memo from the grill and flying objects

This picture pretty much sums up summertime. Outside at the grill, kids in the pool, only to get out when dinner is ready.

We use our grill for just about everything. People forget that a grill, with the oven closed, is just like an oven.

Most gas grills will tell you what the internal temperature of the grill is with a thermometer on the hood. We baked these phyllo cups, for our dessert of berries, on the grill.

You can use the grill to trap the heat with the hood like an oven. These baked in the equivalent of a 350F oven. To make your grill work for you there needs to be a hot zone and a cool zone.

A hot zone is where items are placed directly over the flames. Most of the time you start off in the hot zone with your meat or vegetable over direct flames. This gives the item color and the distinctive grill marks you find on grilled food.

Say you’re grilling a thick pork chop. The outside will be nicely seared in a few minutes on each side but the inside will need to cook through some more.

That’s when you would move the pork chop to the cool zone and close the lid. This keeps the outer skin from burning which it would do if it stayed on the open flames.

By placing the chop on the cool zone and closing the oven you’ve created an environment where it can continue to cook the inside of the meat without drying out the pork chop.

A standard-size grill like ours typically has three rows of burners. We create a hot zone with the two first burners and a cool zone by leaving the third burner off.

By leaving the third burner off it keeps the internal temperature of the grill between about 350F and 400F which is perfect to cook a meat like a pork chop to produce a juicy and flavorful chop.

With the third burner on the temperature would be much higher and more like 500F. Recently, we were grilling a big brisket where we wanted a really high temperature. The brisket was cooking as the internal temperature of the grill soared.

Apparently the plastic bottle of extra-virgin-olive-oil sat a little too close to the wall of the grill hood where the high heat could be felt.

The bottle began to slowly melt, and when the pressure was just about right, the bottle cap shot straight up in the air and over the grill.

Dinner’s ready!

We continue through the third week of the blogathon!

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