THE THRILL OF THE GRILL
Celebrate the longest tradition in human cooking history. Grilling was first mastered more than 100,000 years ago when early hunters and gatherers roasted meat (and possibly veggies) over hot embers of wood and charcoal.
Even today, barbecuing is still considered America's favorite way to cook during the summer months — which some say is year-round in Southern California.
Grilling a variety of meats and vegetables is easy and versatile, and there’s no question that the subtle smoky smells add both flavor and character to any dish.
Open vents in the bottom of the grill. Place charcoal briquettes on an area equal to the space the food will occupy, with an additional 2 inches on all sides. Liquid starter, solid fuel blocks, and electric charcoal starters are some of the methods you can use to start your barbecue. When the coals are ash covered and no longer flaming (about 30-45 minutes), spread them in a single layer, keeping them close together to keep them hot. For subtle flavor, consider adding water soaked hardwood chips directly to the charcoal fire, or place some moistened sprigs of herbs directly on the coals or on the grill near the food.
COAL TEMPERATURE GUIDE
HOT - Coals are barely covered with gray ash
MEDIUM - Coals glow through layers of gray ash
LOW - Coals are covered with a thick layer of gray ash
Marinades add unique flavors and textures to grilled meat. A marinade is a highly seasoned liquid used to give flavor, and in some cases tenderize tough cuts of beef. Marinades usually consist of liquid such as water, fruit or vegetable juice, or oil, which is combined with seasonings and herbs.
For tenderization, meats need to be marinated for at least 6-8 hours. For flavor, marinate meat for at least 15 minutes or longer.
Allow ¼ to ½ cup marinade for each 1 to 2 lbs. of meat.
Always marinate in the refrigerator.
When basting the meat with a sauce, brush on during the last few minutes of grilling to prevent it from burning.
Grilled vegetables make easy, delicious accompaniments for grilled meats. Most vegetables need no preparation for grilling other than cleaning and a light brushing with vegetable or olive oil. All vegetables should be cooked over medium coals and turned occasionally until they reach a desired tenderness. For variety, skewer similar sized pieces and cook until tender.
Slice onions ½" thick. Grill until tender, approximately 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally.
Pull back husks, leaving them attached to the base, remove silk. Fold husks back around corn and tie at each end. Soak corn in water for 1-2 hours. Remove and grill for 20-30 minutes.
Cut into small sections and grill for 5-10 minutes.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Cut into long strips and grill for 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally.
Select whole mushrooms which are at least 2" in diameter. Grill for 5-10 minutes.
Microwave small red potatoes until barely tender when tested with a fork. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Thread on skewer and grill for 10-15 minutes.
Slice tomatoes ½ to ¾" thick. Grill until heated through, approximately 5 minutes.