As with most other types of cooking, grilling is more of an art than science. You need to follow some basic rules to begin. Still, the rest depends upon how skilled and experienced you are in using various techniques to use a gas grill.
Of course, you can get better at grilling with time and exposure, but for beginners, it’s just about getting back to the basics. You’re always learning something while using your grill, as it is for numerous industry experts. There are still tons of discoveries made finding out the perfect way to cook on a gas grill.
Now getting back to the question of how to cook on a gas grill, there are some rules that you need to follow if you are new at it.
In this post, we are going to explore all those points briefly. So let’s get on with it!
How to start your gas grill?
If you are using your gas grill for the first time, then there are chances that you might not know much about it. However, this brief 5-step guide will get you going this season in no time!
Step 1: Get what you need
As a grill master, you will need some tools to work with and get your grill started. These tools depend on the type of meat you will be using. But in general, you will need the following.
- Metal tongs with rubber handles and scalloped edges.
- Meat thermometer.
- Metal spatula.
- Cooking spray.
- Grill brush.
- Cooking gloves (heat resistive).
- Fire extinguisher.
- Aluminum foil.
Step 2: Seasoning
Prepare your grill with seasoning before you begin to cook something on it. This seasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the food’s flavor. It’s just about preparing your grill grates. If your grill isn’t new, then preheat and brush it to get rid of any old food chunks or any other debris.
If it is new and you are using it for the first time, then you must spray the grill grates with a cooking spray evenly. Canola oil is a good choice for you to consider, but make sure to spray the oil on cold grates.
Now it’s time to turn the grill on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes. Make sure that the oil burns off. It will start happening when the grates begin to smoke.
Grates with porcelain enamel coating don’t require any such seasoning. Therefore, you need to check the manual of your gas grill first and don’t involve yourself in any unnecessary efforts.
Seasoning is important to keep the grates from rusting, and you must do it before the beginning of a new grilling season.
Step 3: Fire safety
Getting fire safety ready before you prepare to set up your food is important. You don’t want your cookout to turn into a nightmare of any sort. Whether cooking outdoors or inside your house, keep your fire extinguisher near you.
Make sure the surrounding area of your grill doesn’t have any flammable objects. Also, keep a close eye on the grease tray of your grill. You need to empty a full grease tray to prevent any grease fires from occurring.
Step 4: Setting the food up
Once you are ready to grill, it’s time to set the food up for grilling. Get all your veggies and meats ready before you get to grilling them. Don’t do them while you are grilling because you need to keep all your attention on the grill rather than doing something else to get that perfect flavor.
When bringing your food out from the kitchen, make sure that you put it on clean plates. Also, make sure that you don’t go for the utensil that you have used with the raw meat to remove the food from the grill or serve it.
Don’t forget about any other grill accessories that you will need during the grilling process. From a meat thermometer to holders for the corn cob, you should include all such accessories.
Step 5: Turning the grill on?
Gas grills tend to heat very quickly. You only need about 10 minutes or so for the preheat time. Make sure to raise the lid of your grill when you are lighting. Also, turn the valve of your gas top to open position.
Now turn one of the burners on and, at the same time, press the ignition button on the gas grill. As your first burner is on, turn on the other burners according to your grilling needs.
Preheating a grill for a steak
If you are looking to grill a steak on your gas grill, then the best practice is to preheat the grill for approximately 15 minutes for searing or maximum temperature.
If you are looking to cook at a lower temperature for a slow barbecue, then preheating for about 10 minutes and not more is ideal. The time for preheating your gas grill will slightly vary from the given numbers if the weather is cold and windy.
Before preheating, make sure that you clean your grill grates with a brush to get rid of any old chunks or debris from your last cookout. If you are using the grill for the first time and it is new, then spray it with high heat oil (Canola oil) and then turn the grill on for the mentioned preheating time.
Tips to optimize the gas grilling process
Keep your gas grill clean
If you properly maintain your gas grill, you will significantly reduce any occurrences of flare-ups or any incessant smoke. These situations can burn the exteriors of your food and can result in bad flavors.
Mostly, while preheating the grill and cleaning it with the brush, people forget that the debris will fall into the grill if they don’t take care of it.
The debris will turn into ash deposits and gunk that will stay there until cleaning. You need to remove the grates and the burners to get rid of all this debris, or your food will not taste well no matter how aromatic you try to make it.
Control the flare-ups
When you are looking to put out a fire only, you need to fight it. Of course, you don’t want to put out the fire that results from flare-ups, so why fight it. You need to control it.
There should be an empty space on your grill so that you can move your food there when a flare-up occurs. Allow the flare-up to die down and move the food back in place.
And if the fire spreads, remove all the food from the grill. Allow the fire to burn all the grease and die down. If the fire gets out of control, then you need to turn off the burners and allow the fire to burn off on its own.
Sugar and heat
Sugar tends to burn out with heat. It quickly turns black, and you can damage your food and its flavor if that happens. Hence, you need to make sure that your grilling temperature stays below 265F so that no charring occurs.
It is very similar to something that you do in a low and slow barbeque that does take a lot longer to get cooked, but the result is genuinely satisfying.
Pay attention to your grill
You need to be focused on what you are grilling. No matter what you are cooking, it is important that you focus on the grill and prevent any burnouts. No one wants to eat burnt food after all the efforts. Therefore, focus on the food being grilled. Get all the preparations done before you get to the grilling process.
Get the fuel ready, and plenty of it
Have you ever experienced that you ran out of fuel while the food was on the grill? To make the matters even worse, you also had hungry guests waiting anxiously to be served with their tingling taste buds!
Leaving your house during the cookout to get the fuel is a real pain. Therefore, keep some extra fuel at hand to get the worry out of the way.
Use meat thermometers
You might have seen some people don’t use any meat thermometers at all. It is because they are far too experienced to use that tool, and they just know when the food is ready to be turned or removed from the grill. But you need to use a meat thermometer to get this job done to perfection.
There is nothing bad in using such a useful device because even the professionals of the industry do it. This way, you can’t go wrong with your steaks no matter what. Plus, it is also recommended to have your protein at safe temperatures.
What temperature do you cook a steak on a gas grill?
The best temperature for the steaks of any meat ranges is between 450F and 500F. Place your stake on the gas grill and then close the lid. Wait for at least 2 or 3 minutes based on the thickness of the piece you have at hand.
For that great seared taste, turn the heat on your gas grill up to the full. Put your steak on the grates and just wait for one minute. Now flip the food and reduce the temperature to normal. The food will continue to cook until it’s done at this temperature.
High heat will caramelize the surface of the steak, and with low heat, it will be cooked to perfection. You can also move the steak to a colder spot on your grill and allow it to be cooked until done.
Cooking on a gas grill is fun. And it becomes even better when you know what you are doing. Make sure that you go through the instructions manual that comes with your gas grill and follow it precisely. You must keep the grill clean to prevent any unwanted incidents or bad tasting food.
Have everything ready before you get to the grilling process. Keep a close eye on your grill to cook the food that allows you to share and spread the love with your family and friends.