Let’s start your journey with me to be a grill master. Grilling and smoking not only offer you delicious food but also be a pleasant memory to share with your friends and fellows in the future. But, before that, the memory must be enjoyable to share.
I am a grilled food lover and also make a group of 10 grilled food enthusiasts. Frequently, we arrange backyard parties to get refreshments from our everyday monotonous life.
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As we love to cook, we do lots of experiments with this. Sometimes, we face challenges in cooking the food perfectly as per our taste. By experimenting and gathering knowledge from pitmasters, we have discovered many grilling secrets.
Here, I will disclose secrets of backyard grilling, what I have learned from years of experiment, experience, and famous pitmasters. So, I can assure you that you will get the best tactics of grilling from this article.
Top 10 Secrets of Backyard Grilling- You Must Know
Yes, it takes time to be a pro griller, and you have to accept it. But, by knowing some tips and tricks, you can minimize the time to be a grill master. And in this case, I will help you reduce the time and be a perfect cook, nothing else. The secrets are
Know Your Recipe and Prepare the Ingredients
Imagine you want to make a dish but do not know the exact recipe. How ridiculous this is!
So first you have to know the entire recipe which food you want to cook. In the recipe, you must keep in mind the cooking ingredients, time, temperature, process, etc.
When you know all the things, make ready the ingredients after processing. If you can ensure that all the ingredients are fresh, that will be a plus point. Because cooking a dish with fresh ingredients will reach the peak of the taste.
Place the Grill in an even Open Space and Preheat It
Now, your first preparation is done. Next, it is time to prepare your grill. You have to place the grill in an even and open space.
Just think when you are cooking your favorite food, the grill is dangling like a floating ship. How irritating that will be! So when you place the grill on an even space that will stand steady.
And an open space ensures enough airflow to exhaust the grill’s warm air and smoke. You know, firing your grill in a crowded area is prohibited in some states. As taking smoky air is harmful to human breath.
So when the space has adequate airflow, the air takes away the smoky carbon dioxide air, and you can take fresh oxygen from the air. It is one of the top secrets of backyard grilling and human health.
Use Dry or Soak Wood Chips/Chunks for Smoking
If you love to get a smoky flavor in your food, then you need to use wood chips beside traditional (gas, electric) fuels.
When we talk about wood chips, there comes a question: what to use dry or soak chips? Honestly, there is no hard and fast rule to use any specific one between these two. Basically, it depends on you.
If you cook a whole chicken, turkey, or thick brisket, you must go with slow cooking. In this case, soaking chips is better as it reduces your cost and gives you a smoke for a longer time. You don’t need to frequently load the wood chips, which reduces your cooking hassle.
On the other hand, if you cook a quick recipe and want to get a smoky flavor, you can go with dry wood chips because dry wood chips will burn quickly and offer enough smoke.
Oil the Grates or Food to Prevent Food From Sticking
There is a strong debate about oiling grill grates or foods. Some grillers’ opinion is to use oil on food to prevent sticking. If you oil your food, it has two benefits. The oil moist and tender the foods to make the food zesty, and another is preventing food sticking.
Some pitmasters said, consuming too much oil is harmful to your health. This is why, when you brush the oil on the food, indirectly, you take this excessive oil with food. That can be a reason to suffer in the long run by affecting you with significant diseases. So, here oiling the grill grades is the safe position.
Maintain Adequate Temperature and Time
Let’s look at cooking temperature and time management. Every food doesn’t require the same temperature and time to cook.
Maintaining exact cooking time and temperature makes a dividing line between expert and novice cooks in the cooking world. Generally, if you cook the food for a high temperature and more time, it will overcook or burn.
On the other hand, if you cook the food at a lower temperature and remove the food before the time, it will undercook or undone. Both can ruin your enjoyment of tasting delicious food.
Even cooking time and temperature depend on many things. Such as the dish you want to cook, the amount and thickness of the ingredients, cooking process and method, cooking steps, etc.
For example, if you cook vegetables, you need less time and temperature. And if you cook chicken, turkey, and fish, you need more time and temperature than vegetable items. That’s a simple calculation.
Never Open the Lid Frequently to Check the Temperature
When your nose gets the fantastic smells of your favorite food and your tongue waters, waiting to taste the food for any more time is very tough. And in this situation, you open the lid to check whether the food is cooked or not. It is one of the great grilling mistakes.
You should not open the lid frequently to check the temperature or food doneness. Because when you open the lid, the warm air will come out from the grill, and heat will decrease. As a result, you need more time to cook the food, which increases your cooking time and fuel cost.
But, how can you check the inner temperature?
No worries, mate. There are two different solutions. The first one is using a grill with a digital monitor on the lid to show you the inner temperature. So you don’t need to open the lid frequently.
And the second one is using the cooking thermometer. You will find different kinds of meat thermometers in your nearest market or online. Just collect a meat thermometer and push it in the meat to check the temperature while cooking. That’s all.
Cook Vegetables and Meats Separately
No matter if you are a pure vegetarian or meat lover. You can cook meats, fish, veggies items, and sauces with your grill. But, you must follow separate cooking rules.
It’s common sense that meats, fish, and vegetables need different times and temperatures for proper cooking. Because all of their thickness, cooking process, and ingredients are not the same. So when you cook different thickness items at a time, the thin items will be overcooked when the thick things are even raw.
Also, when you cook the meat and vegetables separately, you can prevent germ contamination from one food to another because the meat has some germ that needs high heat to destroy. Otherwise, the germ will be contaminated with other food or even human beings after eating undercooked food.
And another thing is, maybe if anyone is a vegetarian, they don’t like to get meat smell in their food. So it is better to cook the vegetable items and meat items separately.
Always Look at The Grill When Cooking to Prevent Burning Your Food
Suppose you fire your grill and place your food in it. Now, you are going to chat with your friends and forget to look at the grill.
What will happen?
First, your food may be overcooked or burnt. Second, the grill will turn off if the fuel source will disconnect for any reason.
Third, if your luck doesn’t favor you, the grill can catch fire because of high temperature or fire sparks with excessive airflow. That is very unfortunate for you and causes a major accident. So it is very risky to keep your fired grill without attention.
So you have to ensure that someone must observe the grill through the entire cooking time or until you turn it off.
Keep the Kids Away From the Grill
It’s a great feeling to arrange a backyard party with all the family members and feed them your cooked delicious food. So in this type of party, the kids are an integral part who double your enjoyment.
Sometimes they come to you and want to take part in the cooking with you. But you should never allow them to do it because they can’t concentrate on it and take it like their play. So they will run around the fired grill, which can cause a severe accident. So without taking any risk, it’s better to keep the kids away from the grill.
Clean the Grill After Cooking to Expand its Lifespan
Lastly, never keep the grill dirty after enjoying your food. It is a very bad habit. If you do that, the grill quickly catches the rust, and decreases your grill’s life span. But that doesn’t mean you have to go to a deep cleaning process after every cook.
Instead, most of the time, you can clean the grill’s grate with onion or aluminum foil. Wipe the lid with a soft clean and dry cloth. And store the grill in a garage by covering it with the grill’s cover.
And after every three months, you can go to a deep cleaning process to make it look like a new grill.
By following all the 10 Secrets of Backyard Grilling that I have described, you can cook the perfect food every time and be a grill master. But yes, don’t try to follow all the tips at once; go slow. Once you follow some tips and become habituated with them, then follow the rest tips. This simple process doesn’t make you overwhelmed between what to follow and what not. I will be happy if you leave a comment by sharing your experience after following these tips. Your comment will motivate me to share more grilling tips.