Author Topic: Grilling Tips and Tricks.  (Read 537 times)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« on: July 05, 2017, 05:57:39 PM »
We have a sticky for "All Things Smoked and BBQ", but it is sort of an antique, so I'm starting this thread fresh.
I'm hoping we can share some ideas, and learn a few things.

For starters, I've been listening to all the bad press given your average BBQ grill cleaners/scrapers.  Apparently a few ERs have had visitors who have ingested the wire bristles of some of this type.  I even switched to a "pumice stone" cleaner, until I found out it was leaving silica (glass) granules all over the grate! :shocked:

So I went back to a method I first saw 40-odd years ago demonstrated by a guy showing Weber grills at a trade fair: Aluminum foil. It works the dream, actually.



Just scrub your grate while it's still warm and the foil will even get those pesky drips that defy other brushes.  If you don't want to go totally rhetro, Cabelas sells a woven wire pad on a stick that won't shed bristles since it has none.



So...does anyone have and handy tricks or ideas they'd like to share?
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 06:47:24 PM »
Ha!  I was just out grilling a couple of steaks on the deck and as I cleaned it with the wire bristle brush I thought about that news of the people ingesting pieces of wire.  After I scrape off last bbq's little bit of burnt on stuff I take a synthetic abrasive pad and clean the grill.  Once in awhile I take them out and use Dawn dish soap and that abrasive pad to clean them up pretty well. 

I use a charcoal as much as I can.  Mine has two grills and you can remove one and set a cast iron oven in there and make biscuits while slow cooking meat on the other side. 
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 12:10:21 AM »
Ha!  I was just out grilling a couple of steaks on the deck and as I cleaned it with the wire bristle brush I thought about that news of the people ingesting pieces of wire.  After I scrape off last bbq's little bit of burnt on stuff I take a synthetic abrasive pad and clean the grill.  Once in awhile I take them out and use Dawn dish soap and that abrasive pad to clean them up pretty well. 

I use a charcoal as much as I can.  Mine has two grills and you can remove one and set a cast iron oven in there and make biscuits while slow cooking meat on the other side.
I still use the abrasive pad my DW so thoughtfully bought me, but I follow up with a damp paper towel to remove any granules. The MSDS says the silica dioxide would have to be ingested by the spoonful, or inhaled to hurt you, but eating ground glass doesn't appeal to me any more than brass/steel bristles.   :crazy:
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 12:16:03 AM »
Another tip:

I've tried cooking spray and oil to prevent sticking of dry rubbed meat on the grill. But something I like better is a raw potato.  Cut a potato in half, and rub it all over the grate after you preheat it. The starchy juice from the potato coats the surface, and your seasonings stay on the food instead of the grill when you flip it.   8)
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 07:42:49 AM »
We use charcoal but this tip is for propane grills. A dentist I worked for when I was in my teens did this and said he had the greatest NY strip I'd ever eat. He would heat the lava rocks for about an hour on high heat. Then he turned the gas off completely and put the steaks on. I've never done it but I can attest to the greatest NY strip I've ever had!!!
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 08:09:01 AM »
We use both a charcoal AND a gas grill, depending on available time & circumstances, but I finally got sick of replacing crappy gas grills that burn and rust out after only a couple of years. >:(   We bought one of these babies when they were on sale at Cabela's about 5 years ago and couldn't be more pleased!  The grill unit can be removed, folded shut and carried to the car wash for a Spring cleaning, replaced if the sheet-metal ever rusts through without having to buy the cast aluminum burner units and the versatility as an industrial-strength camp stove is unparalleled!   Study this page from Camp Chef and bask in the excellence of design.....

