Useful Techniques for Cooking over the Grill or Smoker
Welcome to this edition of proven techniques for outdoor cooking. We present these techniques which will improve taste, ease the work load or even make better presentations to guests and judges - wherever you happen to be enjoying cooking outdoors! Enjoy!
Flame Grilled Chicken
|While each technique for accomplishing the best results possible can mostly stand alone, it is best to read them all and incorporate them into an overall assault on the grill. Be sure to have your assault well fortified with your favorite beverage! Today's technique is:
Cooking Flame Grilled Chicken
Chicken is the most popular item cooked on the grill on any given weekend. It is delicious, easy to cook and healthy. We will show you how to grill you chicken without it sticking to the grill or being burnt to a crisp and still be extremely tasty and tender.
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Suggestion #1: We begin with organic chickens where possible. If not, then select the freshest meat available on the day you are going to be cooking.
Suggestion #2: We also prefer using a rub on the chicken. If you like to marinate yours, then we would suggest adding additional ingredients to make the flavor a little stronger. You see, when spices are cooked, the heat from the grill makes the flavor milder and thus less flavor actually reaches your palate. Below, we have a dry rub for you to try and think you will find rubbing adds more flavor to your meat.
Suggestion #3: Always keep your chicken cool prior to it hitting the grill. We don't want any germs breeding prior to our beginning to cook. You can do chicken parts or whole chickens. When preparing the seasonings make sure they are as fresh as possible. If your spices are 2-4 years old, please consider replacing them with fresh spices. Mix your dry rub OR marinade thoroughly. When using the dry rub, add the rub to ample fresh olive oil. Mix to a loose pasty consistency. Rub the spices/marinade all over the meat. Make sure the spices get between the skin and the meat as much as possible. Insert fingers gently between the skin and meat prying it apart and inserting the rub/marinade into the space you just created.
Suggestion #4: Cover and return the chicken to the frig while you begin to prepare your fire. Your fire should be medium heat. While we do not see a significant effect, you might want to dab a paper towel in olive oil and, and safely with tongs, coat the cooking grate to help prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill. Always place the chicken on HOT GRATES. It will give you better sear marks and release the meat from the grill surface easier when turning. We have found that sticking most often occurs when the meat is turned too early or the grate is not hot when the chicken is placed on it. Play with this and you will see how this works.
Suggestion #5: Too hot of a fire will result in burning the outside of the chicken and make it dried out before the inside is cooked. Click on Image. If the temperature is too low, then you may be breeding germs and not cooking meat. Cook directly over the heat for grilled chicken.
Suggestion #6: When using the dry rub, sprinkle additional rub lightly on the chicken's surfaces just after you have placed it on the grill. It will give it a great luster and add flavor. If you are marinating, then baste it as it cooks. NOTE: THE MARINADE MUST BE BOILED BETWEEN THE MARINADING PROCESS AND THE BASTING PROCESS. Otherwise, you will risk getting sick because you will be adding contaminated marinade to the cooked chicken. Boiling the marinade kills any remaining germs.
Suggestion #7: Turn chicken when it begins to release from the hot grill surface. Cook the chicken until it reaches 160° in the deepest part of the meat when using a meat thermometer. Do not allow the end of the thermometer to touch the bone. DO NOT OVERCOOK!
Suggestion #8: Baste the chicken with a vinegar-based mopping sauce. See our Spicy Chicken Baste Recipe. Using a tomato or sugar based sauce will burn over direct heat as shown in the image above. Save using the barbecue sauce for the end of the cooking process. You might even want to move the meat to a cooler portion of the grill, apply the sweet/tomato sauce to the meat and let it sit a few minutes before serving.
Suggestion #9: Last, but not least, we need smoke! There are many different methods of applying smoke flavor to your meats. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND LIQUID SMOKE! We would, however, suggest you consider using wood chips or smoking pellets (with smoker boxes), wood chunks and natural lump charcoal. Each of these natural products will provide you with clean, smooth smoky flavor. You might also consider using a Smoke Generator.