Cooking on grills is quite common and help us make delicious recipes, often, in a quick way. In this article, we go deeper in details, talking about materials, food varieties, sharing practical suggestions and cooking secrets to get incredible results.
Materials: are they important to choose your grill?
Most important materials used for this cooking method are:
- Cast iron: an “historical” material used in the pasto in wood kitchens
- Glass ceramic: a more modern material, used to make different products in relation to the characteristics of …..
- There are also cooking plates made of lava stone, ceramic-coated aluminum or non-stick materials.
Grilling is not to be confused with cooking using a griddle in a barbecue:
- using a griddle in a barbecue, in fact, the food cooks by direct contact with the flame and / or the heat of the embers. This means that peak temperatures can be difficult to control (this can led to areas of carbonization) and that part of the combustion ash will adhere to the food giving the characteristic smoky taste.
- grilling means using a plate interposed between food and flame. This allows a homogeneous diffusion of the heat and allows cooking by conduction. Furthermore, the cast-iron or glass-ceramic Milan-toast plates, as well as the fry-tops, have thermostats that allows a fine adjustment of the surface temperature.
Which food families are the “best choice”, if cooked on a grill ?
On the plate it is possible to cook everything that is usually cooked in a pan and all the foods that are usually roasted on a barbecue:
- white and red meats
- fish, crustaceans and squid
- bakery products
Which cuts and red meats to prefer for grill cooking ?
Veal meat, being tender, does not tolerate long cooking, it is preferable, in evento of cooking it, to choose a cut close to fat parts of the animal to have a good result.
Pork is often a fundamental part, ribs, pins, sausages, skewers or chops are the best cuts and using the plate, instead of the griddle on barbecue, allows a better control of the heat, leading to a slow melting of the fat and avoiding to burn outer parts.
Lamb chops and lamb kebabs are absolutely delicious and allow a quick cooking; you can choose the shoulder or the leg for slow cooking at medium heat.
Which white meats cuts choose to grill ?
If you want to cook chicken, you have to prefer thighs, over-thighs or wings: they are suitable for grilling due to the high percentage of fat. If, otherwise, you prefer to bet on the chest, marinating will be necessary, in order to leave the meat tender even after cooking. The main goal of marinating is to give more flavor to the foods that will later be cooked; moreover it tends to soften the fibers of the meat.
Important suggestions to grill meat, fish and vegetables
Grilling red meat: cooking time
We put forward below some general indications to keep in mind when grilling meat, one of the main foods cooked with this method. It should be noted that, with this type of cooking, the fat contained in the meat is sufficient to allow the meat to remain soft and juicy in most cases.
- Remove the meat from the refrigerator a few hours in advance (depending on the weight of the cut), to avoid strong temperature changes or, in the case of particularly large pieces (Florentine) to prevent the central parts of the piece from remaining relatively cold even after cooking
- Check that the meat is well dried: fillets, steaks, entrecote, hamburgers and Florentine must be cleaned of the blood present on the surface before laying them on the plate.
- The plate must be pre-heated to the appropriate temperature when cooking begins, to avoid the adhesion of the food. If, in special cases, there is a risk of food sticking to the plate, especially for low-temperature cooking, to avoid this inconvenience the surface of the meat can be lightly greased with a kitchen brush
- Generally, the correct cooking temperature to be set is inversely proportional to the piece size (+ large – temperature)
- Cooking times are very indicative, in close relationship with personal taste, they vary with the variation of the thickness of the meat. As a “rule of thumb” a good cooking requires that the piece of red meat, once cut, presents shades of light pink (outside) to a much darker pink tending to red (inside).
- Avoid overcooking the meat, otherwise it will lose its juices (vectors of taste) and become too hard.
- For the same reason, or not to lose the juices of the meat, do not prick or pierce the piece of meat during cooking
- Always salt the meat when cooked, and let the other seasonings and aromas (extra virgin olive oil, lemon and pepper) be added directly to the guests
To turn the meat put to cook on a plate is indicated the use of a pincer.
Cooking white meat on a grill
If it is our intention to cook white meat, mainly chicken or turkey, it is necessary to consider a little more preparation. Our recommendations are:
- cut big pieces into slices
- season the meat before cooking, perhaps even with aromas as white meats have a very delicate flavor
- check the plate temperature to avoid it being too hot.
- white meat should never be under-cooked
Cooking fish on a grill
Here are some general indications to keep in mind when grilling fish, a food that acquires, with this cooking method, an excellent flavor.
- It is generally preferable to cook naturally, without adding any kind of seasoning or aroma except for a little salt.
- When cooking fish, the temperature of the plate should be kept rather low.
- Cooking times for fish are calculated based on the thickness: roughly 10 minutes of cooking every two centimeters in thickness of the fish.
- Some types of fish may need protection to allow adequate cooking, in these cases, in addition to a temperature dosage, it is possible to:
- add a layer of salt
- it is advisable to leave the skin of the fish with all the scales, which will allow an optimal cooking while keeping the meat white, soft and juicy
- use a panure, passing the fish first in oil and then in grated bread seasoned with chopped aromatic herbs, salt and pepper (the fish must be perfectly scaled)
Cooking vegetables, eggs, and cheese on a grill
Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when grilling this kind of foods:
- Vegetables, before being placed on the plate, must alle be dried very well
- Grill temperature must be rather hot.
- Vegetables are ready to eat when they begin to brown and must be seasoned only aafter cooking.
- It is essential to cut the vegetables adequately: in sections along the length, in thick slices, in thin slices; you can cut them in half lengthwise when they are thick.
- Eggs can be cooked directly on a plate, they are delicious if accompanied with toasted bread.
- The ideal cheeses to be cooked on the griddle are those with a hard or semi-hard texture
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