Category Archives for Tips

How to Smoke Salmon?

Prepping Time: 15 m

Cooking Time: 4 hr

Total Time: 4 hr 15 m

Originally done as a method of preservation, smoking salmon has went through a lot of innovation in the recent years. Instead of its former purpose, it has now become an essential ingredient for countless recipes including those of pasta, quiches, pâtés, and even salads.

If you want to take your cooking to the next level, you need to know how to smoke fish, especially salmon as it is the most commonly used seafood for this purpose.

What do you need to get started?

Prior to getting your salmon all smoked up, there are a number of things that you need to make sure are present with you. Now, if you don't have one of these, it is OKAY, you can buy it if you want or ignore it. The ingredients and items that we are mentioning here are the ones that we think are imperative for getting the ideal results for your smoked salmon.

Nevertheless, like we always recommend, feel free to experiment around to get the best possible recipe that you love.

High Quality Smoker

This is the most neglected step whenever it comes to smoking food. You need to make sure that the smoker you have, or if you plan to buy it, is of the best possible quality. This is for three vital reasons:

  • Ability to sustain high temperatures

When you buy a smoker, you need to consider all the kinds of recipe that you are going to try. It might be that you initially bought it for smoking fish but later thought about getting some pork done too. The point to note here is that you need a less intense temperature to smoke fish in comparison with pork, venison or turkey. If your smoker breaks down after consistent cooking sessions, then it is not worth the money.

For a coal-fueled smoker, we recommend the Dyna-Glo company (as shown in the picture above). If you are looking for an electric one, Masterbuilt is your perfect companion.

  • Presence of an efficient system for temperature control

You don't want your salmon burned up or smoked up too quickly. The smoker you use must have a control system, a knob or something with which you can regulate the heat easily in accordance with how quickly or slowly you want to cook the fish.

Generally, we recommend using a medium temperature, even though it takes longer time, that will allow your salmon to fully absorb the warmth and become tender from inside out.

  • Durability and sturdiness which won't betray

You are not going to be smoking salmon for once in your lifetime. Besides, fish is not the only food which you will be working on (in the future). Therefore, remember that quality comes at a price. If you really are passionate about cooking and want to impress your friends and family, spending some bucks won't disappoint you, that's for sure!

Kosher Salt

This is for the preservation and taste purposes. You cannot use the common table salt for this as its full of iodide and anti-caking agents which may give an awkward metallic taste to your salmon.

If you don't have kosher salt, you can use pickling salt. It is the pure form of granulated salt and is non-iodized with no unnecessary agents.

Container

You need to put your salmon on something that is non-reactive (glass or plastic), clean and wide enough to accommodate the fish pieces on it without crowding. The container you use can be of any size as long as it is not too tall and fits inside your fridge effortlessly.

Sweetener

If you haven't tried to use a sweetening agent for your fish, you are missing a lot of delicious and mouth-watering experience. You can use anything from common honey to maple syrup and birch syrup. The latter is preferred for its taste, but then it depends on your preferences as well. This will be added (according to your liking) into the brine which you will be making for your salmon.

Wired Grid

This will be placed on the surface of the container such that it doesn't fall inside it but remains over it with its edges resting on those of the container. The brined salmon needs loads of air circulation to form the pellicle around it. It also needs to remain fresh so we need to use something which has space inside it (container) and a grid, to place the salmon pieces on, with lots of open areas. This will ensure that the fish is getting proper air from all the sides.

Basting Brush

You can get this from any superstore or online shopping sites. This will be required for various purposes, one of which will be the oiling up of the salmon before putting it in the smoker.

What to do?

The process of smoking salmon is simple as long as you have all the required ingredients and items along with you. Here are the precise steps that you should be following for a successful outcome:

1) Cure the salmon: create the brine with the ingredients of your choice, our recipe will be mentioned below in the FAQs section. Add it in a non-reactive container (glass or plastic) and put the fish pieces in it. Cover the container and put it in the refrigerator. This step will ensure all the internal moisture of the fish is eliminated and the taste and spices of the brine, along with salt, are infused in it.

2) Leave it for some time: the refrigerated salmon will need time to fully cure. For normal-sized thin pieces, the process will take around 4-5 hours to complete. If you are using a thick fillet, expect to let it alone for 8-12 hours. If you are using a really thick one, the likes of chinook salmon (also known as king salmon), then you must leave it for about 30-36 hours. Make sure never to cross the duration of 48 hours or the fish will absorb in too much salt and get its taste ruined.

3) Let the fish dry: you should now take the salmon out of the brine and pat it dry. Place the wired grid on the container and put the fish on it and let it dry under a high-speed ceiling fan. If you want, you can also dry it in the refrigerator overnight. This step is super essential in smoking the salmon correctly. Many beginners fail to do this either out of laziness or negligence and end up making a not-so-nice smoked salmon.

4) Smoke the salmon: use a basting brush to oil every inch of the fish so that it doesn't stick to the surface of the smoker's rack. Now start the smoker with a low flame and increase it gradually, depending on the condition of the salmon. Do not rush with this step or otherwise you may notice white substance extracting out of the fish. This is called albumin and it's nothing to worry about as long as it is not in an excessive amount. We recommend you to start with 140°F, slowly increase it till 150°F for an hour and then finally go to a maximum of 175°F and keep it for another hour or two.

5) Apply the sweetening agent: this may be maple syrup, birch syrup or honey. Use whatever is available and whatever you like the best. Although, birch syrup generally makes the salmon taste much more better.

You need to apply the sweetener every hour or so with the basting brush. Make sure to brush away any white substance first and then coat the syrup.

