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BBQ & Grilling 101

Charcoal Grills

Place briquets in a stack at the bottom of the grill. Pour about 2 ounces of lighter fluid over the top of the stack of briquets and carefully light with a match. When briquets appear glossy, added enough lighter fluid. When coals are ready for cooking, spread them in a single layer or bank them, set the grilling grid in place and put on the food. To cook food evenly, you want to widen the charcoal about one inch beyond the area covered by the food. When they are at least 70 percent covered with ash and have a slight red glow, your briquets are ready for grilling. This is about 20 minutes.

To quickly estimate temperature, just hold your hand, palm side down, about six inches above the coals. Count “one thousand one, one thousand two, etc.” until the heat is uncomfortable and you have to pull your hand away. If you can keep your hand in place for:

2 seconds – it's hot, about 375 degrees or more

3 seconds – it's medium-hot, about 350 to 375 degrees

4 seconds – it's medium, about 300 to 350 degrees

5 seconds – it's low, about 200 to 300 degrees

Gas Grills

First, open the grill lid and then open the propane tank valve. Turn front/first burner to High. Allow 2 to 3 seconds for gas chamber to fill. Firmly push ignitor button. The burner should light after only one or two pushes of the button. Once first burner is lit, turn middle/next burner to High and repeat with other burners until all burners are lit. Finally, close the grill lid. Allow grill to preheat on High to 500-550° F. Place food on cooking grate and adjust burners to temperatures and cooking method given in the recipe.

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