Grilling is a fabulous way to add great taste to your food and is a fun way to turn dinner into an al fresco party. With these cooking tips for gas grills, you can turn any meal into a memorable occasion.
Standard kitchen tools sometimes find it hard to make the transition to the grill. The spatula that comes in so handy when flipping a pancake might find it hard to handle the heat of the grill when you try to flip a burger. When buying tools for your grill, look for well-made and sturdy tools that will be able to withstand the heat of the grill and the weight of the food that you are cooking.
Some basic grill tools that you will find very useful are:
- Stiff wire brush - for cleaning the grill.
- Spatulas - look for long handles so you are not reaching your arm over the flames. Also look for good strong metal that can handle the high heat that grills produce.
- Spray bottle - Good for keeping food and smoking materials moist.
- Oilcan - For adding oil to the food as it cooks.
- Rag rolled tightly and soaked in oil - to oil the grill so food does not stick.
- Tongs - Stainless steel tongs that are available at restaurant supply stores are very useful for turning food and holding the oil rag.
- Skewers - for holding small pieces of food.
- Salt and pepper shakers - While you are at the restaurant supply store, ask for something called a dredge. It is a shaker that is about the size of a can of food and can hold enough salt and pepper for several meals. You might want to get more than two because a dredge is a great way to add dry rubs to your food as well.
- Forks - Long handled forks come in handy when you are turning or moving food.
- Instant read thermometer - This is a vital piece of equipment. Inexpensive varieties of these thermometers can cost as little as $7.00 each and they will help you cook your food to the proper temperature.
- Basting brushes - The best way to baste food.
- Mitts - Oven mitts will keep your hands from burning.
This list may seem imposing and you might not need everything on it. It all depends on what you are cooking. If you are cooking mostly steaks, burgers, and hot dogs you can get away with just the tongs and spatula but if you are planning on cooking chicken the forks will be useful.
Now You Are Cooking with Gas
Gas grills offer convenience as well as great tasting food. You don't have to worry about hauling and storing charcoal, disposing the ashes, and fiddling with the burning coals to get the proper temperature. But this does not mean that once you light the burners you're done with the grill.
There are myriad ways you can add more flavor to your food. Adding additional materials to the grill adds flavor to your food. You can use any or all of these to your grill:
- Vine cuttings: usually grapevine cuttings soaked in water. They add a fruity flavor to your food.
- Dried Basil stems: soaked in water they add a distinctive basil flavor.
- Hardwood chips: used to add a smoky flavor. Use Alder wood, applewood, hickory, or mesquite.
You want to soak whatever you will be using in water for at least an hour. Then, drop them right onto the stones you have above the burners or, if your gas grill does not use stones, place the smoking material in a foil packet and place on the burners. The smoke will do the rest. For the best results, cook with the lid closed to hold the smoke in.
Cooking Tips For Gas Grills
More often than not, when a restaurant offers grilled food it is cooked over a gas grill. The high heat of the gas grill adds flavor and texture to the food. Some basic cooking tips for gas grills include:
- Never leave a grill unattended - if there is food on the grill, it can go from delicious to charcoal in just minutes.
- Keep plenty of towels handy - to wipe off the thermometer and tools, wipe up grease, and wipe your hands.
- Keep the uncooked food cold - keep the uncooked food in a cooler near you. It's not good health practice to leave the food out in the sun.
The one thing most lists of cooking tips for gas grills forget to tell you is to have fun. Grilling is fun and a great way to get friends and family together.