6) Cool the fish and serve it: the smoked salmon is now to be cooled under a ceiling fan for an hour. In this step, do not use refrigerator to cool it. By cooling here, we mean to get rid of the excessive heat as it just came off the smoker.

Once done, you can serve it with anything or use it as an ingredient in another recipe. If you want to use it later, feel free to store it by wrapping a plastic around it. This will allow it to last around 10 days before going bad. If you vacuum-seal it, your salmon will be capable of surviving for 3 weeks.

How do I make brine?

Brine has several recipes, each of it with its own taste and ingredients. Ranging from the most basic which is usable anywhere, to the most advanced ones which need precision to learn.

For smoking salmon, we'll be using a basic flavored recipe of brine with the least amount of ingredients so you can easily make it. 

  • 2 cups of water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt (you can add more to your liking)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sweetening agent  
  • (Optional) any sauce that you may desire

FAQs

I don't have a sweetening agent, except for honey and I'm not a big fan of it. Is it necessary to use it?

No, it is not at all necessary to use any kind of sweetening liquids. It is just a tradition to do so when smoking salmon. What matters in the end is whether you are happy with the end results. If it is without any sweeteners, so be it.

Should I smoke the salmon with or without its skin?

Doesn't matter. It depends on how you like it. No difference is made to the taste.

I used the temperature as per your instructions. There still was a lot of white substance (albumin) coming out of the salmon. What went wrong?

It could be that you used frozen fish. They tend to "bleed" more than the fresh ones. Anyhow, don't worry too much, just keep following the instructions and you should be fine.

Can I cool off my fish in the outdoors instead of under a ceiling fan or a refrigerator?

You sure can. It's just that we don't want the flying dirt particles in the air to land on your beautiful salmon so that's why we didn't mention this method.

Do I use wood or charcoal to smoke my salmon?

You can use either of them. Charcoal tends to give a BBQ-ish kind of taste while wood doesn't give anything of its own to the fish.

What do you suggest for smoking other kinds of fish?

Generally, salmon and sea bass are the best ones to smoke. Leaner fish tend to take more attention and hard-work in ensuring nothing goes wrong. You can also try tuna and sailfish.

Conclusion

Smoking fish is not a difficult job at all. In fact, once you become good at it, we bet you'll want to smoke every kind of food to see what comes out of it.

Just remember that different kinds of foods take different kinds of ways to smoke them. Meat such as beef, pork and venison take more time and different methods to properly smoke. Fish, on the other hand, are the most commonly smoked food due to their ease of handling and simple-to-use recipes.

How to Smoke Turkey?

Min Prep Time: 5 hr

Min Cooking Time: 30 m

Total Time: 5 hr 30 m

Turkey is one of the most widely consumed poultry dish in North America and Canada. Even though it is commonly cooked on Thanksgiving and Christmas events, knowing how to cook turkey can be a delicious addition to the list of recipes you know.

One thing about meat like turkey and pork, especially contrary to seafood, is the amount of time it takes to smoke. To get the perfect possible results, make sure to thoroughly read the instructions we have written.

What do you need to get started?

Not to sound quirky, but spare at least a day or two before getting started on cooking the turkey. Patience, attention to details and punctuality are the main mental ingredients on which the success of a delicious turkey will depend.

Other than that, if you are a regular griller, it is expected that you'll already be having all the other ingredients and items that we are about to mention. If not, that's OKAY. You can get the required things at a pretty cheap cost from any large superstore.

Without further ado, let's get started.

Magic Dust BBQ Seasoning

Invented by the winner of Grand World Championship Cooking title, Mile Mills' Magic Dust seasoning can be used anywhere and everywhere. If you are a grilling or smoking geek, you need to have this with you as it takes every food to the next level and revolutionizes the taste.

On the internet, you are likely to find various recipes of this. Indeed, many modifications have been made to Magic Dust's ingredients but the one we are going to give you is the original one, as used by Mile Mills. We are going to create a jar-full of this so if you want, you can modify the values and make lesser or more.

31/2 tablespoons of cumin seeds (ground)
31/2 tablespoons of sugar (white or brown, your choice)
31/2 tablespoons of kosher salt
61/2 tablespoons of paprika powder
2 tablespoons of mustard powder
2 tablespoons of black pepper (ground)
31/2 tablespoons of garlic (ground)
2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper (ground)
31/tablespoons of chili powder

Kosher Salt

Salt is one of the most essential preserving ingredients when it comes to grilling or smoking. Absence of it can be a deal-breaker but the usage of the wrong one can be an even bigger one.

It is highly recommended to use kosher salt which has no anti-caking agents and is non-iodized. Using the typical table salt can give an "off" taste to the meat, making all the preparation and cooking hard-work useless.

Aluminium Foil

There will be an occasion during the smoking of turkey where it will need to be rested for at least 20-30 minutes. The challenge is that it should not lose too much of its heat such that it loses its tenderness or becomes cold.

Aluminium foil, also known as tin foil, is an excellent heat absorption solution. You can loosely wrap it around the turkey and it will work as a high quality insulator for you while balancing the air circulation so neither does the food remain too hot or too cold. 

Meat Thermometer

An essential skill in grilling and smoking is the precision of temperature and timing. A few degrees up or a few degrees down and your turkey is likely to be altered from what you desire it to be.

Having a digital meat thermometer can solve this problem. It comes at a cost-effective price, it is durable, easy to use and reliable. In addition, this can also assist in you timing as to how long your turkey should remain under a certain temperature. There is not a timer function in a thermometer but that can be done separately. 

What cannot be done separately is checking the temperatures of specific parts of the turkey like its thighs. Some parts cook quicker than the others so the regular manipulation of temperature is vital in avoiding burning.

