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BBQ and Grilling Questions

Q How do I know when food is done?

Visual clues are your best bet: check the timer, read a meat thermometer and, for poultry, make sure that juices run clear. Use our Grilling Guides and an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking.

Q. I am great at grilling burgers, what other recipes should I cook?

Everything! For a quick start, check out the Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades. They are usually very easy to prepare and can add a delicious boost to your standard fare with minimal effort.

Q. How do I cook vegetables on the grill? Do I need to parboil them before placing them on the grill?

Not unless you want to boil away the flavor! Grilled veggies can be prepared two ways:

Use the foil method for small and irregularly shaped veggies. Cube or slice vegetables and place on heavy-duty foil. Lift foil edges enough to hold a tablespoon of water, a pat of butter or margarine, and salt and pepper to taste. Close securely with a double fold on top and ends, leaving a little space for steam expansion. Grill according to the recipe and turn the packet once halfway through grilling time. Open carefully to avoid steam burns.

You can grill large vegetables on the cooking grate. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper before placing them on the grill. Halve large tomatoes horizontally; slice zucchini, squash, and eggplant lengthwise. Turn halfway through grilling time.

Q. Even if I cook my food until it turns black on the outside it's still raw on the inside. What's wrong?

Perhaps you are using the Direct Method when you should be using the Indirect Method. Maybe you are using too much charcoal or a heat setting that is too high. For Indirect cooking in an 18-1/2 inches charcoal grill, use 16 briquets on each side of the grill; however, for a 22-1/2 inch charcoal grill, use 25 briquets per side.

For Direct cooking, one layer of briquets is sufficient. Be sure to keep the lid of your grill closed the entire time you are cooking to eliminate charring flare-ups.

Are you applying barbecue sauces too early? Most barbecue sauces contain sugar, which burns quickly, so you should only brush sauces on during the last 10 to 20 minutes of cooking time. That is plenty of time to let the flavor do its magic.

Q. How should I cook chicken or turkey?

Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves are one of the easiest, most multipurpose items you can grill. For ease, we advise you keep a supply in the freezer. Check our poultry recipes for complete cooking directions and some creative variations.

Q. What kinds of seasonings and marinades go well with fish?

Soy sauce and lemon juice are popular ingredients in fish marinades. Fresh ginger is a great match for tuna and garlic goes with just about anything. Tarragon is great on trout and dill is perfect for salmon. Common ingredients for stuffing include bread crumbs, baby clams, and bay shrimp.

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