Grilling is the best form of summer cooking and there is no denying that. However, grilling can be intimidating, especially for those who have not done it before. The good news is that it is not that difficult to master, as long as you are aware of what should and shouldn’t be done. Ido Fishman, being an expert, has given some insight into the art of grilling and how you can master it:
- Preheating the grill
It is important for you to preheat the grill for about 20 minutes before you begin cooking. This will assist you in achieving a deep smoky flavor and dark grill marks.
- Don’t slather the grates with oil
According to Ido Fishman, one of the biggest mistakes that people make when grilling is to oil the grates. Instead of doing so, it is better to brush the item you are grilling with a thin coat of oil. This will prevent it from sticking to the grill and there will be no dangerous flare-ups. In addition, if grates are heavily oiled, they can also burn, which can make clean-up a problem. Therefore, it is better to oil the food rather than the grill.
- Adjust the air vent on the charcoal grill
There are two vents on most charcoal grills; one at the top and another at the bottom. The latter controls how much oxygen is released to the fire, so it is like a heat control. The more it is opened, the hotter the grill. The top one, on the other hand, is left open to allow the air to flow. Closing the top one will cause the fire to die. Ido Fishman recommends closing both vents to kill the flame quickly.
- Work with the hot spots
Nearly every grill has its cold and hot spots, which means that some areas of the grill are very cold and some are hot. Ido Fishman suggests that you place a row of sliced bread on the preheated grill to find the hot spots. The ones that burn the bread quickly will be it and you can start most foods on these areas before shifting them to the cooler part, so the outside is charred perfectly and the inside cooks evenly and slowly.
- Don’t over marinate the meat
You can infuse proteins with flavor with marinating and tenderize them, but if you over marinate, it will toughen the meat and result in denaturing. This means that proteins will lose their structure.
- Avoid burning your skewers
Bamboo is used for making most of the skewers and they can burn quite easily. The Ido Fishman blog recommends that you soak the skewers in water for about half an hour before grilling. You can also purchase metal skewers and avoid the soaking process altogether.
- Don’t open the grill
Similar to how it is with an oven, opening the grill will result in a significant temperature drop. Grills cook from the top and the bottom and opening the lid frequently will result in food that’s undercooked on top and burnt from the bottom. It is best not to open the lid when you are cooking.
- Brush the meat with sweet sauces at the end
There are some sweet sauces, such as teriyaki and barbecue, which have a high sugar content, thereby making them prone to burning. With these sauces, it is best to wait until the last few minutes to brush them on the meat. It takes them a minute or two to caramelize, so Ido Fishman doesn’t recommend brushing them on too early.
- Don’t drench the charcoal in lighter fluid
Use a chimney starter to light your charcoal and stay away from the lighter fluid. The latter can add an unwanted flavor to the food, so it is a good idea to steer clear of it altogether.
With these tips by Ido Fishman, you can make great progress in learning the art of grilling.