Chicken Stock

You can either choose to make this yourself or buy it pre-made from a superstore. However, we always recommend making things fresh and besides, it's not difficult to make either. It is very similar to chicken broth, which is made out of the chicken's meat, except that this is made out of the leftover bones of it.

To make a basic flavored chicken stock, here is what you need to do.

Ingredients

-3 cups of water
-A handful of leftover chicken bones either from a raw or a cooked chicken (depends on you)
-Fresh batch of celery leaves
-One stem of celery, sliced into 2-inch or 1-inch pieces
-Large quartered onion (peeled)
-Fresh carrot, sliced into 2-inch or 1-inch pieces
-One batch of parsley
-1/4 teaspoon of pepper
-1 teaspoon of kosher salt (or as per your liking)

Procedure

  1. Take the chicken bones and vegetables and put them together in a stock pot
  2. Add the pepper and salt then cover the pan
  3. Turn on the fire and heat the pan until boil. Once that's done, immediately lower the temperature until its simmering
  4. Partially remove the pan cover and let it simmer for 4 hours
  5. Once done, remove the bones and vegetables
  6. Your chicken stock is now ready to be served


Basting Brush

It is very likely that you already have this in your kitchen. If not, you can easily order it online or get it from a local superstore. We'll be needing this brush for basting our turkey.

Apple Cider Vinegar

We will be basting this on our turkey too but mainly because apple cider vinegar has acidic properties. It is the best way to kill bacteria and preserve the turkey after it has been cooked. 

In addition, it can also add a tasty sourness to the turkey which, when combined with honey, results in a combination of priceless awesomeness.

Honey

We will be using honey as a sweetening agent for basting our turkey. This is an important step with no other alternatives because honey has the perfect amount of density and sweetness so, it is going to serve as an important ingredient.

What to do?

The process of smoking turkey is simple as long as you remain patient throughout it and follow the temperature as precisely as possible. 

To get started, here is what you should do in orderly steps:

1) Soak some wood: get a handful of wood pieces (hickory, pecan or apple are recommended) and soak them in water for at least a minimum of 4 hours. The more the better, you can do so until a maximum of 48 hours.

2) Get the turkey out: remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let it sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. You need to make sure none of its parts are too cold or too hard from being refrigerated.

3) Ready the smoker: prepare the smoker to 275 °F for indirect heat. Start sprinkling the wood chips and let some smoke start rising. 

4) Spice up the turkey: use the magic dust and rub it all over the turkey, giving special and increased focus to the inside parts. Try to spread the seasoning evenly, making sure no area is left out.

5) Moisten the grates: use your favorite oil (canola for the best taste) and use the basting brush to spread it around every inch of the grates. Remember, so far until now, we haven't started smoking the turkey yet

6) Start smoking: place the seasoned turkey on the oil grates and let it cook now. Use the following temperature guide to help you understand the cooking time:

235 °F = 30 minutes required to cook per pound of the turkey

250 °F = 25 minutes required to cook per pound of the turkey

275 °F = 20 minutes required to cook per pound of the turkey

Basically, the formula is that with every 15 °F increase in the temperature, 5 minutes lesser are required to cook per pound of the turkey. However, we do not recommend exceeding 275 °F as it anything higher may start burning the turkey skin.

So, if your turkey weighs 8 kg (18 pounds) you need to multiply the time by it and you'll know how much time to keep it smoking. At 275 °F, you will need an approximate of 6 hours to perfectly smoke the turkey.

7) Start basting: 1-2 hours before the cooking time is finished, start basting. This is where our chicken stock is going to come. Mix together some honey, apple cider vinegar and chick stock and stir it until even distribution of the ingredients. Use this mixture and baste the turkey after every 30 minutes.

8) Cover it up: once your turkey is smoked and cooked, loosely wrap it around aluminium foil and let it rest for 15 minutes (if you cooked the whole thing). This will make sure that the warm air rising from the hot turkey is repelled by the foil and evenly spread around every part of the turkey, making it juicy and tender from inside out.

FAQs

Why does the start of the guide mention 30 minutes of cooking time and then later 6 hours?

30 minutes of time is the minimum required to cook a single pound of the turkey. If you are cooking the whole turkey, you need to multiply this time by the number of pounds it weighs. 

Also, 30 minutes is the standard time at 250 °F. It all depends on the temperature you use and what part of the turkey you wish to smoke (unless it is the whole of it).

I hate honey, I don't want to use it. If I don't use it, apple cider vinegar will make everything too sourly. What do I do?

In that case, just use the chick stock to baste the turkey. Apple cider vinegar must NOT be used alone. It needs to be neutralized with something sweet and that something is honey.

Am I supposed to dry the soaked wood chips before putting them in the smoker?

Pat them dry to the extent that water is not dripping off.

After cooking the turkey, where do I put it for rest? Under a ceiling fan or outdoors?

As a matter of act, neither of the above. You are not trying to cool the turkey but rather trying to let the heat spread itself evenly around. Let it rest at a place where the ceiling fan is turned off and there is no direct air colliding with it e.g. don't put it in front of a completely opened window.

Do I use wood or charcoal to smoke my turkey?

You can use either of them. If you use charcoal, the preparation time will be greatly reduced. It doesn't matter what you use

What do you suggest for smoking other kinds of meat?

The only thing that will differ is the recipe you are using and the amount of time to cook. The magic dust can be used for literally anything, even vegetables. Chicken stock, on the other hand, is only applicable on domesticated birds like turkey and chicken itself. Don't use it on beef, pork or venison.

