Here are a few questions to help guide you to your perfect grill:
What size do I need?
Grills are measured in square inches of cooking surface. Knowing whether you'll be cooking for yourself, your family, or entertaining guests will help you decide how big your grill should be.
What features do I want?
Are you an adventurous gourmet griller or just a basic hot dogs-and-hamburgers type of griller? Grills today come with all sorts of interesting "bells and whistles." Your specialty retailer can educate you on all of the different options available.
What's my budget?
Whatever your budget, there is a grill for you. Basic backyard grills can sell for as little as $50 while top-of-the-line gourmet grills can sell for $5,000 or more.
Where will I shop?
Grills can be purchased almost anywhere these days: specialty retailers, mass merchandisers, home improvement centers, hardware stores, and even department stores.
Where will I use my grill?
Will you be using your grill on a small balcony? On your backyard patio? In your custom-designed outdoor kitchen? Today's grills are specially designed for specific areas ranging from small apartments and condos to fully-equipped, permanent outdoor kitchens.
Whatever your choice, you are part of America's long-standing love affair with barbecuing!
To get that perfect flavor you and your guests are craving, make sure you know the ins and outs of marinating your favorite food. There are several factors to take into account with marinade time: type of meat, size of meat chunks, and acidity of the marinade. For dark proteins — beef, lamb, pork — longer is always better. BUT, if the food is delicate — shrimp, flaky fish — stop marinating after 15 or 30 minutes or the acid will start to break down the protein too much. Chicken is somewhere in the middle, anywhere from 2 to 12 hours is good depending on the cut (skin-on breasts require less time, for example).
Don’t worry too much if you don’t have the exact ingredients in a recipe — just follow this basic formula. Acid + Salt + Oil + Herbs/Seasonings/Sugar + Time = Marinade
ACID (but not too much)
Eg: vinegar, lemon/lime/orange juice, wine, buttermilk, or yogurt
Why: tenderize protein to let the other flavor-enhancing ingredients get in there
Or soy sauce
Why: also tenderizes
Eg: olive oil, canola oil
Why: helps release the flavor of spices or herbs and hold them in contact with the meat.
Eg: garlic, rosemary, ginger, chilies, maple syrup
Scrubbing down your grill grates between every use just isn’t cutting it. Don’t agree? Then maybe you should take a quick peak to see what’s going on underneath your grates. All that buildup inside your grill isn’t just gross to look at (and dangerous!); it’s also messing with the taste of your food (and let’s be honest, you didn’t spend 3 days marinating that rack of ribs for nothing!). Luckily, deep cleaning your grill is relatively simple and only takes about 15 minutes. Experts suggest deep cleaning your propane grill at least 1-2 times per year.
Here are 5 ideas to keep in mind when throwing that great BBQ!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Start by deciding where you will hold your cookout. Your backyard may be the perfect place if you have a deck or a patio. Outdoor parties tend to be more laid-back and great for reminiscing about past events.
FIRE UP THE GRILL (OBVIOUSLY)!
What's a summer party without grilling!? Choose an easy meal that can be made in large quantities like burgers, hot dogs, or BBQ chicken (don't forget the sides).
HAVE FUN MUSIC
It is important to keep the party alive with music that your guests can enjoy. Keep it modern, while also throwing in some classics that everyone will know.
STOCK UP ON DRINKS
Set up a self-serve drink station so guests can help themselves. Whether its lemonade, water, or something a little stronger make sure you include everything your guests will need.
Don't stress about the details. Grilling out can be great for a party because you can spend time with your guests while you cook. After the food is done, you can sit down and relax for the rest of the party!
Be sure not to run out of propane at the party, pick up a spare AmeriGas tank at a location near you!
You mainly cook beef on direct heat between medium and high heat. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the steak or burger. Before cooking your meat, try cutting off the fat. Fat can cause flare-ups and burn your food. Flip your meat only once to better seal in the juices with tongs or a spatula, never use a carving fork to turn the meat. Stabbing grilled meat will let out all the flavorful juices and dry it out.
Start with your chicken at room temperature; it will grill quicker and more evenly. Keep in mind that not all chicken grills in the same amount of time, whether it’s bone-in, boneless, skin-on, or skinless. Select one cut of chicken and stick to it! Check to see if you can grill the chicken over direct or indirect heat for best results.
Pork chops cook best over direct heat and cooked quickly over burners set on medium to high heat. Be careful with thinner chops, these can get done faster and will need more attention to prevent them from overcooking. Use a spatula or tongs when flipping instead of a fork which will allow the juices to escape.
Fin Dish= 145⁰F or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork
Shrimp, Lobster and Crabs= Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque
Clams, Oysters, and Mussels= Cook until shells open during cooking
Scallops= Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm
When grilling fish, make sure you keep the skin ON. This prevents the fish from falling apart when you grill it and it is also easier to remove when the fish is grilled. You can also use a fish basket to keep the fish from falling apart as well. Grilling seafood on a plank is much easier than grilling fish directly on the grates. The only trick you need to know is that if you are using a wooden plank, you’ll have to soak it in water first for at least 2 hours before grilling. Other than that, you simply place your fillets on the pre-soaked plank and cover your grill, and basically let it be until it’s done. No flipping required.
Vegetables will dry out when they hit the grill heat without a little oil. Toss them in a light coating of oil. Try not to use too much because dripping oil causes flare-ups and off flavors. Plus covering them in oil helps your seasoning stick more uniformly.
Some veggies take a minute to cook while others can take longer. Make sure you do some homework on the vegetable you are trying to grill before you actually start grilling.
Using a skewer or a grilling basket can help keep smaller vegetables together preventing them from falling through the grates. Also pairing the vegetables with your favorite meat on a skewer will create great flavor for your meal.
Try cooking your veggies in foil packets instead. This method works great for dense vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes or other roots. Simply place a piece of foil on the counter and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange thinly sliced vegetables a single layer, slightly overlapping, on the foil. Leave a 2-inch border on all sides. Fold the foil over and pinch the edges together, making a packet. Place the packet on the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the vegetables are tender (about 12 to 15 minutes, for potatoes).