Whether you’re cooking up salmon, burgers, chicken, shrimp, veggies or steaks, nothing says Memorial Day like firing up the grill.
Here at FactoryBuysDirect we've got the tips, techniques and methods, so you don’t have to worry if that chicken is not cooked enough or the fish for too long.
Memorial Day is a time to try some new grilling recipes to mix in with your favorites, so let's get fired up!
Charcoal vs. Gas
Whether you grill with charcoal or gas, each has its advantage. Cooking with charcoal gives food a more distinctive flavor and charcoal can be combined with woodchips for additional flavor.
Gas grills ignite easily and maintain an even temperature from start to finish. But they are more expensive than charcoal grills, they can't give food the intense smoky flavor that charcoal provides, and they are not suited for burning wood chips.
Indirect vs. Direct Heat
The key to cooking indirectly on a gas grill is to slow things down a bit and put the meat on one off burner while the carryover heat cooks the meat from the other burners.
To indirectly cook with charcoal, pile all the coals along the sides of the grill and place the food in the center, away from the hot coals. Put a metal drip pan beneath the where the food will sit, to collect the dripping fat as it cooks.
The terms "grilling" and "barbecuing" are used interchangeably but there is a big difference! Barbecuing involves cooking foods slowly at a low temperature using indirect heat often using a smoker or fire pit, or some kind of raised brick or stone fire pit.
This method is best loved by BBQ aficionados and provides a delicious, smoky flavor and exceptional tenderness. But it takes time — from a few hours to all day long. Barbecuing works best for larger and tougher cuts of meat such as whole pigs or turkeys, brisket or spareribs that benefit from long slow cooking.
Tips for Prepping the Grill
- Clean your grill before each use.
- Oil the rack before heating to prevent sticking.
- Keep a spray bottle filled with canola oil handy in case of unexpected sticking.
- Preheat your charcoal grill by lighting the coals at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Do not put foods on the grill until the fire dies down to glowing coals.
- Even gas grills need to preheat at least 15 minutes before putting food over the fire.
- Preheating will help to warm up the grate and stabilize the temperature of the grill environment.
How to Grill Pork & Beef
Beef and Pork are the most popular types of meat to grill. Once the meat is on the grill, resist flipping or turning it until half way through the cooking time. This ensures you get those nice grill marks. Use an instant-read thermometer by inserting into the middle of the thickest part of the meat and remember to always let your meat rest after cooking.
Cooking Time for Beef & Pork
- Direct heat for sausages, chops, steaks and hamburgers.
- Indirect heat for roasts and larger cuts of meat.
- Do not press down on your meat! This will result in a tougher, less juicy meat.
- Tougher cuts of meat like flank, skirt steak and London broil should be marinated to tenderize and flavor before grilling.
- Cuts like brisket, shank and chuck demand long, slow cooking.
- Rib eye is excellent on the grill because of its marbling (ie fat content).
- Lean, tender pork chops can be marinated or rubbed and then cooked over the coals.
- Pork spare ribs and baby back ribs should be pre-baked and then grilled to achieve a smoky flavor.
- Pork tenderloin grills quickly, is low in fat, so keep an eye out on the grill.
- Start sausage off on high heat to get a nice char on the outside and then move it to a cooler part of the grill to finish.
How to Grill Poultry
Whether you choose chicken, duck, turkey or Cornish game hen, the mild flavor of poultry makes it perfect for grilling.
Cooking Times for Poultry
- Always marinate or use a dry rub will maximize flavor.
- Smaller pieces of poultry can be cooked over direct heat
- Larger pieces of poultry should be cooked over indirect heat.
- Turn the pieces every 2-5 minutes and rotating pieces around the grill will help evenly cook.
- Place a drip pan under larger chicken and turkey to catch juices.
- Allow turkey to rest 20 minutes before carving. Remember: smoked turkey may appear a little pink even when thoroughly cooked.
- Always cook poultry thoroughly. Test for doneness with an instant read thermometer (it should reach 165°F).
- Chicken that is cooked enough will feel springy when pressed.
- The meat should still be juicy, but the juices should be clear, never reddish.
How to Grill Seafood
Seafood cooks quickly and is a great choice for grilling. Take extra care not to overcook and select lighter seasonings that do not mask the delicate flavor of seafood.
- Oil a firm fish like swordfish well with a neutral-flavored oil to help keep it moist.
- Fish cooks quickly using the direct heat method so remove it from the grill as soon as it's done; it will continue to cook with the carry-over heat.
- Once you put fish on the grill, don't touch it for at least three minutes until the crust forms on the outside.
- Once the crust has formed, it can be flipped over without sticking.
- Thin pieces of fish can be wrapped in foil or placed on cedar planks. Most fish fillets will cook on a plank, in about 20 minutes.
- Fish is naturally tender and should not sit in an acid-based marinade or it will cook like ceviche.
- To grill shrimp, leave the tail intact when shelling, then slice along the back of the shrimp without cutting all the way through to butterfly.
- Cook shrimp until it turns pink, about 5-7 minutes.
- Do not overcook or it will become tough.
How to Grill Vegetables
Grilling intensifies the natural sweetness of vegetables.
- Brush oil on vegetables to prevent sticking or use foil packets lightly coated with oil.
- Leave the husk on corn as it acts like a natural insulator, steaming the corn and preventing it from drying out.
- Steam vegetables until tender to shorten grilling time and ensure that the inside and outside cook evenly.
- Portabella mushrooms are a great burger substitute, while button mushrooms are great for kabobs.
- Cook all vegetables over moderately hot coals and rotate or move them to a cooler part of the grill.
Introducing the new Extra Large 24 Inch Duluth Forge Charcoal Kamado Ceramic Egg. Whether you are grilling, searing, or smoking meats or fish, the Duluth Forge Kamado Built-In Charcoal Grill is an ideal product for all your outdoor cooking needs.
Created with high-quality ceramic and commercial-grade stainless steel bands, hinges, springs, and hardware make it more resistant to rust. The one inch thick ceramic walls along with large fire bowl allow for better heat retention and even heat circulation. A kamado is a traditional ceramic Japanese wood or charcoal fueled cooking stove.
The ceramic construction for kamado's means there is no flavor contamination or metallic taste given to the food. Kamado's use lump wood charcoal which creates very little ash which can taint food and is manufactured in an environmentally sustainable manner. Regular charcoal briquettes contain many chemicals that contaminate the flavor of the food.
The round shape gives the best heat distribution, unlike rectangular grills which can create hot and cold spots. The heat retention properties of the ceramic shell can reach up to 900 degrees F!
The Duluth Forge Ceramic Charcoal Kamado Grill and Smoker are made from the same materials used to make kilns and pizza ovens which are extremely good insulators that radiate heat effectively. The sides and domes absorb heat and radiate it back like a brick oven, so pizza cooks evenly from above.