Grilling Techniques

Grilling is a method of cooking using intense, dry heat. Unlike braising, grilling does not tenderise meat, so it is essential to use tender, choice cuts. It's also important to use food that is not too thick (less than 5 cm or 2 in) as otherwise the food will be cold and raw on the inside when the outside is fully cooked.

Grilling Tips

  • Make sure that you take the food out of the fridge or freezer in plenty of time to bring it to room temperature before grilling.
  • Do not add salt to the food before grilling; this will draw out the moisture. Salt after (or during) grilling instead.
  • Preheat the grill well. Preheating the grill at its highest setting for 10-20 minutes will ensure that the food is crisp on the outside and juicy in the middle. A cooler grill will not brown the food quickly enough, leaving it tasteless and unattractive.
  • Brush the food with butter, oil or a mixture of the two to speed the browning process and to keep it moist. It will also prevent delicate foods such as fish from sticking.
  • Turn the food halfway through the cooking process, when the first surface is attractively brown. Use tongs rather than a fork; if you pierce the food, you will lose some of the precious juices.
  • Once the surface is brown, move the food further away from the heat source so that the inside can cook before the surface burns.
  • Baste the food to add flavour and shine. Use olive oil, butter or juices that have dropped into the pan.
  • Do not overcook; the more well-done the food, the tougher it will be to eat.
  • Once ready, serve immediately. Grilled food will soon lose moisture, causing it to dry up and become tough.