Fire Up the Grill:12 steps to grill Like a Pro
- Learn the difference between charcoal (pure carbon made from hardwoods) and briquettes (fine carbon compacted into a small brick). Charcoal, which gives off that barbecue smoke enthusiasts love, may burn faster than the briquettes, so keep that in mind when firing up the grill.
- Avoid the temptation to press down on your burger patties to speed up the cooking process. That just releases all the good juiciness, leaving you with a burger that’s dry.
- Don’t skimp on the charcoal. You’ll need a full chimney starter to fill up that grill.
- For delicate foods like fish, use oil on the grate or foil to keep it from sticking.
- Coals are ready for their close-up in the grill when covered in gray ash, not before.
- Spread out your coals or concentrate them to get different degrees of heat.
- Scrub the grill clean when it’s hot.
- Know the difference between a marinade, left, and a brine. Marinades use acids — like wine or lemon juice — to flavor and tenderize meat or vegetables. Brines are salt-water solutions used to moisturize, tenderize and flavor the meat.
- For small foods like scallions, use perforated aluminum foil to prevent them from falling through the grate.
- Perforated aluminum foil also works well for delicate foods like fish.
- Know the difference between barbecue (cooking meats on a low heat for long periods of time) and grilling (cooking meat and vegetables on a fast, high heat as shown in the photograph).
- Keep the grill closed to ensure an even temperature and that smoky flavor.