Conclusion

Smoking turkey is not a difficult job at all. The only downside of it is the amount of time it takes. This is why it's not a very common house meal. However, at least knowing how to cook something is better than not knowing at all how it works. After all, you don't need to smoke the entire turkey, 2-3 pounds of it is also enough and that will take a very minimal amount of time.

Besides, with this guide, you should not have any kind of confusions. Just follow the instructions and we are sure you are going to amaze your family and friends with the hidden chef inside of you.

Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates

If you are a grilling enthusiast and love to cook delicious meals regularly, one thing you need to know is how to keep your grill grates cleaned and well-maintained. 

Apart from the fact that cleaning your stainless steel grill grates will ensure that whatever you cook is healthy and free from bacteria, it will also save your time, the next time you use your grill, and turn an otherwise painstaking process into an effortless and uncomplicated cleaning session.

Simple Step by Step Cleaning Instructions

1. Incinerate the food remnants

The key to getting rid of the unnecessary and burnt up leftovers of whatever you have cooked is to ignite your grill to the highest possible temperature and let all the residues be burnt away. If your grill is powered by charcoal, make sure to keep all the vents open to have some kind of control over the regulation of heat.

2. Sanitize the grills

Make a mixture of baking soda and water in a container large enough to accommodate your grill grates. Lay them off from the grill and if you have just completed step one, let them cool down before placing them in the mixture. For the most effective results, leave them overnight and brush the grates again the next day.

3. Remove the excess grease

Having completed the sanitation process, make a solution of water with mild soap (pH 5.5 - 7), thoroughly mix it, and use a cleaning cloth to wipe off any grease which may still have survived. Once done, rinse the grates in warm water and leave them to dry.

4. (Optional) Season the grates

Unlike the iron ones, stainless steel grates are much more resilient to rusting. In fact, it is only under extreme conditions or purposely-created environment in which you'd find such a grate to start rusting. As a preventative measure, however, you can coat them up with a thin layer of oil (any is fine, vegetable is popular), just enough to cover all its parts. Do not bathe them with oil.

5. Use them or store them

The cleaning process is now complete. You can either go ahead and use your grates or store them somewhere. If you happen to choose the latter, make sure the grates are stored in a dry place. 

Preventing Discoloration

While it is certainly true that you cannot always keep your grates in brand new conditions, it is still possible to slow their aging process and have them nice and shiny looking.

The process of seasoning has been going around for many centuries now and it is not just to give your cookware a temporary glossy look. In fact, it is a proven fact that your appliances are guaranteed to last longer if they are coated with a dense oil after every use. The discoloration we see in our grates is a natural phenomenon and it develops due to increased exposures to high temperatures of heat. However, if you have noticed, even this faded layer of your grates may seem shiny, to some extent. This is because of a build up of oil that has dried itself deep inside the grates' structure. Primarily, this prevents corrosion and ensures that the surface remains non-sticking for easy cooking.

If you want to achieve such results more naturally and without having to see your grill ugly up, it is highly recommended to use something like lard, palm or coconut oils.

Importance of Cleaning Immediately

For many people, BBQ itself is tiring and exhausting. Having to stand in front of a smoking hot grill for hours and keeping constant eye on the food. Sure, it can be frustrating, especially when you are hungry. But what if you hadn't even started your vacation and had found your grill in an unbearably disgusting state!

It is much more overwhelming if you have to clean your grill before you can even begin enjoying the holidays. This is why, not only for the sake of saving your own time and breathing a sigh of relief the next time you open your grill, it is essential to clean it right after every usage. In fact, adhering to this rule is also guaranteed to make the overall process effortless as the food remnants, grease and leftovers are still warm and easy to scrape off.

Therefore, the next time you use your grill, shine it up immediately afterwards to ensure it remains healthy and durable.

Conclusion

Keeping your stainless steel grill clean and sanitized is the best possible way of ensuring that whatever you cook is healthy and clean. We hope that our guide has helped you in understanding the basics of cleaning stainless steel grates, the importance of regular maintenance and the causes of discoloration.

Happy cleaning!

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Grilling Times and temperatures Chart- BBQ to perfection!

One cannot be called a grilling expert unless they understand the importance of paying attention to the temperature and duration of cooking while grilling. These are one of the most important factors that play a leading role in meals being good or bad.

Best Grilling Temperature For Various Foods

The ideal grilling temperature required is determined by its type, thickness, cut, recipe and whether indirect or direct heat is being used. In this section, we have created a simplified graphical representation of all the common foods and the temperature required by them.

Type

Cooking Temp.

Time

Let Sit.

New York Strip

360 - 400 °F

Food Temp. 130-165 °F

3-10 MIN

​​​​4 min

Filet Mignon

360 - 400 °F

Food Temp. 130-165 °F

3-10 MIN

4 min

Hamburger

400 °F

Food Temp. 160 °F

2-5 MIN

2 min

Kabobs

350 - 400 °F

Food Temp. 130-165 °F

2-4 MIN

3 min

Roast, rolled rump

380 °F

Food Temp. 135-170 °F

16-22 MIN

15 min

Sirloin Tips

350 °F

Food Temp. 130-165 °F

16-25 MIN

15 min

Tenderloin (Small 2.5 lb)

400 °F

Food Temp. 135-170 °F

8-14 MIN

10 min

Tenderloin (Large 5 lb) 

400 °F

Food Temp. 145-170 °F

10-18 MIN

10 min

Beef is one of the most common meats used for grilling, barbecuing and smoking. It is also one of those choices which comes in many varieties due to the possibility of different cuts. This is exactly why you may notice types like tenderloin, sirloin, rib eye and etc.

For better understanding, we are going to use the most common versions/cuts of beef and comprehensively explain how they should be grilled.

