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How to Grill Food


Grilling Beef
Cooking over an open fire is the oldest cooking technique known to man and it's still one of the most universal. This popular style of cooking, with its smoky flavors and mouthwatering aromas, offers endless opportunities to create a world of satisfying and delicious beef dishes -- from savory recipes like flank steak to baby back ribs to mixed grills.

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We've outlined the basic steps for successfully grilling some of the most popular cuts of beef, including steaks, burgers, roasts, and loaves.

Flank Steak

This lean, highly flavorful cut of beef can be tough and stringy if not cooked well. It is often marinated and should be cooked to no more than medium doneness. Slice flank steak into thin pieces across the grain to serve.

Sometimes, London Broil, a thick cut from the top round or sirloin, is also called flank steak.


To grill flank steak:
  1. Prepare grill for direct cooking.

  2. Sprinkle both sides of the flank steak with salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Place the steak on the grill's grid.

  4. Grill steak, on a covered grill, over medium-hot coals 10 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached, turning halfway through grilling time.

    Use tongs to turn the steak. Piercing with a fork will release the juices.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use tongs to turn the steak.
    Piercing with a fork will release the juices.

  5. Use tongs to transfer steak to a carving board. Thinly slice beef across grain, holding knife at 45-degree angle to cutting board.

    Use tongs to turn the steak. Piercing with a fork will release the juices.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Cut the grilled flank steak into thin
    slices on an angle.

Skirt Steaks

This long, thin cut has always been a Latin American favorite and is the traditional cut for fajitas. Like flank steak, it is lean and full of flavor. Grill skirt steak over high heat to medium-rare and cut across the grain into thin slices.

To grill skirt steaks:
  1. Place steaks between pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with flat side of meat mallet to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut each steak in half. Marinate steaks, if desired.

    When grilling beef, flatten skirt steaks to tenderize and assure even cooking.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Flatten skirt steaks to tenderize
    and assure even cooking.

  2. Prepare barbecue grill for direct cooking.

  3. Brush steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks on preheated grid.

  4. Grill steaks, on uncovered grill, 6 inches from heat 3 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached, turning once.
Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers
(made with 1 pound ground chuck or ground sirloin)

A classic grilled burger is a backyard icon with good reason -- it's delicious and utterly satisfying.

To grill hamburgers and cheeseburgers:
  1. Prepare grill with rectangular metal or foil drip pan. Bank charcoal on either side of drip pan for indirect cooking.

  2. Form seasoned ground beef into thick patties, about 4 inches in diameter.

    When grilling hamburgers and grilling cheeseburgers,  keep your burgers relatively thin so they cook evenly and quickly.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Keep your burgers relatively thin
    so they cook evenly and quickly.

  3. Place burgers on preheated grid.

  4. Grill burgers, on covered grill, over medium coals 8 to 10 minutes for medium or until desired doneness is reached, turning halfway through cooking time.

  5. Steps to Burger Perfection
    Follow these special tips for great grilled burgers -- cooked just the way you like them.
    1. Start with a high quality, freshly ground meat. For the tastiest burger, skip the preformed frozen patties and make your own. Most cooks agree that a bit of fat is needed to add flavor -- ground chuck with about 15% fat is a good choice. If you're worried about the fat content, take solace in the fact that cooking over coals lets fat drip off creating flavorful smoke. Or, use ground sirloin which also works well.
    2. Don't handle the meat too much. If you knead and squish a lot, the meat will compact and won't be as juciy when it's cooked. Form the patties gently, but firmly. Refrigerating them before grilling helps keep them firm.
    3. Don't make the patties too thick. Don't go any thicker than one inch. A really thick burger is likely to be burned outside before it reaches the right temperature inside.
    4. Preheat the grill. It's also important to oil the grill after it's preheated. Burgers should sizzle when they hit the grill. High heat keeps them from sticking and gives burgers great grill marks.
    5. Don't try to flip too soon. Let the burgers grill for 3 or 4 minutes. They will release from the grid and be easier to turn. Struggling to flip sooner can break burgers apart.
    6. Don't squash the patties! You'll lose precious juices and flavor if you flatten the burgers with your spatula.
    If you're making cheeseburgers, place 1 slice of cheese on each burger to melt during last 1 to 2 minutes of grilling. If desired, place rolls, cut sides down, on grid to toast lightly during last 1 to 2 minutes of grilling.
Meat Loaf
(made with 1-1/2 lb. ground chuck or ground sirloin)

