The Art of Grilling

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ryanb, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Recently went to a cookout at a family friends place, with about 12 of us in total. This was a part celebration for Steve’s retirement, a family friend who I’ve known for many years. For as long as I’ve known Steve, he’s always been into grilling. So, of course he and his wife throw a bash on their patio. We have the usual picnic food, hotdogs, burgers, baked beans, potato salad, you name it. Great spread. Half of the group are vegetarians, so they supplied their own knockoff hotdogs and burger patties for Steve to toss on the grill.

    As we’re all sitting around the fire, chatting and waiting for Steve to finish his grilling, I get up and check out the grill king himself. He’s got the hotdogs and burgers cooking, but evidently isn’t quite the grill aficionado as he believes himself to be. I could tell his flame was way too hot and our dinner was about to be charred beyond measure. I didn’t want to burst his bubble nor was it my place to say anything, so I kept quiet and let him do his thing. As someone who normally dislikes vegetarian meat substitutes, on this night, I opted for the veggie ‘dogs, as the Nathan’s were blackened, shriveled and covered with bubbles.

    I’ve never liked eating charred meats, especially after reading the many news articles about the potential for carcinogens to form during the process. As someone who grills regularly (bison burgers, chicken, salmon and trout) I’ve found that the best way to properly cook the meats is to lay down a piece of non-stick foil on the grill and place the meat on the foil with a low to medium heat. It cooks much more thoroughly and without the charring results. Poor Steve is one of the greatest friends anybody could ask for, but his grilling skills are just not there.

    Moral of the story: There’s definitely an art to grilling, and if you don’t have the art, leave the grilling to someone who does. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What was he using for his heat source
     
  3. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    I always had an amazing BBQ in the backyard...

    ...and a few friends that I always invited over that knew how to use it really well...cuz that was not me!
     
  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Propane. The problem was that the meats were cooked over a high direct flame, cooking it way too quickly. Had it of been charcoal, there might not have been much left. Fortunately some of the others ate his grillings, but it didn’t all get eaten to say the least.
     
  5. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    I like carbon dogs once in a while, but not always. Nathan's are just nasty to me, even when cooked tamely.

    A filet mignon cooked the way Steve did it is awesome...crispy on the outside, rare in the center, but that's no hot dog. Rib eyes and NY Strip cooked that way are not that good to me either.

    But foil on a grill is counter productive? I like flame kissed and nasty byproducts of grease combustion smoke on my meat.
     
  6. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah I thought someone may bring that up and that’s a good point. I suppose it’s really just a choice preference. Throwing down the non-stick foil can still result in crispy edges, but it does lack the flame kissed taste. I’ve just found that the meats tend to cook a lot more thoroughly, when they’re not just thrown onto the open grill under a direct flame. Also one that chooses not to eat meats with a charred finish, which is usually a result of open flame grilling.
     
  7. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    I have a green egg, and love doing 6min steaks. Bring the egg up to about 700F, put the steaks on, direct heat, lid closed. Two minutes, open, turn, close. After another two minutes, close off all vents. Leave on for another 2-3min, then pull and wrap in foil. Let stand on the plate for 4-5min and dive in!
     
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  8. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    First off Gas Grills are blasphemy... (imo) :eek::p Charcoal is the way to go... now you can substitute the charcoal for some natural wood and still grill just fine.

    Second Foil on a grill, screams amateurism at its best.. (imo):yeahthat::fingerwag: The griller needs to learn how to control his/her heat. need to let the coal/wood simmer, prior to putting any kind of meat on the grill.
    One can get away with chicken as they take a while to cook, but steaks and burgers, need to wait for the heat to simmer.

    Grilling is an art, so it will take time to master and perfect it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  9. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, prob choice preference; you might as well have started a BBQ thread, lol.

    You mentioned salmon & trout, which I think are better on foil. My cousin and I caught redfish that he prepared "on the half-shell". He grills it with the skin and scales still on one side of the fillet, and that acts as "foil". Never turns it and you get a smokey flavor in the meat.

    I wonder what your chicken and bison burgers would taste like with a holes poked in the foil.
     
  10. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    And I certainly am just an amateur, ha!
    You’re right, one has to master controlling the heat to get the desired outcome. If I do put meats directly on the grill, I’ll usually put it off to the side to cook with indirect heat.

    Good point, I’ll have to give it shot. Only kicker is the gas grills don’t give off much of a smoky flavor like the charcoal variants do. Mine is propane too. Worth a shot though.
     