Steak Grilling Temperature and Time

Steak, in general, can refer to four different cuts: T-Bone, Tenderloin, Rib Eye and New York Strip. Though you may find them to be very similar in appearance, they do slightly differ in terms of ideal temperatures and cooking periods.

Conventionally, USDA suggests that to get the best possible medium steak, an internal temperature of 145 °F is not only healthy but also good in terms of nutritional safety. Traditionally and according to tried and tested methods, it is perfectly all right to experiment between 130 °F to 165 °F to get the ideal kind of meat tenderness. Anything below or more than this may give unpleasant or unwanted results.

As for the grilling times, this is very much dependent on how high of a temperature you are using. If you are utilizing the ones mentioned in our chart, a standard period of 2-10 minutes should do the job for you. you must keep in mind that different recipes can also influence the amount of time required for grilling.

Filet Mignon

French for "beef fillet", this kind of beef cut is much more thicker than steak and requires more time to be fully grilled and thoroughly cooked from inside out.

For every inch of thickness, filet mignon will require the same amount of temperature and grill time as a standard piece of steak would. 

Sirloin

This kind of cut is probably the most beloved by chefs all around the world. It can be cooked and turned into a juicy soft meat or a barbecued-style tough roasted steak. For sirloin, you don't generally need to worry too much about the temperature. Its flexible texture and versatile thickness allows it to become an ideal candidate for a wide range of heat levels.

In addition, sirloin is probably the easiest piece of meat to grill. All you need to do is marinate it, let the spices sit for a while and start cooking. If you are unsure about what temperatures to use and when to switch the sides, you can always refer to our info-graphics, as shown at beginning of this guide.

To make things simple, the steak's temperature and grilling times are determined by the thickness of the cut and the recipe you are using. Using our chart, you can just multiply the values in accordance with the number of individuals you are serving.

As always, we highly recommend to use a digital thermometer. It removes the potential for any kind of mistakes and makes grilling effortless and fun.

Type

Cooking Temp.

Time

Let Sit.

Breast Halves

350 °F

Food Temp. 165-170°F

6-8 MIN

15min

Whole Chicken

350 °F

Food Temp. 165-180 °F

60-75 MIN

15 min

Legs and thighs

350 °F

Food Temp. 165-180 °F

10-15 MIN

15 min

Drumsticks

350 °F

Food Temp. 165-180 °F

8-12 MIN

15 min

Wings

350 °F

Food Temp. 165-180 °F

8-12 MIN

15 min

Chicken Grilling Temperature and Time

Chicken is one of the most beloved kind of meat all over the world due to its smooth texture and natural tenderness. Chickens are easy to raise and can be bought at an attractive price. They have thousands of recipes, from the most easiest ones to the 5 star-restaurant level, and are easy to cook with delicious results.

The traditional temperature for grilling chicken revolves around from 165° F to 180° F, depending on what you are cooking. As a general rule, the surface temperature is ideal to be 350° F for cooking the various kinds of chicken cuts

Other than that, we are going to list out the most common parts of the chicken along with a brief guide on how to cook them.

Breasts

The bulkiest of cuts, very popular in restaurants and often used for creating burger patties. Chicken breasts have a tendency to dry out if cooked for a long time. Therefore, knowing the grilling times and temperature is essential to get it perfect.

To start off, marinate the breasts with the spices of your choice and freeze them or use them right away. Should you choose the latter, get the grilling temperature to  approximately 165° F - 170° F. Use direct heat for the best results and keep each side cooking for 6-8 minutes.,

If you happen to be using breasts for chicken kabobs, a temperature of 150° F to 170° F would work well along with 2-4 minutes of time for each side. Though these can vary depending on your recipe and how thick the kabobs are, what we've mentioned are the standard values. For more details, check out the info-graphics for the chicken section at the beginning of this guide.

Chicken Thighs/Legs

Just like chicken breasts, these are very commonly served as main or side-dishes. Almost every popular fast-food franchise utilizes the perfect natural proportions of this cut of the chicken, more meat than bones, and it never fails to disappoint either.

To get perfectly cooked chicken thighs/legs, a temperature between 165° F to 180° F should do the job for you with 10-15 minutes of grilling for each side depending on how cooked you want your thighs to be and, not forgetting, the recipe you are using.

To keep the natural juices of the chicken strong, it is recommended not to overcook it. Anything from medium to good will serve just right.

Wings

Definitely our favorite and also the beloved piece of chicken for half the world. If you are not a big fan of chicken wings, then there's something you are not doing correctly. But that's okay, here's what you should be doing to get an awe-inspiring taste.

Marinate the chicken wings hours before grilling or overnight and let them rest in the freezer for a good amount of time. This will allow the spices to fully coat every inch of the chicken and be ready to be cooked anytime of the week.

The grilling temperature should be approximately between 165° F to 180° F and a time period of 8-12 minutes for each side. Point to be noted, chicken wings are known for cooking super fast so keeping an eye on it during your BBQ session will ensure everything is looking beautiful after the food gets off the grates.

Turkey

This is a thicker kind of meat requiring lots of care and attention to come out tasty. If you are worried about Thanksgiving, have no fear because we are going to get you all prepared. As a forewarning, be ready for an extra long grilling time.

So, to start off, aim for a temperature of 165° F to 175° F with a cooking period of 60-110 minutes for each side of the turkey, using direct heat. The longer times can be justified by the thick skin structure on turkey and other similar birds like duck and ostrich.

Serve it with salads and anything else you may have planned for your Thanksgiving menu.

Type

Cooking Temp.

Time

Let Sit.

