Grilling should be an enjoyable experience, not a nerve racking anxiety attack inducing nightmare. Weber grills when properly cared for and used as was intended by the smart people who designed them can create magnificent meals routinely. The secrets for great grilling are actually not all that heavily guarded and are readily available to you from Weber’s website and from numerous other online sources. To save you some time and get you back outside grilling we went ahead and compiled some techniques we have found useful over the years.
More Than One Way To Grill
There are several grilling methods you can utilize using various grill accessories but we are going to focus on the big two. No matter the fuel source whether it be charcoal, propane or natural gas you can cook using direct heat or indirect heat. Before we go any further, the most crucial thing to remember when grilling is to keep the lid on. We cannot stress this enough. You will not do yourself any favors if you lift the lid and check your food constantly. The only thing you are accomplishing is allowing the heat to escape and dramatically slowing the cooking process.
Direct heat is the most common form of grilling in which you place the food directly over a burner. This is the recommended approach to take while grilling foods that cook within 25 minutes (vegetables, kabobs, pork chops, and thinner steaks). As always you want to turn the food only once (halfway through the recommended cook time) to get those perfect grill lines etched in. Flair ups while cooking fatty foods can be a huge challenge while grilling this way and can lead to lifting the lid far too much to combat grill infernos. There’s nothing worse than lifting the lid to be greeted by bellowing smoke, hair singeing flames and charred food.
Indirect heat works much like an oven, the hot air rises and reflects off the lid and slowly cooks the food evenly on all sides. This method is ideal for meals that require cooking for more than 25 minutes (whole chickens, turkeys, roasts, ribs, and thicker steaks) and for delicate foods that will dry out such as fish and fillets. One great advantage to indirect heat is that you don’t have to worry about flare ups because there is no flame under your food and you can cook purely by time. I personally like to use both approaches. For most meat, I like to leave all burners on and place the food in the center of the grill. After a quick searing, I turn the middle burners off then use indirect heat to cook the food the rest of the way. For cooking times on all types of food, Weber’s website provides grilling guides and tips.
How To Care For Your Weber Grill
Whether you are cooking with direct or indirect heat it is important to regularly do a “burn-off” every time you use your grill. Turn all burners to high and allow them to burn for 15 minutes with the lid closed. This will accomplish two things, preheating of the grill and turning all leftover debris to ash. You then simply brush the ash from the cooking grate before using. While we are talking about brushing, when was the last time you replaced your brush? It is recommended to get a new one once a year, usually before spring when you tend to start grilling more. Before grilling look at your brush and if it is damaged or has any loose bristles you should replace it immediately. The last thing you want to do is ingest something that can be harmful and dangerous to your digestive tract such as a piece of wire thin metal.
While a burn-off will get rid of most of the leftover drippings a little more care may be needed to keep your grill clean. The Flavorizer bars (the angled metal bars that keep stuff from dripping directly onto the burners) need to be removed and scrubbed occasionally. When the grill is cool enough to touch take the bars out and put them in the sink with some soapy water. Do not use any soap that is lemon or citrus based as this may cause corrosion. Scrub the bars with a SOS pad or something similar and then hand dry (drip drying may lead to premature rust). As well do not use the dishwasher or a self-cleaning oven to clean.
Is there something we forgot? Please feel free to leave a comment below on how you use and care for your Weber grill.
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