Cook Outside: A Guide to Grilling

Years ago, what I knew about grilling was based on my experience with a George Foreman in my Chicago studio apartment.  Basically, I knew nothing.  Flash forward several years and now I’m married to an enthusiastic griller.  Do I use the grill?  Not that often, but I’ve learned from several years of watching a self-proclaimed grill master which tools are a must-have.

Have you ever grilled fish on a cedar plank?  The taste is unbelievable.  Once you try grilling with these, you won’t want your fish any other way.  It’s important to soak these planks for an hour or so before setting them on the grill.  The water that is absorbed by the wood keeps it from burning or charring on the grill.  These planks are reusable, so a set of six should last you through the summer.

Another flavor enhancing essential is wood smoking chips.  Whether you have a charcoal or gas grill, adding these to a wood chipper soaker, placed inside the grill, will enhance the flavor of your meats.  These chips come from a variety of different trees: cherry, hickory, maple, oak, pecan and apple – each one giving off a different aroma and therefore a different flavor.

Summertime vegetables taste great on the grill and grilling sliced vegetables or potatoes is a cinch with a grilling basket.  What do I love about it?  It’s non-stick, which makes for easy clean-up.

Poultry Roaster: You’ve heard of beer can chicken?  Well, this is the same idea, only without the beer can.  I’m not a huge fan of chicken, but cooked this way – on the grill with some wood chips – it’s amazing!

More Essentials:  Three more grilling essentials include stainless steel skewers for yummy kabobs, a thermometer and a high-quality set of grilling tools.

 

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