Calling all chefs… it’s grilling season
(NC) – Whether you prefer chicken, steak or good old burgers and dogs… it’s time to celebrate.
Grilling season is here.
Family events, company picnics, parties and festivals all present a reason to grill. But you don’t need an excuse these days – even plain old lunch presents a reason to do it.
‘Grilling is more popular than ever,’ says Rob Rainford host of Food Network Canada’s Licence to Grill. ‘It’s a great, affordable way to entertain. And, after being buried under snow for six months, we all want to enjoy the outdoors.’
Rainford, whose program celebrates the joys of backyard entertaining and everything BBQ, has a simple philosophy.
‘Start with the freshest ingredients you can find. When it comes to grilling, you can cook slowly over low indirect heat or grill quickly with intense heat.’
He explains that if you grill slowly you can use rubs and smoking agents to infuse the food with flavour. High heat grilling gives that wonderful charring and searing, just like in a restaurant.
Rainford promises the following tips will add some sizzle to your next grilling get-together:
- Control the heat. There’s nothing worse than burnt food. Natural gas grills are great for controlling the heat. Charcoal grills have too many hot and cold spots.
- Stop fussing and let it cook. After placing a piece of meat or fish on the grill, don’t meddle with it. Close the lid and let it cook. A turn or two is more than enough. With practice, you’ll learn how to get those professional grill marks.
- Be gentle and let it rest. Never poke or prod a piece of meat, fish or vegetable when it’s on the grill. This lets the flavours out. After cooking meat or fish, let it rest for five to 10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to settle.
In terms of choosing a grill, the rule of thumb is that 400 square inches of grilling area is perfect. You’ll have room to grill several dishes at a time or feed a larger party crowd. Look for extra shelves at different levels and side burners for added convenience.
You can avoid the ultimate inconvenience – running out of propane in mid-meal – by choosing a natural gas grill. In addition to a never ending flow of fuel and instant temperature control, natural gas grills are approximately a third of the cost to operate compared to propane.