Robert Penry outsideChef Robert’s Helpful Hints

by Robert A. Penry

Admissions Classroom Presenter-Culinary Johnson & Wales University 

Grilling TIPS

1. It is important to preheat your grill for about 15 to 20 minutes. In addition to sanitizing the grates, it will help create a good sear on contact and help prevent sticking. Food that is properly seared will increase in flavor and aid in retaining moisture.

2. For those grillers who choose to use a charcoal grill, a chimney starter is a great investment (about $15 to $20). Place a ball of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney starter, light the newspaper with a match or lighter, and in about 20 minutes you are ready to go.

3. When grilling meats such as chicken or steak it is important to leave it alone. If you go to flip it and it is resisting, let it go for a little while longer. If you try to flip the meat too early it will cause tearing. Remember to pull meats such as steak off a little early. Carry over cooking will occur when you pull the meat off of the grill. Pulling it off a little early will help prevent overcooking.

4. Use heat zones when grilling. This can be accomplished both with charcoal and gas grills. For charcoal, pile the coals in the middle. Sear foods directly over the coals and then move foods off to the sides where it is cooler. For a gas grill, keep one side on high for searing then finish foods on the other side being kept on medium. Both techniques will help prevent charring and burning.

5. Adding a touch of smoke will boost the flavor! In most supermarkets you can purchase various woodchips such as apple, hickory and mesquite. Be sure to soak the chips in water for about 20 minutes prior to use. Loosely bundle the chips in tin foil and place over the flame or charcoal. The longer you leave the food exposed to the smoke, the deeper the flavor.

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