What could be better on a gorgeous summer evening than the aroma of something sizzling on the grill?
(Scroll down for recipes!)
Start with a clean grill. After heating, use a grill brush to remove charred bits.
Direct and Indirect Heat
Grilling uses two different cooking methods: direct and indirect heat. With direct heat cooking, food is placed on the cooking rack directly over hot coals. Indirect heat is used for more delicate foods, and for the longer cooking times needed for larger cuts of meat. Always cover the grill when using indirect heat.
Gauging the Grill Temperature
Learning the temperature of the grills is the only trick in direct heat grilling. If you use a gas grill, pay attention to the heat settings. On a charcoal grill (if you’re very careful), you can check the temperature by holding your hand, palm down, over the coals at the cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand there before you have to pull it away.
5 seconds – Low
4 seconds – Medium
3 seconds – Medium High
2 seconds – High
Summer will be over before you know it, so grab your tongs, and get grillin’!
- Keep food from sticking by rubbing grill with vegetable oil or cooking spray. You can soak a paper towel with cooking oil and use tongs to hold the paper towel.
- Leave space around each food item on the grill to allow for even cooking and smoke penetration.
- Turn meat just once on the grill. For steaks, turn them when the juices start to bubble on the uncooked side (the clearer the juice, the more well done the meat).
- Use tongs to turn meat, rather than a meat fork, to avoid piercing and losing juices.
- Apply sauces containing honey, brown sugar or molasses during the last 10 minutes to prevent the sauce from burning.
- To avoid flare-ups, trim the excess fat from meat. Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy to extinguish flare-ups.
- Bring foods to a cool room temperature before grilling. Cold foods may burn on the outside before the interior is cooked.
- Marinades add flavor to meats and vegetables, and help tenderize less tender cuts of meat. If marinade is also to be used for a dipping sauce, reserve some before adding uncooked foods.
- The secret to evenly cooked vegetable kabobs is to parboil solid or starchy vegetables before they are threaded onto skewers for grilling.
- You can wrap some veggies in foil and cook them on the grill, though remember that foods wrapped in foil should be turned often to prevent burning and assure even cooking.
2 medium zucchinis, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat a grill.
- Place zucchini on a pie plate. Drizzle oil and balsamic over the zucchini slices and turn until they are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn again.
- Grill for 2-3 minutes over a medium hot grill or until browned. Turn using tongs and grill the other side until grill marked and lightly browned. Remove from grill and serve immediately.
Grilled Halloumi Cheese
Halloumi is a firm cheese made from goat's milk. It comes from Cyprus, and is perfect for grilling or frying.
1/2 pound Halloumi cheese
optional: lemon wedges
- Slice the Halloumi into 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick slabs.
- Brush each side of the cheese slices with olive oil.
- Turn on the grill to medium-high heat. Place the slices of cheese directly on the grill.
- Grill until lightly browned and grill marked. Flip and grill other side.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Tastes wonderful with crusty bread, tomatoes, and green salad. Makes a perfect, quick summer supper.
You can also pan fry halloumi. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the cheese and fry for 3 minutes on each side.
Spiced Grilled Chicken Breasts
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon paprika
sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Heat a grill to medium. Season the chicken with the paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Oil the grill using an oil soaked piece of paper towel held with tongs and grill until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side