A Better Grilling ExperienceThe key to the perfect barbecuing experience is great timing. Unfortunately, it’s easy to overcook or char your grade A cuts if you are burrowing through your drawers for utensils. Plus running to and from your grill extends the cooking process and cuts down time to enjoy with your loved ones. Preparation is the common ground for both grilling experts and enthusiastic amateurs alike. So make sure you have everything you need by revising the list below.
- A Cleaning Brush - If you are grilling for a large crowd, having a cleaning brush nearby is essential when you swap out meats and vegetables to eliminate the residual buildup.
- BBQ toolset with a long reach and quality grips-Keep your forearms sear free. Get the reach and versatility you need from a quality BBQ toolset.
- Frying Needs - Have a quality pot and strainer handy to easily fry and serve your fried foods.
- Spices - Are your spices near the grill and easily accessible?
- Sauces - Are your sauces near the grill and easily accessible?
- Basting Brush- A quality basting brush is a grill master’s best friend for quick and easy sauce application. Having several basting brushes allows you to postpone cleaning and not worry about mixing the flavors if you are using multiple sauces.
- Extra Propane or Charcoal. - If you are grilling for a large crowd, remember to have backup fuel handy. Keep an extra tank of propane or a bag of charcoal on the side to avoid having to run to the store.
- Cooking/ Meat Thermometers - For the best cooking results, cook your meats with a Cooking or Meat Thermometer. This method is more exact and can be used in combination with a traditional timer.
- Timer - A timer is a great way to monitor the cooking progress of your meats. It will help you remember to check with the thermometer.
- Plan ahead - If you are cooking for a large crowd and your warming rack is too small stow all of your meats, plan out your cooking times. Start with the meats that have longer cook times and end with the ones that require less time. Also, if your platters don’t have lids, make sure you have plenty of aluminum foil to keep everything hot.
- Lighting - For moonlight parties, make sure you have a grill light and a flashlight handy. This will facilitate reading the temperature on your thermometer and the flashlight will help in case you drop something in the grass.
Using a Meat Thermometer
Simply insert the thermometer through the fat side of the meat, being careful not to touch bone. Bone conducts heat faster and will give you a false reading. The sensing area of thermometers is approximately 1 inch to 2 inches long and this area must be completely inserted in the thickness area of the meat.
- Rare - 125 degrees F
- Medium Rare – 130 degrees F
- Medium – 135 degrees F
- Poultry: Insert it in the inner thigh area near the breast of the bird, making sure to not touch bone.
- Red meat, roasts, steaks or chops: Insert in the center of the thickest part, away from bone, fat, and gristle.
- Ground meat and poultry: Place in the thickest area of meat loaf.
Using CharcoalIt is important to remember that heat generated from coal must be carefully monitored. It is best to use a low temperature to keep the meat tender. However, you can increase the temperature to medium or high depending on your recipe or cut of meat.
The following tips will help make your grilling experience more enjoyable.
- Lightly oil the cooking grates with vegetable oil before cooking, so that food does not stick to them.
- You can use a chimney starter or electric starter to light the charcoal fire. Before you start cooking, make sure the briquettes turn to a white color.
- Close the lid, lid vent, ventilation dampers on the bowl to extinguish the charcoal. When the charcoal has cooled down, transfer it into a metal container. Submerge the charcoal in water if necessary.
- Allow grill and ash to cool down completely. Then make sure to empty the accumulated ash on the bottom. Do this after each use.
- Always store charcoal briquettes in a dry place. Moist briquettes are very difficult to burn.
Using your Rotisserie Kit
Roasting with your Rotisserie Kit is a great way to cook whole chicken, and roasts evenly, giving them a golden color. The ceramic Rotisserie Burner on the back panel of your firebox (available on certain models only) creates an even heat source to ensure thorough cooking. This burner can be used by itself or in combination with your tube burners to create a higher temperature.Here are steps that will help you with the rotisserie:
- Install your motor and motor support before turning on the grill.
- Turn your Rotisserie on high, close the lid, and allow the grill to heat as you prepare the meat.
- Truss whole poultry with food safe Cotton Butcher's Twine to keep the wings and drumsticks from flopping around.
- Insert the rotisserie forks into the meat before sliding everything onto the rod.
- Open the lid and carefully insert the rod into the motor, making sure the roller on the opposite extremity is sitting in the slot on the side panel.
- Close the lid and turn on the motor.
Cleaning UpCleaning food residue
Residue builds up fast and just gets tougher to clean if neglected. Burning off the grill after every use (approx. 15 minutes) will keep excessive food residue from building up. If you clean your grill before and after cooking will ward off nasty residue.
Recommended cleaning materials: Mild dishwashing liquid detergent Hot water
Nylon cleaning pad Wire brush
Paper clip Putty knife/scraper
DO NOT use cleaners that contain acid, mineral spirits or xylene.
Maintaining Outside surfaces
The exterior appearance of your grill is just as important to maintain as the interior. Use a dishwashing detergent and hot water solution to clean and rinse thoroughly with water to keep your BBQ looking like new.
Maintaining Inside Surfaces
Cleaning the Inside of the lid
It is important to remember to clean the inside of your lid as well. If the inside surface of the grill lid has the appearance of peeling paint, baked on grease has turned to carbon and is flaking off. Clean thoroughly with a strong solution of detergent and hot water. Rinse with water and allow it to dry completely.
Cleaning the Inside of the firebox - Keep the firebox clean to minimize grease flare ups and extend the life of your grill. Remove residue using brush, scraper and/or cleaning pad. Wash with a dishwashing detergent and hot water solution. Rinse with water and dry.
Cleaning your Cooking Grates - The porcelain grates should be handled with care. Use a dishwashing detergent or a baking soda and hot water solution. Non-abrasive scouring powder can be used on stubborn stains. Rinse with water. If you need to scrub them, use a nylon brush to gently remove residue.
Cleaning your Heat Plates - Residue from acidic or salty marinades will eat away at your heat plates. So keep them clean. Use a wire brush, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. After drying them, spreading a thin coat of vegetable oil on them before storage will help maintain them.
Cleaning your Grease Cup - Keep an eye on your grease cup. Although this doesn’t need to be cleaned as often as your other parts, periodically empty the grease cup and clean with a dishwashing detergent and hot water solution.
Covering Your Grill
Taking good care of your grill is the key to keeping it looking like new. There is no better way to protect your grill from the elements than investing in a quality cover. So protect your BBQ whenever it’s not in use to keep it looking great all year round.
If you need a grill cover for your grill, visit the My Grill section, find your grill and click on the Accessories tab.