Chops

325 - 350°F

Food Temp. 145°F

2-7 MIN

3min

Ground Pork Patties

400 °F

Food Temp. 160 °F

2-5 MIN

3 min

Ribs

350-400 °F

Food Temp. 145 °F

30-120 MIN

3 min

Tenderloin

400 °F

Food Temp. 145 °F

10-25 MIN

3 min

Loin Kabobs

350 - 400 °F

Food Temp. 135-160 °F

2-4 MIN

3 min

Ham (Uncured)

285 °F

Food Temp. 140 °F

6-10 MIN

3 min

For centuries, pork has been a favorite for almost everyone around the world. It's naturally soft and tasty meat is a delicacy for many.

Cooking pork is not at all difficult. In fact, the grilling temperature and times are pretty much the same as those of beef since it also has tenderloin, and loins.

The most important point to remember about pork is marination. Pork may start to emanate an unpleasant smell if it's not treated properly. Keep it refrigerated with strong spices like ginger and garlic to avoid it from turning bad.

For the ideal surface temperature, you can refer to the info graphics at the beginning of the page. All the common meat cuts and relevant grilling information is mentioned which you should be able to get started. For basics, prep up the grill from anywhere between 300 °F – 400 °F.

Pork Chops

These are the leanest cuts taken from the pig and often contain a part of the vertebra (backbones) or the rib bones. These serve nicely as an individual portion along with a cup of rice or salad and yoghurt.

However, the main question is, what is the best temperature to get the perfect grill chops? Straight up, we suggest conforming, but not limiting your adventurous self, to a medium internal temperature of 145° F.

Since the pork chops cook faster than the other parts of the pig, a cooking time of 2-7 minutes would be ideal for each side to achieve a properly cooked meal.

Pork Tenderloin

Popularly known as "Pork Fillet" or "Gentleman's Cut", it is the ideal dish for serving a large amount of guests. Just like the pork chops, this one cooks fast as well, due to its long thin structure, but requires an equal amount of attention to turn out properly.

The cooking temperature is pretty much the same at 145° F but the times can vary from 10 - 25 minutes for each side. Though it's not thick, this one takes time because of its lengthiness.

Pork Ribs

These are famous servings in Western and  East-Asian cuisines. Due to their versatility and natural softness, they can be smoked, baked, grilled and whatever else you wish to do with them. All cooking methods can be applied on the pork ribs and they will still give you a memorable experience to long for.

Since pork ribs can be pretty much served at any time of the day; snacks, lunch, dinner, you can be as adventurous or light as you want with their recipe. It all depends on what your tummy desires and how spicy you'd like to eat.

To grill them correctly, pork ribs are better suited to be exposed to indirect heat. This is because of the structure of the ribs (there are bones in the meat) which requires thorough cooking before being able to be served. The temperature is, yet again, 145° F but the grilling times start from a minimum of 30 - 120 minutes of constant cooking.

Pork Loins Grilling Time and Temperature Chart

This part of the meat is cut from the issue which is located at the back of the rib cage. It is usually quite wide in nature so, once cooked, you can cut several slices from it and serve a good number of guests in a single instance.

The grilling temperature for the pork loins revolves from 140° F to 165° F. Due to their larger surface area, this cut of the meat is cooked much faster than any other part of the pig. From a minimum of 4 minutes to a maximum of 8 minutes, you should be able to get a delicious meal cooked.

Type

Cooking Temp.

Time

Let Sit.

Chops

400 °F

Food Temp. 145 - 160°F

3-6 MIN

5min

Ribs

400 °F

Food Temp. 145 - 160°F

3-6 MIN

5 min

Sirloin

400 °F

Food Temp. 145 - 160°F

3-6 MIN

5 min

Leg

400 °F

Food Temp. 145 - 160°F

40-50 MIN

5 min

Ground Patty

400 °F

Food Temp. 160 °F

2-5 MIN

3 min

Kabob

350 - 400 °F

Food Temp. 135 - 160 °F

2-4 MIN

3 min

Steak

400 °F

Food Temp. 135-160 °F

3-6 MIN

5 min

Type

Cooking Temp.

Time

Let Sit.

Whole Fish

400 °F

Food Temp. 140 °F

12 MIN

Asap

Fillet/Steak

450 °F

Food Temp. 140 °F

10 MIN

Asap

Shrimp

450 °F

Food Temp. 145 °F

4-5 MIN

Asap

Lobster Tail

450 °F

Food Temp. 145 °F

8 MIN

Asap

Clams

450 °F

Food Temp. 145 °F

6-8 MIN

Asap

Whole Crab

450 °F

Food Temp. 145 °F

10 MIN

Asap

Type

Cooking Temp.

Time

Serve

Corn

350 °F

4-5 MIN

Asap

Eggplant

350 °F

5 MIN

Asap

Asparagus

350 °F

4-5 MIN

Asap

Onion/Sweet Onion

350 °F

2-3 MIN

Asap

Bell Pepper

350 °F

4-5 MIN

Asap

Cabbage

350 °F

10 MIN

Asap

Zucchini

350 °F

4-5 MIN

Asap

Tomatoes

350 °F

3-4 MIN

Asap

Mushroom

350 °F

8-9 MIN

Asap

Cauliflower

350 °F

10 MIN

Asap

Vegetables are fairly easy to cook with a lot of similarities between the most common ones. As you may have noticed from the vegetables section on our info-graphics, all require the exact same surface temperature and are to be immediately served once grilled.

Light Vegetables

To make things simpler, green vegetables, fruits and stalks are good to go after 3-10 minutes of cooking on each side. Unlike meat, these vegetables have a thin structure so it is easy for the heat to penetrate and spread around quickly. Therefore, grilling temperatures and times remain less in comparison.

