The 4th of July has come and gone, but that hasn't quelled interest in doing most of your cooking outdoors in the form of barbeque grilling that centers on anything from a few pieces of chicken to an entire feast that features hot dogs, hamburgers and even fish.
Grilling is a unique experience for the masses given the fact that most who undertake this endeavor truly believe that they're an expert in the process or go into it with an "anyone can do it" mentality.
You have a grill, heat and meat.
Certainly, figuring out the rest can't be that difficult, right?
As much as grilling can be simplified, the process itself is quite taxing and starts with selecting a grill that best suits your needs as far as space and heating element. The popular choice is the gas grill, although charcoal grills gain plenty of steam due to the fact that they're priced less than their counterpart.
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Charcoal grills can be a little more difficult to handle because you really can't control the heat. Those who opt to take the charcoal route have to be especially adept at keeping a close eye on everything they put on the grill at all times. The charcoal grill isn't one you can just walk away from and forget about for a few hours.
The gas grill is more of a friend to the ones who spend a little more but get the peace of mind to know that they can control the flames, rather than watch them flourish without any say so on what is going on under the hood of that grill.
Once you have the grill you want, the cooking is set to begin. A huge misstep most cooks who step outside the kitchen make is cooking on too high of a flame and burning the meat on the outside, while the inside stays exceptionally raw. That's where watching the grill comes into play, particularly with the charcoal ones.
Another easy test when you're cooking steak or chicken is using a fork and the twist method. Stick a fork in that chicken to see if it's done and twist. If the meat tears and shreds, then it's done. It's always important with any grilled item to cook it on a low heat to avoid burning it on the outside. You should wait until you're just about done cooking to turn the heat up accordingly.
Steaks are a little tougher sledding, and you might want to consider searing the steak first and then cooking it on a low heat for a little longer than the chicken and definitely the hot dogs.
Nothing smells, or tastes, quite as good as food from the grill, but going about it the wrong way could be disastrous and have you reaching for the take out menu when all you really wanted was a nice night of barbeque.
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