09 September 2019
Grilling as a cooking technique
When talking about cooking techniques on the BBQ, grilling would be where it all started. A fast preparation ideal for a juicy steak or a tasty vegetable skewer. Grilling, however, offers more possibilities than you think. Here we go back to basics with the ins and outs of grilling as a cooking technique.
The history of grilling
Grilling is the oldest cooking technique there is. After mankind discovered how to make and control a fire, it was quickly used for cooking. Meat and fish were grilled over an open fire, making them tastier and easier to digest and preserve.
Currently, grilling and other BBQ techniques are mostly aimed at giving the ingredients that lovely flavour. It is one of the many cooking techniques that the EGG is famous for. The closed lid allows you to accurately control the grilling temperature inside your EGG and the ceramic ensures a good atmospheric humidity, making the ingredients more juicy, even when you grill them.
What is grilling?
Grilling is a fast cooking technique. The ingredients are cooked on the grid, directly above the heat of the charcoal. This is why it is also called the direct method or direct grilling method. Grilling ensures that your ingredients are cooked by the glowing charcoal and the heat of the grid (contact heat). When you grill using the Big Green Egg you also make use of convection heat in the form of the airflow within your EGG and the heat reflection of the ceramic. It is therefore important to close the lid after every action and to never fully cover your grid. This will help maintain the desired temperature and the airflow will not be impeded.
In general, grilling is done at a temperature between 180 and 250°C. The high temperature will make the meat tasty and brown on the outside, while keeping it juicy and tender on the inside. The heat given off by the grid will give the meat lovely grill stripes or a nice grill pattern.
Grilling as a cooking technique
You can grill almost everything, as long as the ingredients are not too thick or too big. After all, one is not supposed to burn the outside or prevent the inside from being cooked. Grilling steak is simple. If the steak is more than 5 cm thick, you must use a combination technique.
There are two options, reverse sear and initial sear. For reverse sear, you place the convEGGtor between the glowing charcoal and the steak as a type of heat shield. This means that you let the steak cook indirectly at a lower temperature. Then you grill the steak at a higher temperature for a lovely crust and grill stripe, without the convEGGtor. You can also do this the other way around. First you grill the steak over the heat of the coals to then cook it indirectly until the desired core temperature has been reached. This is called initial sear.
The perfect grilling grid
Of course you can use the standard stainless steel grid. However, for lovely grill stripes or the perfect grill pattern you would use the cast iron grid. Cast iron absorbs the heat well and releases it to your ingredients in a very concentrated manner thanks to the V-shape of the bars of the grid. The result? Exactly the stripe or pattern you wanted, with an increased flavour to match!
In order to grill delicate or smaller products, such as fish fillets, small shellfish and cut up vegetables, you can use a Perforated Cooking Grid. In this way, the ingredients cannot fall between the bars. And… it is easier to remove the Grid from your Big Green Egg in one go.
Grilling fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are also very suitable for grilling. In doing so, take into account that the pieces must not be too thick. This is particularly important for vegetables that need to be cooked down to the core. You can halve tomatoes and even cut the more solid varieties into slices. Vegetables such as courgette and aubergine can be cut into slices as well.
Fruit does not have to be fully cooked. The reason for grilling fruit is to caramelise the sugars that are naturally present. The fruit becomes delightfully sweet and tastes even better!
General grilling tips
- Have you grilled meat or poultry? Cover it loosely with aluminium foil and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes. It will lose much less moisture during carving.
- Fish is quite a delicate product, so you need to grease the grid and your fish shortly before you start grilling.
- Toss vegetables lightly in olive oil before you put them on the grid, especially the more fragile varieties such as lettuce and chicory. This allows them to be removed from the grill more easily.
Would you like to give your grilling skills a boost?
Then add these recipes to your menu.
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