Friday, May 2, 2008
Important Grilling Information
This month's Popular Mechanics takes it a step further by recommending four gas grills based on their specific performance in various aspects of outdoor cooking. Enjoy.
1. Indirect Grilling
Applying too much heat can make tough cuts like brisket or ribs even tougher. Instead, brown them over a hot burner. Then slide the cuts over an inactive adjacent burner but keep the first one going, says David Kamen, a professor at the Culinary Institute of America. Let the meat roast slowly until the inside reaches the target temperature. This technique requires multiple burners, so look for a unit with at least four, like the five-burner, 60,000-Btu Ducane Affinity S 5200 ($1000, ducane.com).
2. Radiant Heat
Infrared grills use ceramic tiles that emit radiant heat, and can quickly rise to a steak-searing 900-plus degrees Fahrenheit—great for cooking a slab with a crunchy crust and for cutting your cooking time, Kamen says. But high heat means it’s easy to burn your chops. The Char-Broil RED ($700, charbroil.com) has a built-in food temperature probe and digital timer, upping the odds your steak will come out crisp and browned instead of black and burned.
3. Sear Marks
Burn lines don’t just look great, they seal in juices and flavor. For well-defined stripes, jack up all burners to high and shut the lid for 10 minutes, says Jamie Purviance, author of Real Grilling. Then lay your meat directly over a burner and leave it untouched until you flip. Porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates, like those on the four-burner, 60,000-Btu Brinkmann Pro Series 6418 ($500, brinkmann.net), hold heat better than stainless steel, making them the best metal for producing deep lines.
4. Coal Control
Devotees swear there’s no substitute for charcoal’s smoky flavor. For a long and steady burn, cluster the coals on one side of the grill with as little space between the briquettes as possible, Purviance says. Not only does this minimize airflow, which keeps the coals burning longer, it provides cooking space for both direct and indirect heat. The drum on the portable Weber Char Q ($180, weber.com) is 18.6 in. deep—that’s enough room to stack ’em high.