Hot smoked tofu BBQ on Weber

Weber BBQ cooking Guide

I often say that the heart of grilling lies in grilling techniques. What separates the master grillers from the masses is that the experts understand how to manage their grill. Sure, recipes are important, but techniques matter most. Thus here are my ten essentials for better grilling. Follow these tips and you will become a true BBQ master.

1. Lighter Fluid: No Way!

  • It's a liquid product that evaporates. Who wants that and its foul chemical fumes under their food?
  • Chimney starters and lighter cubes are much cleaner and much more effective.

2. Preheat the Grill

  • Preheat your grill with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • With all the coals glowing red, or all the gas burners on high, the temperature under the lid should reach 500F.
  • The heat loosens any bits and pieces of food hanging onto the grate, making it easy to brush them off.
  • Preheating your grill also helps prevent food from sticking to the grate and gets the grate hot enough to sear properly.

3. Keep it Clean

  • When bits of food have stuck to your cooking grate, and the grate is hot, clean it with a stainless steel brush. This step is not only for cleanliness. It also prevents your food from sticking.
  • Note: Replace brush if any loose bristles are found on cooking grates or brush.

4. Oil the Food, Not the Grate

  • Oil prevents food from sticking. It adds flavor and moisture, too.
  • Lightly brushing or spraying the food with oil works better than brushing the grate.

5. Know When to Be Direct, Know When to be Indirect

  • Direct heat (when the fire is directly below the food) is best for relatively small, tender pieces of food that cook in 20 minutes or less.
  • Indirect heat (when the fire is on either side of the food) is best for larger, tougher cuts of meat that require more than 20 minutes of cooking.

6. Maintaining Temperatures

  • Every Weber is designed to give you complete control over the heat inside the unit.
  • Control knobs give you the ability to maintain settings from 250-550F and beyond.
  • Dampers control the airflow inside the charcoal grill, and allows you to maintain the fires for low and slow roasting as well as high temperature searing.

7. Put a Lid on It
Here are 4 important reasons why the lid should be closed as much as possible.
1. It keeps the grates hot enough to sear the food.
2. It speeds up the cooking time and prevents the food from drying out.
3. It traps the smokiness that develops when fat and juices vaporize in the grill.
4. It prevents flare-ups by limiting oxygen.

8. Caramelization is Key

  • One of biggest reasons for the popularity of grilled food is its seared taste.
  • To develop this taste for maximum effect, use the right level of heat and resist the temptation to turn food often. Your patience will allow for caramelization, or browning. That creates literally hundreds of flavors and aromas.
  • As a general rule, turn food only once.

9. Tame the Flame

  • Too many flare-ups can burn your food. Keep the lid on as much as possible. This limits the amount of oxygen inside the grill, which will help extinguish any flare-ups.
  • If the flames are getting out of control, move the food over indirect heat temporarily, until they die down. Then move the food back.

10. Watch the Time and Temperature

  • Use a timer!
  • If you are grilling in a colder climate or in a higher altitude, the cooking times will be longer. If the wind is blowing hard, it will lower a gas grill's temperature and raise a charcoal grill's temperature.

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