Grilling Tips and Techniques
Avoiding Grill Flare-upsFlare-ups are an inevitable part of grilling, even when you trim the fat and drain oil-based marinades before cooking. When these little pyrotechnic displays occur, move the food from the hot zone to the medium zone (or even the safety zone) until the flames subside.
You can also try putting down the lid. (If you're working on a charcoal grill, close the top and bottom vents.) This deprives the fire of oxygen, which eventually extinguishes the flames. The downside is that the food can end up tasting sooty.
A few squirts of water from a spray bottle can also dampen a flame. But use the technique sparingly. The water may stir up loose ashes or even spread the fire.
In the event that a flare-up turns into something more like a bonfire, transfer the food from the grill to a platter. As a last resort, sprinkle salt or baking soda over the fire to extinguish it.
Adding More CoalsCharcoal, like romance, sometimes needs rekindling. A large chimney of charcoal allows for 40 to 60 minutes of grilling. If you toss fresh coals on the fire, they will take 10 to 15 minutes to light. An alternative is to start a fresh batch of charcoal in a chimney 20 minutes before you need it (you should do this on a nonflammable surface, such as brick or concrete). When the coals are ready, add them to the hot zone.
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