Grilling Terms Defined
Searing: A process that involves cooking the surface of meat with at a high temperature to “seal in the juices” and caramelize the sugars, creating a crust that is attractive and flavorful. Searing also creates nice grill marks.
Direct Cooking: Food is cooked directly over a heat source. Use the Direct method for foods that take more than 25 minutes to cook thin cuts of meat, vegetables or burgers. Use Direct cooking for searing. How to use the Direct cooking when grilling.
Indirect Cooking: Food is cooked indirectly over a heat source. Use the Indirect method for foods that take less than 25 minutes to larger cuts of meat such as whole chickens, roasts, ribs and delicate fish fillets. Cooking with the Indirect method will make the inside of meats juicy and tender while the outside is brown and caramelized. How to use Indirect cooking when grilling
Combo Cooking: Using a combination of Direct and Indirect cooking methods. How to combo cook
Caramelize: Cooking over high heat creates the oxidation of sugar, found naturally in food, resulting in a nutty flavor and brown color.
Flare Up: Caused by a flash of fire when the natural juices fall on the hot briquettes or grill burner. Flare ups are common when cooking meats with a high fat content such as spare ribs and burgers. Keeping the lid closed while grilling helps prevent flare-ups. and your food will cook faster. What to do if a flare up occurs while grilling
Marking: The process of creating grill marks from the hot grids of the grill on food. By searing for 90 seconds and rotating the food clockwise 45 degrees, you will create an elegant crisscross pattern. How to properly mark grilled food
BTU: A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree F. This is the standard measurement used to state the amount of energy that a fuel has, as well as the amount of output of any heat-generating device.
Burner: One or more holes through which a combustible gas flows and burns. Better propane grills have at least 2 – 3 separate burners. H burners are found on larger, premium grills and are designed to fill the base and provide better heat distribution. Side burners can be utilized for warming beans and sauces while grilling.
Seasoning the grill: Process to regulate a new grills temperature and all the smoke from cooked food to accumulate on the inside of the grill to “season” your food with great grilled flavor. If you have a new grill, or one that has just been cleaned for the season, the first few times you grill it may run hotter than normal. Once you have seasoned the grill, the interior will be less reflective and the temperature will normalize. How to season the grill
Let meat stand: Letting the meat rest for a few minutes before serving allows its juices to redistribute, providing for a more consistent and juicy taste.
Smoking: The process of cooking meats over a slow smoky fire with a low temperature of 200 – 225 degree F. For heavy cuts of meat like beef or pork, cooking time is 45 minutes to an hour per pound. Smoke contains nitrates, which chemically react with meat, resulting in enhanced flavor.
Rub: A dry spice mixture that usually includes salt and sugar. They are popular to use when grilling because they stick to meats easily. For a mild flavor, rub them on immediately before cooking. For a more intense taste, rub meats a day or so in advance. Popular rub ingredients include paprika and chili powder. Rub recipes
Marinade: A liquid comprised of acidic ingredients such as lemons or vinegar and/or tropical flavors such as pineapples. Acids and tropical enzymes react with meat proteins to break down meats and make them more tender, while also adding flavor to meats. Marinade recipes
Sauce: A seasoning or relish that is an accompaniment to food, especially a liquid dressing or topping for meat, fish or desserts. Sauce recipes
Mop: A mop is a thin liquid mixture or basing solution made with herbs and spices to add moisture and flavor to foods while they cook. Usually comprised of water and some type of vinegar, a mop also has spices and herbs added for flavor.