https://www.campchef.com/big-gas-grill-three-burner-stove.html

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 08:55:03 AM »
We use both a charcoal AND a gas grill, depending on available time & circumstances, but I finally got sick of replacing crappy gas grills that burn and rust out after only a couple of years. >:(   We bought one of these babies when they were on sale at Cabela's about 5 years ago and couldn't be more pleased!  The grill unit can be removed, folded shut and carried to the car wash for a Spring cleaning, replaced if the sheet-metal ever rusts through without having to buy the cast aluminum burner units and the versatility as an industrial-strength camp stove is unparalleled!   Study this page from Camp Chef and bask in the excellence of design.....

https://www.campchef.com/big-gas-grill-three-burner-stove.html

WOLFY APPROVED! :banana: :thumbsup:
We have a Camp Chef 2 burner stove. I'll have to see if their BBQ accessory would fit mine.
We got a Grill Ware 3 burner from Lowes a number of years ago. Made in Australia. Tubular stainless steel burners w/5 year warranty.  After 3 years, they sent us a new set of burners.  The steel fire box finally burned out after about 7 years, but I was very pleased with the $250 we spent.  I've a several Sunbeam, Charbroil and other "box store" grills and like you, got tired of only getting a couple years service from them.
Recently we bought a Huntington 2-burner w/side burner. It's made in Canada. Paid about $130 for it at Home Depot.  Cast aluminum fire box with a unique diffuser plate design. Very happy with it so far.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 08:31:40 PM »
I have been rolling the dice with the wire bristles. Brushing is a lot easier if you let the grill get as hot as it can for a bit to turn all the grease and other gunk into dry charcoal. It's a lot easier to scrape clean that way.

Good grill marks are made by oiling the meat (not the grill) and then letting the meat sit in place for a few minutes before turning or otherwise messing with it. A cast iron grill grate is better for this than a thin steel wire grill because it has more thermal mass and doesn't cool down to the temperature of the meat so fast. This means it can impart more heat to the meat where it makes contact. If you want good grill marks on both sides, when you flip the meat, flip it to an open portion of the grill rather than flipping it in place. (Not that grill marks are all that important, but if they are toy you, here you go.)

Best thing I ever did with my little Weber Q100 grill is get an adapter to use a full size propane tank instead of the little cylinders. A tank lasts me about a year of occasional grilling.

Are we also discussing BBQ-?


Offline wolfy

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 08:38:23 PM »
Good tip on oiling the meat vs. oiling the hot grill grate......if you do it the other way around, you will burn all of the oil off in a puff of smoke and the meat will glue itself to the grill....then you will tear it to shreds when you turn it over. >:(
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 10:20:32 PM »
Good posts, PW & Wolfy.

Little back story, just to vet the sources for my post.
Both my sons were/are in the culinary business. Both attended Le Cordon Blue Academy. One is now a supervisor for 3 separate cafeterias for a state university. The other has changed careers after 8 years in the business. Here's their recipe for a 'perfect' grilled steak (be it beef, pork, chop, or otherwise).

Pre-heat your grill for at least 6-10 minutes.
Season your meat, but omit any salt, as it will draw the juices out of the meat prior to, and during cooking.
Place the steaks on one side of your grill. Sear the meat for 3-4 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the cut.
Flip the steak onto an unused portion of the grill, and grill another 3-4 minutes.
You'll now have nice grill marks on both sides of the seared meat.
Now flip the steak at right angles to it's position on the grill, and onto the original side of the grill which has now reheated. Leave it alone for another 1-3 minutes.
Now flip it end-for-end one last time onto the other side of the grill.  This will give you a checkerboard set of grill marks.
After 1-2 more minutes, check for doneness.

Here's a guide: With your index and thumb, pinch the web between your other index and thumb about 1/2" into the web. That is what a "rare" steak will feel like when you poke it with your finger.  Pinch again about 1" into that finger-thumb web and that's "medium".  Pinch again about 1 1/2" in the web and that is "well done". 

Using that texture as a guide, poke your steak to see how "springy" it is.  Pull it when your feel the right texture, tent the plate with foil and let it 'rest' at least 5 minutes.

