Nothing compares to the joy of digging into a smoky and juicy piece of grilled chicken or paneer. But what’s equally pleasing is the process of grilling outdoors on a cold winter night. But first, you need to get familiar with the basics. Whether you've got a gas grill or a charcoal one, chef Mehrishi is here with tips and tricks to help you ace the game!
What is Grilling?
Grilling is a quick, dry method of cooking that uses intense heat radiated gas flame or a charcoal grill. The process is fast because the food is in direct contact with the heat source. The food is placed on a cooking rack, underneath which is the source of heat. This is what gives grilled food the “grill marks”.
Ways of grilling
Charcoal Grilling: This is the traditional and most loved form of grilling. It is inexpensive and uses charcoal as a source of fuel.
Gas Grilling: This one is the most convenient way of grilling, when at home, but a little more expensive than charcoal grills. This method is also a lot more mess free than the charcoal one. Moreover, you have a better control over the temperature.
Wood Grilling: This type of grilling uses wood as fuel and was until recently only used by restaurants. For wood grilling, aged woods are a better choice of fuel as they burn better.
Before you go ahead and make your barbecue plans, here’s a list of equipment that you must be ready with:
A barbecue grill
Charcoal (if you are using a charcoal grill)
A food thermometer (especially when cooking with pork or meat)
Spatula and tongs- preferably with long handles
Gloves- to save your pretty hands from burn marks
A basting brush
Fire extinguishers- in case things go out of hand
Paper and cloth towels- to wipe off spills and drips
What is marination and why is it important?
A marinade is a liquid mixture made by mixing oils, spices, masalas and sometimes, wine. When the foods to be grilled are soaked in the marinade before cooking, the process is known as marination. This is done to avoid food from drying out quickly on contact with the intense heat of the griller. Some of the most popular ingredients used for marination are herbs, spices, seasonings, honey, lime, soy sauce, wines and garlic.
An important point to remember when it comes to the marinade is: do not let the marinade be too flowy or it will drip off. And just in case it becomes flowy, thicken it with some flour, yogurt, or cream cheese, suggests chef Mehrishi. "For best results, marinate the food for 10-12 hours”, he adds.
Steps to Charcoal Grilling
- Arrange the charcoal pieces in the barbecue pit. Distribute the pieces evenly if the food to be grilled consists of small and evenly sized pieces. With the help of a starter fluid, light the charcoal.
- Grease the cooking grill with canola, corn or groundnut oil to avoid the food from sticking. Be judicious with the amount of oil used for greasing. Excess oil will drip and cause smoke to arise from the hot coals.
- Thread the marinated food to be grilled through the skewers. Leave space from the handle and the edge of the skewers. The food should be placed in the middle of the skewer.
- Gently place the skewers on the cooking rack with distance between two skewers.
- Because of the high heat, the food gets cooked very fast. So be watchful of the food that your grilling. When the food is grilled on one side, it will no longer stick on the rack and can be easily turned.
- Once done, take the skewers off the grill. To remove the food, push it back slightly and then out.
Must Try: Grill Chicken by Chef Gurdip Kohli Punj
Most Popularly Grilled Foods
- Pork chops
- Vegetables (baby corn, bell peppers, onion, tomato, zucchini and eggplant)
- Fruits (pineapple, apple and pear)
Tips for safe grilling
Home fires due to grills is a real thing! So make the process of grilling safe with these simple tips:
-Always grill in an open space like a terrace, verandah or a garden
-Always keep a fire extinguisher (A, B and C type)and a bucket of water handy
-Always clean your grill well as grease and fat build up can cause flare ups.
-If using a gas grill, check for gas leaks.
-Do not overload the grill with food.
-Never leave the food unattended.
-Never use a grill indoors.
Watch Chef Mehrishi simplify the process of grilling in the video above (scroll up!)