12-14 minutes over medium coals, turning once about half way through the cooking time.

Chuck, Blade, Top Round Steak (1 inch thick) can be cooked to 140º – Rare 14-16 minutes, 150º medium for 18-20 minutes, 170º well done for 22-24 minutes, cook over medium coals, turning once about half way through the cooking time.

Chuck, Blade, Top Round Steak (1 ½ inch thick) can be cooked to 140º – Rare 19-26 minutes, 150º medium for 27-32 minutes, 170º well done for 33-38 minutes. Cook over medium coals, turning once about half way through the cooking time.

Top Loin, Tenderloin, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Sirloin, Rib and Ribeye Steaks (1 inch thick) can be cooked to 140º – Rare 8-12 minutes, 150º medium for 12-15 minutes, 170º well done for 16-20 minutes. Cook over medium hot coals, turning once about half way through the cooking time.

Top Loin, Tenderloin, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Sirloin, Rib and Ribeye Steaks (1 ½ inch thick) can be cooked to 140º – Rare 14-18 minutes, 150º medium for 18-22 minutes, 170º well done for 24-28 minutes. Cook over medium hot coals. Veal Chops (1 inch thick) are generally served medium 150º to well done 170º for 19-23 minutes over medium coals.

Lamb Chops (1 inch thick) are generally served rare 140º for 10-14 minutes or medium 150º for 14-16 minutes over medium hot coals.

Pork Blade Steak (½ inch thick) is generally served at 170º well done for 10-12 minutes over medium hot coals.

Pork Chops (¾ inch) are generally served at 150º medium to 170º well done for 12-14 minutes over medium hot coals.

Ground Patties made of Beef, Lamb, or Pork (3/4 inch, about 4 per pound) are generally cooked to medium150º for 12-14 minutes or well done 170º for 15-18 minutes.

Grilling Veggies

When grilling your dinner, you don’t always want to muss up the kitchen with the side dishes.

You can easily grill frozen vegetables to accompany your grilled creations.

Using heavy-duty aluminum foil, tear off a piece twice as large as a package of frozen vegetables of your choice.

Gently pull up the edges of the foil to create the bottom of your “dish”.

Pour in your frozen vegetables and season to taste with salt, pepper, and butter.

Fold foil over in half and roll all the edges together forming a packet.

Do not press out all the air. You want to leave a pocket for steaming.

Place directly on the grill over Med/Hot coals.

Grill for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the vegetables that you are grilling, turning often.

Roasting/Grilling Pork

It is always hard to decide how to cook a cut of meat, and how to tell when it is done. Usually with meat, doneness is determined by internal temperature. Invest in a good meat thermometer. My husband found one that is cordless so I can stick the probe in the meat and carry the unit around the house with me and it will beep when it is almost done and give updates on temperature. There are many varieties on the market so find one that works for you.

Don’t forget to remove the meat from the cooking source when the temperature reaches about 5º below the doneness level. As the meat sits before serving it will continue to cook a bit.

Pork is generally cooked to 160ºF (med well)-170ºF (well done) in a 325º F oven.

2-4 pound Single Loin Boneless Top Loin Roast 1-1 ½ hours to roast in the oven, or 1-1 ¼ hours to grill over indirect heat.

3-5 pounds Double Loin, Tied Boneless Top Loin Roast will roast for 1¾-2½ hours in the oven, or 1¼ -2½ hours to grill over indirect heat.

2-4 pounds Loin Back Ribs or Spareribs (Roast at 350º) 1½ -1 ¾ hours (well done) or 1¼- 1½ hours to grill over indirect heat.

2-4 pounds Country Style Ribs (Roast at 350º) 1½-2 hours (well done), or grill over indirect heat for the same amount of time.

3-4 pounds Loin Blade or Sirloin Roast 1 ¾-2 ½ hours to roast in the oven, or grill over indirect heat for the same amount of time.

3-5 pounds Loin Center Rib Roast 1½-2½ hours to roast in the oven or 1¼-2½ hours to grill over indirect heat.

6-8 pounds Rib Crown Roast 2–3½ hours to roast in the oven, or grill over indirect heat for the same amount of time.

¾ to 1 pound Tenderloin (Roast at 425ºF) 25-35 minutes to roast in the oven, or 30-45 minutes to roast over indirect heat.