Those times will vary slightly depending upon the temperature of your grill, how well your grate holds the heat and experience. ;)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 10:28:15 PM »
In trying to avoid contaminating the grill grate when cleaning, I'm still looking for a perfect solution.
I found that the BBQ brushes the are actually steel scrubbing pads even carry a warning about metal particles being left behind.
So my DW bought a wooden paddle that is supposed to be a scraper with no "nasties" to worry about.
IT SUCKS! The wood is no match for crusted crud on the grate.

Unfortunately I'm left with one alternative:  Use a coiled wire brush to scrape the livin' heck outta the grate while it's still hot, then let it cool and scrape the tar out of it again. Then wash it with soap and water.  <sigh>  A lot of work, but each time it's like cooking on a new grill.
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Online imnukensc

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 10:00:27 AM »
Some good tips here.  I also oil my steaks before putting them on a hot grill.  Something I do for cleaning the grill grates when they've finally gotten to the point the the grill brush and scraping don't get them clean enough is to take them off the grill, spray them with Easy Off oven cleaner and let'em sit for a few hours.  Hose'em off and then wash'em with soap and water.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 10:25:10 AM »
Some good tips here.  I also oil my steaks before putting them on a hot grill.  Something I do for cleaning the grill grates when they've finally gotten to the point the the grill brush and scraping don't get them clean enough is to take them off the grill, spray them with Easy Off oven cleaner and let'em sit for a few hours.  Hose'em off and then wash'em with soap and water.
Yeah, I'm about ready for the Easy-Off method, too!

Has anyone tried putting their grates in their oven on the Self-Cleaning mode?
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 10:33:59 AM »
I would venture a guess that this method would best be performed when SWMBO is gone for the day! 8)
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Online imnukensc

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2017, 10:55:29 AM »
Has anyone tried putting their grates in their oven on the Self-Cleaning mode?

Haven't tried that, but I bet it would work.  Works on old, nasty, crudded up cast iron very well.
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Online Moe M.

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2017, 11:06:57 AM »
 For what it's worth,  I've had the same charcoal/wood grill for going on 14 years, it sleeps outside and the cover I bought for it only lasted about a year after getting caught in a gale force wind,  since I bought it on sale at a Fairs store that's long since gone out of business I've gone through two Stainless Steel gas grills, I gave the last one away, it had brass life time burners and was in good shape, I just got tired of cleaning the grease out of it.
 Anyway, back to my charcoal grill, it a big drum shaped smoker/grill with a side box and chimney, a few years after I bought it I noticed a little surface rust building on the bottom of the grill both inside and outside, so I took a wire brush to it and gave it a coat of black grill paint, when dry I lighted a fire in it and let the paint bake on.
 Next as an added precaution I sprayed the entire grill body with Pam cooking spray inside and out including the grill grates and again build a hot oak wood fire in both the fire box and main grill, It worked great, It went through two seasons without needing any attention, I've been treating it in the same way every third season and it's still looking pretty new even with the heavy use I give it.
 But a side benefit of spraying it with the cooking spray and baking it in is that the grill grates are basically non stick,  like PW suggests I dab my food with a little cooking oil before placing on the hot grill, when I'm done using it a quick rub with a brass brush removes any stuck on foods and it's good to go for the next time, the last couple of years I've giving the grates a quick wash and another heavy coat of Pam before building my first fire of the season, and I'm no longer bothered with crusted grill grates.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Grilling Tips and Tricks.
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 03:38:22 PM »
I would venture a guess that this method would best be performed when SWMBO is gone for the day! 8)
After 43 years of being married, I've learned it's less painful to ask for permission, than forgiveness.  So I asked DW what she thought of the idea of self-cleaning the grill in the oven.  I can't quote her, because the forum software would make it indecipherable, but the gist of her response was, "Not much".

However, the next time she and her girlfriend so shopping, I'm gonna give it a try and hope we have enough incense in the house to clear out the smell of smoke.
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