Thursday Food continues its Father's Day countdown with tips on perfect grilling. If this will be your first time using a grill, fret not, we'll turn you into a grilling maestro in no time.
There's something hypnotic about fat dripping from meat onto blistering hot coals beneath. Scientifically speaking, grilling is a dry-heat cooking method that uses a significant amount of direct, radiant heat that prepares food quickly — grilling temperatures often exceed 260°C. Cooking is an art but grilling, like baking, is a science. There are few things as fundamental to anthropology as man's relationship with fire. But because it's science, some fundamental rules should be followed to result in a thrilling grilling experience.
Firstly, ensure that the pieces of meat are cut uniformly. Meat of varying thicknesses will result in different cooking times, and even the most adept grillmaster can undercook or overcook a piece of meat.
Next, ensure that your grill — whether gas, electric, or charcoal — is hot. Here's a quick tip to determine if your grill is ready for meat to be placed on it. If you aren't able to hold your hand above the grill for more than two seconds, it is hot and ready. If you can last five seconds or more, then, your grill is too cold.
Then get that char! Grilled foods taste better because of the browning of proteins and sugars. This is called the Maillard reaction, and it creates beautiful brown colouration and extra flavour on meat and vegetables. The Maillard reaction occurs when foods reach an excess of 155°C, and that browning is what makes the crust on bread, jerk chicken and pork, the edges of cookies and brownies, burgers, cooked bacon, and seared steaks, so delicious.
And, if you can't be bothered, then let Butcher Block do it for you.
Photo Credits: Garfield Robinson, Kingsford, Great British Chefs, tastecooking.com, Pinterest & Serious Eats