The Grilling Season Is On
Juicy steaks, plump sausages, grilled vegetables, scrumptious sauces - is your mouth watering already? As it starts getting warmer, chances are you're planning on grilling soon. We have put together a few helpful tips and tricks to ensure that the barbecue party is an absolute success.
The most important question of all
Not all grills are the same, as professionals will say. But which type of grill is the best? The true aroma of smoke can only be achieved with a classic charcoal grill. Available in different sizes and shapes, charcoal grills are perfect for use in your own garden. But smaller table grills with charcoal are also becoming increasingly popular. These compact models are not only suitable for the balcony but are also easy to transport and take along for picnics at the park or a trip to the beach. A gas grill is another option - it is easier and quicker to heat up and is also easier to maintain the desired temperature. Yet another option - especially for smaller groups - is an electric grill. It is easy to use, heats up quickly and easy to clean as well.
Get your taste buds tingling
The right marinade gives meat, fish and vegetables a real boost of flavour. It is best to marinade for at least 2 to 3 hours before grilling. Simply mix the food you want to grill with your favourite marinade and refrigerate n a sealed container. Make sure you use a vegetable oil in your marinade that can withstand high temperatures. That way the marinade will retain all its flavours while grilling. Also, avoid adding salt because salt tends to suck out water and your grilled food will end up being too dry.
Tools and accessories
There are a few grilling accessories that are worth investing in. Some you will probably have in your kitchen anyway - such as a sharp knife for cutting meat. An ergonomically shaped paring knife is gentle on the sensitive muscles of the wrist and hand. A pair of sturdy tongs and a good pair of heat-resistant gloves are also highly recommended. If you avoid using single-use aluminium trays you will avoid producing unnecessary waste. Use grill mats made of silicone instead. Grilled skewers are always popular. But be careful while using skewers to prevent injuries caused by the pointed tips. A thermometer to check the temperature and a kitchen timer are also recommended to make sure you are grilling at the desired temperature for the right amount of time. And finally, if you'd like to avoid staining your best party clothes, a large apron is your best friend.
Grilling your food
Food should only placed on the grill once it has been heated to the right temperature. It takes only a few minutes for gas or electric grills to be heated up. A charcoal grill, on the other hand, can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to reach the right temperature. You can start once the coals turn grey and the grate is really hot. The temperature also depends on what you are planning to grill. For most foods a temperature between 150°C to 200°C is sufficient. A good steak though needs a temperature of 280° to 300°C. If your grill has a lid, keep it closed while it heating up. It is also recommended to keep the lid closed while grilling to speed things up and to ensure that food is evenly cooked on all sides.
After grilling = before grilling
A grill can last for many years with proper cleaning and a little care. It is a good idea to use the heat of a hot grill to keep it clean. After grilling but before your grill cools down, use a wire brush to clean the grate of your charcoal grill. Pick up a hot charcoal briquette with a pair of tongs and rub it over the grate to burn off any residues. In case of an electric or gas grill, you will need to heat it up again to clean your grate effectively. Once the grill has completely cooled down, dispose of the ash and remaining briquettes in your household waste bin. If your grate is stubbornly dirty, you will need to use a special cleaning product. With hot water and a cleaning cloth, you can restore your grate to its former shining glory and is ready for use again. The right size cover will keep your grill protected from the elements.
Last but not least - set the table with a tablecloth, plates, flatware, napkins, glasses and refreshing drinks. It's time now to sit down with your guests and enjoy a wonderful meal. Bon appetit!
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