Specialty Grilling Techniques

Bring out the robust flavors in your food with these six specialty grilling techniques.

| August 2012

Step out of the box at your next backyard barbecue, and try these specialty grilling techniques from The Gardener & the Grill (Running Press, 2012). Savor the flavors of stuffed vegetables, fingerling potatoes and whole chicken or fish by grill-roasting them to perfection. Smoking onions, peppers and soft cheeses brings out a delicious, smoldering hardwood flavor. And nothing says “summer” like garden-fresh grilled vegetables alongside plump grilled fruits and savory meats. This excerpt is taken from the chapter “Specialty Grilling Techniques.” 

Sometimes, to get a certain flavor and texture from foods, you’ll want to go beyond basic grilling. Your grill can perform many of the same cooking functions as your indoor stovetop and oven, such as searing, stir-frying, planking, and roasting. The grill just gives the food you cook outdoors more flavor.

By moving the food away from the fire, keeping the grill lid closed instead of open, adding wood or herbs to the fire, and using a grill gadget like a grill wok or plank, you can increase the versatility of your grill and your own barbecue repertoire. Here are three delicious grilling recipes and six specialty grilling techniques you should try.

3 Great Recipes for the Grill

Grill-Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Baja Fish Tacos
Red Hot Blackened Seasoning 

Grill Roasting

Grill roasting is cooking food away from the fire, with the grill lid closed, for a longer time than simple indirect grilling. Grill-roasted foods cook through and scorch, but do not get grill marks or char. Vegetables usually take about 15 to 45 minutes; a grill-roasted whole chicken takes about 90 minutes. This technique works well for whole peppers, stuffed vegetables, whole baby carrots, cauliflower slices, fingerling potatoes, root vegetables, and whole chicken or fish. Wood-roasting takes this technique a step further; you add wood to the fire, producing an additional smoky flavor.

Indirect Grilling

Indirect grilling is cooking food away from the fire, with the grill lid closed, for a short time, usually under 15 minutes. Most often in this book, we ask you to prepare an indirect fire in your grill—a fire on one side and no fire on the other—so you can get good grill marks on foods on the hot side with the grill lid up, then transfer them to finish cooking on the indirect side, with the grill lid up or down, depending on the recipe. This allows more delicate dishes like Grilled Salmon in Corn Husks or grilled pizzas and flatbreads to get good flavor from the fire without getting burned.

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