Gas grills come in all shapes and sizes to be used for almost countless purposes.
An outdoor gas grill can be anything from a hibachi with a small tank of gas to quickly grill a few appetizers to the centerpiece of a huge production costing thousands of dollars.
Covered kettle grills are probably the most popular and versatile. They are easy to set up to configure the heat for either slow, indirect roasting or the quicker direct process of searing and broiling.
The instruction manual that accompanies the grill is required reading as each manufacturer’s grill is slightly different and a combination of specific instructions, plus your own experience and common sense, leads to the best results.
Best for: Steaks 1 ½ to 2-inches thick, chops, burgers, kebabs, sausages, other small pieces of tender meat, plus fruits and vegetables. Also employ direct cooking to sear and flavor larger or less tender cuts of meat that require longer indirect roasting or braising.
Method: Preheat the grill with all burners turned on high. Place food directly above the heat source in the center of the cooking grate, and then adjust heat to maintain temperature called for in the recipe.
Best for: Larger cuts of meat, like prime rib, tri-tip, pork tenderloin, rack or leg of lamb, or any meat that you want to long-cook for a “barbeque” effect. Additionally, casseroles and thin-crust pizza are delicious cooked this way.
Method: Preheat grill with all the burners turned on high; then, adjust the burners on each side of where you intend to place the food to the temperature called for in the recipe. In some cases you might want the heat at one side of the food, but the basic idea remains the same. Turn off the burners directly under the food.
For best results, place large cuts of meat or poultry on a roasting rack set inside a disposable foil roasting pan. For long-cooking meats, place some water in the pan to keep the drippings from burning (they make excellent pan gravy).
This method works much like air circulation inside a convection oven where heat from the burners on each side of the food rises to slowly roast the meat evenly; there should be no need to turn the food.
To enhance the smoky flavor from your gas grill, about 30 minutes before preheating the grill, fill the smoker box with wood chips or chunks that have been soaked in water for about half an hour. Also, fill the water chamber. As the grill heats, the chips will begin to smoke and the water chamber will emit steam to help keep the meat moist. Replenish as needed during the cooking process.
If your gas grill has no smoker attachment, simply wrap your soaked chips or chunks in a double layer of foil, poke a few holes in the packages, and place them on the grate.
Always cook with the grill cover closed as much as possible to keep in the smoke and maintain your temperature.
Use a temperature gauge, either installed in the grill cover or a purchased attachment, to be sure you are cooking at the proper temperature. Also, an instant-read thermometer is essential so that you will know when your meat is cooked to safe and delicious succulence.
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