  11. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    I like the indirect heat plate on the egg when doing chickens, ribs, butts, etc. It blocks off direct heat from the charcoal, and eliminates grease flair ups. The grill sits above the plate on standoffs, so all of that smokey goodness still surrounds your meat. I usually put a drip pan underneath like shown here.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nahhh, I am sure you hold your own.. I love my meats on direct fire, but at a simmer.. Putting meat off to the side to smoke(indirect heat) is good too. Gives the inside to cook evenly with the outside..
    I have family members who swear up and down they are grill masters, but barely can light there own grills... lol
     
  13. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I use gas for my everyday work. But I keep a fresh chunk of wood or chips in a foil pouch on one of the burners for smoke and flavor. Flare ups are often caused by a dirty grate or dirty drip guards (or whatever they are called, Weber calls them "flavorizors" or something like that).
     
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  14. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Nice!

    Right on! Yeah, I found the whole thing quite comical and had to share. He just got the new grill not long before, so he was eager to have everyone over and use it. It's like those folks who deck themselves out from head to toe in the best golfing apparel, but can't play to save their life when they get on the course. Good stuff!
     
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  15. asicer

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    It's not an all-or-nothing deal. You can put it on direct flame for a few minutes to get a good sear going, then move it to indirect heat to cook through. Or the reverse sequence.
     
  16. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Fish can be tough, but salmon is actually pretty easy, particularly if you are grilling filets. I grill with charcoal, and I cook them skin side down on the grill. I -might- briefly flip them over to cook the top side but it's generally unnecessary unless they are very thick. I'm also in the camp that agrees that if you grill on foil, you might as well just bake it in the oven, seriously.

    Steaks, burgers and brats get direct heat. Ribs and whole chickens, unless they are cut in half, get indirect heat for slow cooking. Tri tip is one of those things that you could do either way, but they generally come out the best on direct heat, covered. It is probably one of the most critical cuts to get right as well. I like my steaks mooing, particularly filets, but tri tip you have to do medium rare, or it's tough. Do more than medium rare and it's dry.
     
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  17. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    All I do is bring grill to 350-400 degrees//throw on the burgers (8 oz or so) cook for 5 minutes, flip... grill for 5 more (add cheese at 4 min if you want that) and then remove... consistently get perfect burgers with a nice red stripe in the middle
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  18. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm hungry.

    Thanks ****ing Ryan!
     
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  19. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    Lol, perfection is in the eye of the eater. I like em fine that way. In my house I'd have to turn the lights down low for a couple family members to get burgers like that eaten :)
     
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  20. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    I'll take my filets rare, my strip med-rare, but my rib-eyes need some crispy fat on em, med-well to well for me (they are more flavorful that way).
     
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  21. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Goes good with some:

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    [​IMG]





    Braai style over wood FTW
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  23. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've never used foil to cook with. Normally I use foil to clean my grill grates, or to wrap my meat as it's coming off the grill to rest for a few minutes. Rather than using foil, do you think I could use a cast iron skillet on the grill and achieve the same effects? What do you use to get those nice grill marks that I see so many professionals on TV doing. Do you use a branding iron or something and brand them in? Just trying to learn how to grill. :dunno:
     
  24. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    My worst grilling disaster was when I was doing a 12# standing rib roast on the rotisserie. I forgot to put the drip pan with about a 1/2" of water under it. About 30 mins later it looked like a marshmallow over a camp fire. Completely un-recoverable.

    Went and got another one, got it loaded up correctly, but dinner was now going to be 2 hrs late. Not good with the crowd en-route from Cali to Vegas for my Mother's 75th birthday. Wife (now-ex, not from this event) was furious.

    Recovery? When it got time to serve the main dish, I took it off and set it to the side of the grill. I sliced off a desired thickness for each and asked for their desired cook. Then threw it back on the grill to complete "cook to order." Only my ex and I knew it was a mistake recovery technique.

    A month or two later one of my brothers asked about the "technique" and I came clean. I'll probably never hear the end of it. But I don't forget the pan either.

    I don't know if it's art, but I know what I like.
     
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  25. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    I only use charcoal for the heat source, and throw on some soaked wood chips for smoke flavoring (usually hickory or cherry depending on how much smoke flavor I want). Once the grill is up to 400-degrees, I throw on the soaked wood chips and hamburgers/steak/brats/chicken go directly on the grill face. Burgers are usually cooked to medium, steaks are medium rare unless otherwise requested. I normally marinate chicken when cooked on the grill, so it stays moist a bit easier than it otherwise would when cooked over the flame. About the only thing I'll use foil on is shrimp skewers on the upper shelf because they dry out so quickly if put on the grill face directly.

