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Grilling Tips and Tricks

Dirty grill grateThere are several reasons grilling is my favorite method of cooking. For one, it allows me to be outside and enjoy a beautiful day while my food is cooking. For another, it is generally pretty economical. Most grilled meals can be prepared with a small amount of ingredients. It is also as easy as you want it to be. A grilled dinner can be as simple as a couple of good steaks with sliced squash grilling right next to the meat. One of the best things though? How simple clean-up is.

Read how to clean grill grates →

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How to light a grill

I have always been a proponent of grilling with charcoal. Propane grills do have a couple of obvious advantages. For one, they get up to cooking temperature very fast. Another advantage is that you can leave the grill hot for a long time more easily than you can with a charcoal grill, which is handy for cookouts and other get-togethers.

The final advantage as I see it is clean up is a little easier with a propane grill. Charcoal ashes build up over time and need to be dealt with. Other than that though, I think charcoal is better in every other aspect.

Learn how to light a charcoal grill without lighter fluid →

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If I could only eat one type of meat for the rest of my life, I think it would have to be steak. For one thing, there are a variety of great cuts; from top sirloin all the way down to round, tasty meals can be prepared at a variety of price points.

For another, steak can be as simple as you want it to be. You certainly can try all manners of difficult preparations, but a perfectly cooked medium grade cut of steak tastes great to me every time.

The final thing I love about steak is the various cooking methods available. For years, I have been grilling full cuts straight on the grate, grilling up shish kebabs or searing steak on the stove top when the weather has been uncooperative.

Only recently though did I find a new, delicious way to cook my steak: grilling it on a Himalayan salt block. Let’s go through the steps.

Read how to cook steak on a salt block →

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As a red-blooded American, I have done all manner of grilling throughout the years – charcoal, gas, red meat, white meat, fish, vegetables, etc. Cracking open a cold one and starting up some charcoal is one of my favorite things to do in life. However, one thing that I am just recently getting into is using a Himalayan salt block on the grill. With the correct type of meat, the salt block can really enhance the flavor of the meat, and actually make the whole grilling process simpler if it is done correctly.

Today, I will share a few tricks I have learned through trial and error, along with a couple photos from my most recent salt block experience. First though, a little background on Himalayan salt blocks.

Read how to use a salt block on the grill →

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Grilled Brined Pork

I’m sure everyone has been to a barbecue, bitten into a grilled chicken breast only to have it crumble like sawdust in your mouth. Then on top of it, the grill-meister asks you at that exact moment, “How do you like the chicken?” With clenched teeth and a wry smile, you say, “Mmm, that’s good!”. Well, let’s put an end to this farce. The way to avoid dried-out chicken, pork, and shrimp is to brine it before grilling.

Read about brining for grilling delicate foods →

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Fontina cheese

Fontina

If you think about it, most pizzas are topped with some kind of cheese. But when we order a pizza for take-out, buy it frozen, or make pizza at home, how often do we think about what kind of cheese is on it?

Cheese is one of the most important toppings on a pizza, and often one of the most overlooked. It’s become very easy to accept bagged, shredded mozzarella as the standard pizza cheese, or its more alluring kin labeled “pizza cheese”. I admit that shredded cheese is convenient, and I have used it, but just how much flavor does it contribute to the pizza?

Read more about cheeses to try on your grilled pizza →

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Pizza Dough

Pizzas and calzones grilled on a pizza stone should have a crisp, flavorful, golden brown crust. We have found success with both homemade and store-bought dough. We encourage you try different kinds of dough until your find your favorite.

Many store-bought pizza dough products are quite tasty, convenient to use and moderately priced. Most grocery stores offer fresh or frozen dough balls, often found in the produce or deli sections. Pre-made packaged pizza crusts, like the Boboli Thin Crust round, turned out well during our testing. Be cautious of any dough that is quite thin, like the Pillsbury refrigerated tube crusts. While they may work well in a 425° oven, they could not withstand the high heat of the grill and during our tests, burned before the toppings were heated through and the cheese melted.

Read about pizza dough →

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The porterhouse steak is, in my opinion, the ultimate cut of beef. The porterhouse has a strip steak on one side of the center bone, and a tenderloin steak on the other. This cut offers a much larger tenderloin than its cousin, the t-bone. The steak should be marbled (threads of fat); this fat in the meat will help keep the steak juicy and add natural flavor. I like to grill a thick cut (1 ½” to 2”) and slice and serve it family style.

There are countless rubs and marinades you can use to flavor your steaks. However, for this article, I want to emphasize how simple grilling and dressing techniques can result in the juiciest and flavorful steak you’ve ever grilled.

Learn how to grill the perfect porterhouse steak →

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