Dense Vegetables

For the denser vegetables like potatoes, an internal temperature of 200° F and a cooking time of 90 minutes using indirect heat should do the job. It should be remembered though that despite of their density, it is important to keep a constant eye on their surface so as to avoid burning.

As a side-note, pay extra attention if you are grilling during a windy day and using indirect heat. Strong winds may redirect the direction of fire towards or away from the food (unless it's an electric grill), causing unpleasant results to appear.

Ideal temperatures for other common foods

Burgers

These don't require a lot of time to cook. Grill them up to the point you think they are soft enough to your liking. The ideal cooking temperature for them is 160° F with a direct heat of 400° F.

Seafood

The most common types, salmon and swordfish, require a temperature of 140° F over a direct heat of 400° F should do the job. These values apply to many other common kinds of fish so you don't need to worry about setting a new temperature every time you try a new dish. This is also the salmon grilling time and temperature commonly used.

For shrimps, lobsters and other seafood, increase the temperature to 145° F and let the direct heat be intensified to 450° F.

Grilled Sausage Time and Temperature & Hot Dogs

To grill the perfect sausages and hot dogs, an internal temperature of 150° to 160° F would work nicely with a direct heat revolving around 200° F to 225° F.

Managing temperatures on different kinds of grills

Every grill is capable of producing a different kind of heat. For example, charcoal grills are the most difficult to control as their source of fire is natural and if let loose, it could burn the food easily.

Kamado & Infrared Grills


Kamado grills are famous for their ability to retain heats. Due to their ceramic structure, they are able to reach incredible amounts of temperature and although they use charcoal as fuel, the built-in air vents allow heat to be easily managed, no matter how hot the grill is.

To start off with these, get a lump of charcoal ignited in the grill and allow the surface temperature to reach the required number. Afterwards, place the food and close the charcoal section's lid and let all the air vents be opened quarterly, partially or completely, however you wish to control the heat.

As for the infrared grills, they have the ability to cook very fast due to their top-notch technology. All you need to do to get started is preheat the grill for a minute or two at a medium heat, place your food and let each side be cooked for approximately 2 minutes.

It is highly recommended to pay attention to the grilling process as the rapid speed of infrared grills are likely to burn your food, if neglected.

Gas & Electric Grills

These are the easiest grills to control temperature wise as they have knows and burners to set a precise level of fire to be produced. Depending on the food you are grilling, with a slight rotation of the knobs, you can get the grill to reach very high or very low temperatures.

As for the gas grills, including natural gas and propane, there always are air vents so temperature management is not a difficult task. These grills are able to reach a maximum of 500° F  quite quickly.

If you are not sure what temperatures to use for the different kinds of foods, you can always refer to our info-graphics.

Charcoal Grills


By far the most hardest to manage. Charcoal grills, as the name implies, use charcoal lumps as fuel and the only ways to control their temperature are to utilize the air vents and use the right amount of coal.

One of the many mistakes made by the users of these grills is the uneven distribution of coal. Perhaps in a hurry, excitement or lack of knowledge, chefs place large lumps of coal at a single place rather than spreading them out on the surface to ensure all areas of the grates receive an equal amount of heat.

You may be wondering how indirect heat can be generated by these grills. The answer is very simple and quite helpful too. You can place the coals on one side of the grill while the food is on the opposite side on the grates. In fact, this is also an unorthodox method to control the temperature. If you feel like your food needs more heat, move them over to the area under which the coals are burning. If it is the opposite, move the food away from the heat and you're good to go.

Wrapping Up

Having knowledge of various grilling temperatures and timings for the wide range of meats, veggies, seafood and fish available is essential in cooking a delicious meal. 

Our guide has the primary objective of comprehensively explaining all the different kinds of foods available and how you should grill them. Though we have mentioned the standard values of ideal temperatures and cooking times, we also recommend you to not hesitate to experiment around and find out how soft or firm you like your foods to be. We believe every individual has their own preferences and likes and dislikes, so why limit yourself? 

We hope this guide helped you in getting the basics understood and how each grill requires a distinct kind of approach to manage its heat levels.

Have fun grilling!

Best Time to Buy a Grill Ultimate Guide

Did you know that you can buy your favorite grill at a really cheap price? No, we're not talking about a used grill. You can get your very own brand new grill from that company that you've always loved, at a super attractive price if you know those special months during which discount codes and sales are aplenty and businesses are desperate to clear their stock.

We have a compiled a guide to help you save money and beat the retailers at their own game! 


When To Buy A Grill?

1. Winter (Best Time)

The Winter is usually the season where you will start to notice promotions. With a little bit of research and hard-work, you are likely to land a captivating discount. The special characteristic of this season is that it is the end of the final grilling season of the year, Autumn.

During Autumn, sales are considerably high and prices are increasing for the sake of attaining the maximum possible profit. However, as the end of Autumn approaches, prices start to rapidly decline. By the time November finishes and Winter enters the scene, stores are eagerly looking forward to get rid of the remaining stock because all the grills that had to be bought are already gone.

There are almost no clients at this point of the season, unless you are one of the wise ones who has been waiting for this time to buy your favorite grill at the cheapest possible price.

If you want to buy a grill at a really good price, this is the season in which you should start going to shops and regularly checking online stores. for promotions.

2. ​Autumn (Bad Time)

While it may be true that you can find some good deals in this season, it is likely to take a lot of research and travelling to get the grill you've always wanted.

Autumn is the secondary and final grilling season before the year ends, Summer being the primary, because there are still hundreds of clients wanting to get a grill for the first time, or others who are experienced grillers looking forward to purchase an even better product from their favorite brand.

If you want to buy a grill in Autumn, you need to be ready for a lot of travelling and internet research. And perhaps, you should also be prepared to spend a bit more money than your budget.