    I don't have the patience to "smoke" meats on the grill, so I've ever bothered with ribs/roast/larger cuts of meat. I would probably go for a wood pellet grill if I went that route, just for ease of temperature control versus tending the firebox all day.
     
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  26. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Gas is for heating. Charcoal is for making messes.

    Last month I bought a wood pellet grill. First thing I tried was hamburgers. Fantastic..!!!

    Then I tried chicken breast. Again, fantastic..!!! My wife and my mom think I am some grilling king. On Thanksgiving I will do a turkey in it.

    On reading the instructions that came with the wood pellet grill it said to cook everything by internal temperature. Cooking something by looks is the wrong way to cook, but folks have been doing it since the beginning of cooked meat. It has that nice smokey flavor, and different types of wood makes different smoke flavor. I use hickory for red meat and apple for poultry. I have not done fish yet, but I will probably try cherry when I do. Yesterday I forgot the change the pellets and did the chicken with hickory and it was still great tasting.

    It leaves nice looking grill marks and is almost impossible to burn anything. The grill starts electronically and has temperature settings. And It has a smoke setting which I have not tried yet.

    Best part is that once I put the meat on the grill and close the lid, I can go do something else. No need to tend the flame. The meat thermometer comes with a remote so I can go inside and work on something else.

    I might be from Texas, but cooking over mesquite and cooking over creosote taste the same to me.
     
  27. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's not that bad if you set it up right. I use coal holders, and I can usually get a full chimney load of charcoal to last a five hour rib cooking period on the Weber. The trick is to get the vents set right.
     
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  28. cowman

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    I cook with full heat most of the time and my stuff normally just has the char marks from the grate and is done through. Only things I really turn it down for are things like chicken, shrimp, or fish. Oh and pork loin after the first turn.

    Normally use gas as we grill a few times a week and it's more convenient but if I'm cooking for a bunch of people I'll use the charcoal weber as it adds a lot more flavor.
     
  29. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    A little mesquite goes aloooooonnng ways. It doesn't take much to add just the right hint of flavor. Most people overdo it and that's why you get the nasty creosote taste.;)


    Here's a little secret on grilling with wood chips/chunks. Put your (don't soak them) chips/chunks at the bottom of your grill, then put the hot coals (from your chimney) over the chips/chunks. As the coals burn down they'll start burning the chips/chunks for just the right amount of smoke. You don't get the flameups as you do even when using soaked chips directly over the coals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  30. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Grilling is most definitely an art. I use propane for 90% because of convenience. It absolutely kills me when I go over to a party or someones house and someone is sub-par at running the grill. I never want to step on toes so I usually don't interfere. But when you walk away from my rib eye for 10 minutes and haven't bothered to check them I feel like I am having a mini panic attack. It has taken me a little while (I'm still under 30 and learning here..) but I feel I can judge a steak pretty dang well by feel and that is part of the art. I hate seeing half the steaks cut up on the grill. And looking at a bunch of charred bubling hotdogs?? :mad:

    Sitting next to the grill with a cold beer is a great feeling, not quite as great as cruising in the ol Cessna, but it's up there :D
     
  31. Brad Z

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    If you want to cook a steak perfectly, sous vide and a quick char on the grill.
     
  32. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's my next foray. I've seen the results and they're awesome.
     
  33. SoonerAviator

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    Yeah, I've heard there are some tricks to it, some grills handle it better than others. I've just never been adventurous-enough to experiment with a rack of ribs and end up ruining perfectly good meat. My company has a competitive BBQ team who has placed top in the state for brisket in the past year, and they make a mean turkey dinner on the smoker as well. I have a wealth of smoking/bbq-knowledge less than 50yds from my office door if I decided I wanted to try my hand at it. I borrowed their recipe for bacon-wrapped stuffed jalepeno peppers and it comes out fantastic.
     
  34. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You lost me at the charring part. :rolleyes:
     
  35. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    WTF! You what? :eek:
     
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  36. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's not as good as having a proper smoker, but it works pretty well. It took me a while to get it down.

    I know I'm likely to have my card pulled for this, but, the crock pot isn't a bad option for ribs. Cut the rack in to halves or thirds, stand them on end, and go medium for six hours. In fact I did that last weekend. Turned out great. Another good way is to wrap them tightly in foil, and go six hours at 250 in the oven. I think the crock pot works better though - renders more of the fat off. Again, a smoker is better, but this gets it pretty close.
     
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  37. asicer

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    I'm sure he really meant "sear" :)
     
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  38. asicer

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    Grill marks are overrated, I think. I prefer a good mahogany sear all over.
     
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  39. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Agreed.
     
  40. Brad Z

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    char, sear, however you wish to achieve a maillard reaction on your meat.