Once the meal rejected by kids of a generation, meat loaf has made a comeback with those very same kids, now grown. Grilled meat loaf has become one of those meals that is not only delicious, but is also hip to serve at parties.

To grill meat loaf:
  1. Prepare barbeque grill for direct cooking.

  2. Shape meat loaf mixture into an oval loaf 1-1/2 inches thick, about 9 inches long and 5 inches wide.

    When grilling meatloaf, shape the meat loaf on a cutting board to carry it right to the grill.     © 2006 Publications International,Ltd.
    Shape the meat loaf on a cutting board or cookie sheet so you can carry it right to the grill.

  3. Place loaf on preheated grid.

  4. Grill meat loaf, on covered grill, over medium-hot coals 10 minutes.

  5. Carefully turn meat loaf over using 2 large spatulas.

    When grilling meat loaf,  use two spatulas to turn the meat loaf over.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Using two spatulas makes it easier to turn the meat loaf over.

  6. Brush meat loaf with sauce, if desired, and continue to grill, covered, 10 to 12 minutes for medium-well or until desired doneness is reached. If using an instant-read thermometer, insert it into center of thickest part of meat loaf. Thermometer should register 160 degrees F for medium-well.

  7. Let meat loaf stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Steak Kabobs

Grilled steak kabobs combine high-quality beef with vegetables and your favorite seasonings. This meal is not only savory for your taste buds, but it's also pretty good for you.

To grill steak kabobs:
  1. Cut boneless beef top sirloin or tenderloin steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Marinate, if desired, reserving some of the marinade to use as a basting sauce.

  2. Prepare grill for direct cooking.

  3. Drain beef, if marinated. Alternately thread beef pieces and choice of vegetables onto skewers. Use reserved marinade to baste kabobs, if desired.

    To grill steak kabobs, thread beef cubes on skewers with vegetables that will cook in the same time.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Thread beef cubes on skewers with
    vegetables that will cook in approximately the same amount of time.

  4. Place kabobs on preheated grid.

  5. Grill kabobs, on covered grill, over medium-hot coals 5 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade, if using; turn and brush again. Discard remaining marinade.

  6. Continue to grill kabobs, covered, 5 to 7 minutes for medium or until desired doneness is reached.
Boneless Beef Roast

As with steaks, knowing the cut of meat is half of the battle. Some boneless beef roasts are naturally tender. Others, such as brisket, tri-tip, and chuck need extra steps (marinating or sealing in foil) to make them tender. Long, slow smoking is often recommended for brisket.

To grill boneless beef roast:
  1. Prepare barbecue grill with rectangular metal or foil drip pan. Bank the charcoal on either side of drip pan for indirect cooking.

  2. Insert meat thermometer into the center of thickest part of roast.

  3. Place roast, top side down, on grid directly over drip pan.

  4. Grill roast, on covered grill, over medium coals 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until thermometer registers 150 degrees F for medium-rare or until desired doneness is reached, adding 4 to 9 briquets to both sides of the fire after 45 minutes to maintain medium temperature of coals.

    To grill boneless beef roast, use a foil drip pan and a heatproof meat thermometer.
    © 2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Two tools that help make grilling whole roast practically foolproof are a foil drip pan and a heatproof meat thermometer.

  5. Transfer roast to a carving board; tent with foil. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before carving.
Hungry yet? Learn the secrets for grilling lamb in the next section.


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