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Monday, May 23, 2005

Grilling Tips

(from Martha Stewart)

Burgers are fairly forgiving on the grill, and they cook quickly, which is helpful when you're serving a hungry crowd at an outdoor party. Still, following a few tips will ensure the best, tastiest results every time.

Be prepared. Have a longhandled, flexible metal spatula, spring-loaded tongs, and serving platters ready before you start to grill.

Go natural. Use natural chunk charcoal; ignite with a chimney (instead of starter fluid) for the best flavor.

Preheat the grate. Light fire, place grate on grill, and heat for fifteen minutes before cooking, to foster searing and grill marks.

Add smoke flavor. If desired, scatter 1/4 cup chipped hardwood such as cherry, apple, or mesquite (soaked in water for a half hour and then drained), over hot coals. For a gas grill, you can buy a stainless steel smoker box to hold chips; it fits between
burners and grate.

Shape patties right. A burger that is an even thickness will cook more uniformly than one that is bulging.

Stop sticking. Brush the burgers with oil to prevent sticking. It can be helpful to brush the grate, as well; take care, however, when brushing a hot grill, as flareups may occur.

Stay safe. Don't mix cooked and raw meats on one platter. Keep the area clean using paper towels. After cooking, scrape the hot grate with a wire brush to remove stuck-on food.


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