Fire Up the Grill - Great Grilling
Summertime is almost here and nothing beats a backyard
barbecue. It's time for you to become the backyard barbecue expert in your
family. There are basically 2 types of grills, gas or charcoal. You can make
great food on either type of grill, it is basically a matter of personal
preference and your intended usage.
Gas grills (usually fueled by propane) are the favorite of
many American homes. They offer steady, adjustable heat and can be ready to use
in about 10 minutes compared to charcoal grills that can take about 30 minutes.
There are several advantages to charcoal grilles making them a good choice for
the beginner. They are usually cheaper than gas grills and in my opinion the
food tastes better. This is caused as the fat and juices hits the coals, giving
it a more distinctive flavor.
Some things to look for when buying a charcoal grill are, a
holder for the lid, a hinged grill rack to make it easier for you add more fuel
if needed to the fire, an ash collector that can be removed and a temperature
gauge in the lid. For a gas grill look for for 3 burners for added flexibility
(best for indirect grilling and smoking) and the most rack area, especially if
you expect to be cooking for large crowds. Try to get a gas grill that offers
33,000 BTU's for the best searing potential. Expect to get about 15 hours
(average) of cooking time from a standard 20 lb. cylinder.
Direct heat grilling is the most standard way to grill. When
using charcoal your coals should be about 2 coals deep and a couple of inches
wider than the food on the grill rack. Foods should not be crowded on either
type of grill for the best browning and to allow the food to cook evenly. Foods
will also cook more evenly with the lid closed. This will also allow for a
slower burn if you are using wood chips to smoke and season the food.
If you intend to smoke your food, mesquite is used
traditionally with southwestern food and has a medium intensity of flavor. Oak
is classically used with red meats and adds a wonderful smoky flavor. Woods like
cherry or apple have a sweet smoky flavor and compliments poultry or seafood.
Before using woods to smoke your food, soak the wood for at least 20 minutes in
water before adding to the fire. If using a gas grill, you can buy a cast iron
smoking box which will contain the ashes in your grill and they work very well.
Be sure to pay attention when grilling, don't wander off. To
help with flare ups, keep a spray bottle of water near the grill. Use water
lightly so not to cool the fire or send ashes flying around. A little charring
is a good thing, burnt is not. When grilling prepare all the ingredients you
will need ahead of time and keep them close by. A cookie sheet works well for
carrying items out to the grill and back into the house.
Honey Garlic Pork Chops
6 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Slash fatty edge of each chop in about three places without cutting into the
meat This will prevent the meat from curling during cooking.
In a plastic, resealable bag, place the pork chops; then add
the lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, dry sherry, garlic and parsley. Seal the bag
and marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat the grill to high heat.
Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and boil 1 minute.
Reduce the grill temperature to medium; then place each pork
chop on the grill grid; close the cover and grill about 7 to 8 minutes per side
or until internal pork temperature reaches 160°F, basting each side with the
marinade while grilling.
Lemon Chicken Breasts
2 large, whole, skinless, boneless chicken breasts; about 1 3/4 pounds total
2 tablespoons minced lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves - crushed
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons sugar
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
thin lemon slices, as garnish
Halve the chicken breasts and remove all cartilage and visible fat.
In a shallow, nonreactive dish just large enough to hold the
chicken in a single layer, stir together the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic,
oil and sugar. Add the chicken breasts, cover and marinate at room temperature,
turning occasionally, for 1 hour.
Light a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill
to medium high. When the fire is hot, lay the chicken breasts on the rack;
reserve the marinade. Cover and grill for 3 minutes. Baste generously with the
reserved marinade, turn and grill another 3 minutes. Baste and turn twice more,
grilling the breasts until the marinade is used up, they are lightly marked by
the grill and just cooked through but still juicy, another 5 to 6 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut the
breasts across the grain and at a slight angle into thin slices. Transfer to
plates. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the parsley over the
chicken, garnish with lemon slices and serve warm or at room temperature.
Grilled Raspberry Fish
1 pound halibut
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Heat grill to medium heat. Place fish on
Cover and grill 5 to 6 inches from heat 10 to 20 minutes,
turning once, until fish flakes easily with fork.
Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients; spoon onto fish during
last minute of cooking.
Makes 4 servings.
Written by Mary Ellen at
That's My Home