Grilling has been an American tradition since the 1950’s when grills were first mass-produced for homeowners. This favorite summer pastime is about more than just cooking – it’s about entertaining, relaxing and reconnecting with family and friends. Follow these tips for your best grilling experience yet.
- Preheat the grill to high, and allow time for the grates to get very hot, about 10 minutes. When you’re ready to cook, adjust the heat according to your recipe. This is the secret to achieving beautiful grill marks.
- After preheating the grill, clean the grates using a long-handled brush with stiff, stainless steel bristles.
- Keep the lid closed. The lid will retain the heat, cooking the food evenly on both sides and giving it a smoky flavor. All fires need a little air to keep burning, so be sure to open the lid vent at least halfway.
The grilling possibilities are endless, from traditional burgers to pineapples to pizzas and even cakes. Don’t stop with the traditional meat and veggies. Here are two foods that you should be grilling:
- Fruit: Grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in fruit, intensifying the flavor. Try grilling berries until they burst, creating a sweet, warm mixture to top angel food cake or ice cream.
Related Recipe: Balsamic and Ginger-Glazed Plums
- Corn: Soak corn in cold water (with the husks on) for 5 minutes. Grill 12 minutes or until the corn is tender.
Related Recipe: Mexican Street Corn
Try these unique ways to use your grill:
- Use a grill-proof wok to bring a unique, smoky flavor to stir-fry.
- Use a grill-proof griddle for cooking vegetables and toasting bread or buns.
- Use a grill-proof pizza stone to cook crisp pizzas in just 5 minutes.
Follow this basic guide to cooking times:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: 8 to 12 minutes over direct medium heat
- New York strip, porterhouse, rib-eye or filet mignon steaks: 6 to 10 minutes over direct high heat (depending on thickness)
- Pork chops: 8 to 10 minutes over direct medium heat
- Fish fillets: 5 to 10 minutes over direct high heat (depending on thickness)
- Whole bell peppers: 10 to 15 minutes over direct medium heat
- Pineapple slices: 4 to 8 minutes over direct medium heat
Save time during grilling by prepping ingredients while the grill preheats. Avoid overcrowding the grill, which can also increase the cooking time.