The time becomes more ideal for shopping as Autumn passes by. Therefore, with each month ending, become more aware of what's going on in the stores and subscribe to online websites so they can let you know when the cheapest possible price is on the display.

3. Summer (Worst time)

This is possibly the worst time to go shopping for any kind of grill or smoker. Summer is the summit of grilling season and hundreds of grills start getting sold right from the start of January, and the sales keep going up till the end of March.

During the months from end of December to end of March, companies are likely to take advantage of customers by doubling their prices. They know the psychology of customers and hence try to exploit them as much as possible.

In fact, Summer is considered the most profitable season for grill retailers. If you really are looking to buy a grill during this season, you will be extremely lucky if you find a cost-effective deal or any kind of promotion.

Otherwise, it is highly advisable to at least wait till Autumn starts so that the sales slow down and discount offers start to appear.

4. Spring (Good time)

Preceeding Summer, Spring is the season when it is your last chance to take advantage of stock clearance sales. However, even in this season, from the months March to May, you will notice a constant increase of prices as Summer comes near, so it is important to act fast and buy your favorite grill as early as possible.

If you want to delay your purchase because you haven't yet decided something or are still researching, consider April to be the final month. Even though it is still late, you may be able to find cheap deals on online shopping platforms.

The Importance of Online Stores

Many people assume that online shopping will end up costing them much more money than what it would normally cost if they were to do physical shopping. Unfortunately, this is a very wrong and misleading belief. What should be remembered, though, is that shipping costs can increase depending on where you are located and how far the products are being shipped from. But that's about it, there are no extra or hidden costs.

Besides, there is no better way of shopping for your favorite items other than checking online stores. With almost every brand displayed in front of your eyes with product pictures, specifications and even customer feedback, online shopping should play a big role in the pursuit of your favorite grill.

More than that, online stores are not dependent on special occasions, festivals or public holidays to offer discounts. They can pretty much make promotional deals whenever they want. The best part is, with a single change in Google search, you can find out everything you want about a particular product. 

Wrapping Up

Knowing when to buy a grill and being able to exploit special discounts can save you hundreds of bucks. Every season has its own relevant promotional deals and offers, being aware of these can help you a lot, not just in finding your ideal grill but also in other areas of your shopping. We hope this guide helped you understand how the different months can affect the pricing factor of products, whether online or offline.

Happy shopping!

Best Way to Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates

Cast-iron grates are one of the most popular materials for grilling. They can distribute heat evenly, are super strong and can even retain warmth for a long period of time. In short, there is nothing stronger and better than cast iron for grilling grates.

However, with these great grates come an ever greater responsibility. Cast-iron grates are extremely susceptible to water, its natural enemy and one which can cause it to quickly deteriorate and become rusted. If not taken care of properly, they are likely to lose their glory super quickly.


5 Easy Steps To Clean Your Cast Iron Grates

1. Burn the food leftovers

Before you get started with the actual cleaning, you need to get rid of all the food particles which are stuck on the grill grates. To do this, ignite your grill to the highest possible temperature. If you are using charcoals as an energy source, make sure to keep all the vents open. Keep it this way until everything unnecessary is completely burned off.

2. ​Lay the grates out

Detach the grates from the grill and lie them on an even surface for convenience. While they are still warm, use a hard-wire brush, stainless steel for example, and use it to scrape off anything that may have remained. If you find it difficult, use a solution of water and apple cider vinegar (organic) with a ratio of 4:1 and dip the brush in and try again. This will also sanitize the grates and ensure all bacteria is gone.

3. Use the correct soap

Having completed the sanitation process, make a solution of water with mild soap (pH 5.5-7) and gently remove all the excess grease wherever you find it on the grates. Once done, use warm water for rinsing and let the grates dry for some minutes.

4. Coat the grates

Use any kind of oil, olive or vegetable, and dab all the grates with the oil, ensuring every part is covered. Make sure you don't bathe the grill in oil, just apply a thin coating. This will prevent the process of rusting.

5. Use them or store them

The cleaning process is now complete. You can either go ahead and use your grates or store them somewhere. If you happen to choose the latter, make sure the grates are stored in a dry place. You can also oil them up again as it will prevent any kind of moisture from reaching the surface of the grates.


Removing Rust

What to use?

You can use two different methods to get rid of the rust.

  1. Use a hard-wired steel brush with soapy water and rub off the rust.
  2. Sink your grates in a solution of white vinegar and water at the ratio of 1:1. This cleaning solution will take some time to fully clear out your grates so let them remain there for a day or so.

Oiling is essential

Applying oil on your grates does not mean you are doing it just to make them shine. It is very important that whenever you have finished a grilling session, take off the grates and coat them with oil. Oiling is a tried and tested way to make cookware last longer, no matter how old your product is.

What this basically does is form a protective layer around the surface of the grates and prevent any kind of rust from developing. As long as the coating is not washed away, your grates will be completely safe.

If you are not sure what oil to use, just utilize any kind of cooking oil. 

Grates maintenance after use

The best way to maintain your grills is to immediately clean them right after usage. This will not only save your time later but also make the cleaning process much more effective as there won't be any old grease or rust which would need clearing.

In addition, try not to experiment with chemical products. Everything mentioned in our guide is entirely natural and very effective. Therefore, their quality or efficiency does not depend on a certain brand or cost, but rather on the chemical properties that nature has given them.

Wrapping Up

Keeping your cast iron grill clean and sanitized is the best possible way of ensuring that whatever you cook is healthy and clean. We hope that our guide has helped you in understanding how cast iron gets affected by water and what you can do to keep your grill clean and new.

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