forum: Food & Drink

#1 Thu 11 Jan 07 12:07am


Member since Wed 10 Jan 07

perfect grilled meal

hi..i know its a silly question but im gonna ask it anyway...just want to ask for tips on how to prepare a perfect grilled meal.. (fish/pork/beef/chicken).. like how long before i turn on the other side or what should i put..

what are the do's and donts?thanks help

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#2 Thu 11 Jan 07 3:05am


Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: perfect grilled meal

This is really difficult, if not impossible, to answer, because there are so many variables and imponderables!

Different meat/fish take different times to cook,
Different thickness pieces of meat/fish take diffferent times to cook.
Different people have different opinions about what is "perfectly cooked"
Different grills reach different temperatures, and have different adjustments for height.

And then there is the question of whether you are grilling with an overhead grill or a charcoal or gas grill where the heat comes fom underneath - or indeed a vertical grill for spit roasting. Also, there are "double-sided "grills" - such as the "George Foreman" type. or the panini grills.

Further - there is the the form of the meat/fish - is it a chop or steak or fillet or burger or a whole fish, all of which are flat, or is it a kebab - whole pieces or minced - on a skewer or sausages - which is round, or indeed a joint or whole animal on a spit which takes hours.

There are also various forms of seafood, grilled alone or in the shell, with or without sauce, or au gratin.

Whoops - almost forgot - grilled vegetables, flat or on skewers, and also grilled pies and pizzas. There are probably other things I have forgotten too.

And last, but by no means least, there is the whole question of marinading and/or basting.

So - can there be any general rules or guidelines?

Grilling calls for dry heat and high heat - the aim is to brown the outside, while keeping the inside succulent.

(Browning is caused by the "Maillard Reaction" - which is what gives grilled, roasted or baked food its particular flavour. A similar and related type of browning is Caramelization)

Red meats, such as beef, lamb or venison and other game is much better when rare rather than well done, so should be cooked close to a high heat for a short time. You will need to turn the meat just oer halfway through the cooking time to brown both sides - and of course kebabs will need to be cooked on all sides. If the meat is thick enough, you will be able to see the cooking process going through the meat but unless you want the meat well done, don't allow it to get right to the centre. For my taste, the rarer the better, but you may want it more doen.

White meats, such as pork, veal or chicken, turkey etc. should be well cooked, so calls for lower heat further away. Sausages and minced kebabs whatever meat they are made from should also be well cooked. The cooking should go all the way through the meat, and there should be no pink inside at all. But don't overdo it it shouldn't be dried out!

Rashers cook quickly, and cook all the way through - do them crsip or succulent, whichever you like.

White fish should be cooked until it just flakes - if very thin fillets, do just the skin side, of thicker, do skin side first, then flesh side for a shorter time. Meaty red fish such as tuna should be cooked rare. Again, don't dry it out - it should be succulent.

Shellfish cooks very quickly - as soon as it goes opaque, its done - prawn goes pink.

Grilled vegetable go brown round the edges - cook them slowly further from heat.

Pies and gratins should be cooked slowly and further from heat, and are ready when browned. The filling in the pie is usually pre-cooked,

Pizzas should be cooked both sides - first side withiut topping, then top and either grill if oerhead heat, or close the lid of cooking over heat.

Marinades tenderize and flavour the meat, and also help to keep it moist. Marinades often include sugar for caremalisation. Meat should be marinaded as long as possible, fish and seafood for no more than 30 mins. Dry rubs contribute flavour without adding moisture.

Whoops - ended up writing another essay! Hope its been helpful, een if I haen't been able to give detailed times etc. If you want details for particular items, then ask and I am sure we will be able to help further.

Last edited by GeoffP (Thu 11 Jan 07 3:48am)

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#3 Fri 12 Jan 07 11:12am


Member since Wed 10 Jan 07

Re: perfect grilled meal

thank you mr. geoffP for the great tips..  any grilled pork/chicken recipe? not the fancy ones..just a recipe that anybody who has no wide experience in the kitchen like me, can prepare with less fuss thumbsup

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#4 Sat 13 Jan 07 6:22am


Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: perfect grilled meal

Rather than a particular exact recipe, more tips!

For grilling, you need chops, steaks, fillets or breast - the essential thing is that the piece of meat should be flat(ish)

When grilling, there are three basic ways to add extra flavour:-

Dry rubs
Herb crusts

Dry rubs are made with spices, herb crusts with herbs and breadcrumbs, marinades with sauces.

The exact ingredients depend on what spices, herbs and sauces you have in your store, but the good news is - almost anything works, so long as you stick to the basic methods.

Dry Rubbed.
For dry rubs, mix together spices to your taste, and rub it well into the meat or fish, then put in a plastic bag, and leave in fridge for a few hours. Here is a good mixture - but you can leae out what you don't have, or add other similar ingredients:-

    * 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
    * 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
    * 1 tablespoon sugar
    * 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    * 2 tablespoon chili powder
    * 1 tablespoon cumin
    * 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    * 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    * 1 tablespoon ground oregano
    * 4 tablespoon paprika (the sweet kind -- not the hot kind)
    * 1 teaspoon dry mustard
    * 1 tablespoon celery salt
    * 1 tablespoon salt

Herb Crusted
For Herb crusts, you need herbs - fresh or dried, some fine breadcrumbs, and something to hold the herbs and breadcrumbs on the meat. Again, it depends what herbs you have - mixed dried herbs would be fine, but add whatever is to your taste.

The proportion of herbs to breadcrumbs depends on you - I usually use about 50/50, but it can be anything from 10/90 to 100% herbs, depending on how much flaour you want to add. You will need to end up with about 2 or 3 tablespoons of the mixture per piece of meat. Mix the herbs and breadcrumbs very well and spread on a plate.

Now to stick the herb crust on the meat - for this you need either made up mustard (Dijon works ery well), or beaten egg with a little milk added. I tend to use mustard.

Take your chop, steak, fillet or chicken breast, coat with mustard or egg, and roll well in the herb/breadcrumb mixture to coat. Grill immediately.

You can either use a ready made marinade, or make your own. For ready made marinades, follow instructions on bottle.

To make your own marinade, you need:-

Some water based sauces - for example Soy Sauce or Asian Fish
Sauce or dry sherry or chinese rice wine
Some oil - either a light oil or sesame oil, or both.
Some sugar (preferably brown) or honey - this is for caramelization as well as sweetness.
Something to tenderize - vinegar or wine work well, but you can also use meat tenderizer.
Something to thicken - Tomato puree is particularly good, or you can use tomato ketchup.

I generally make up my own marinades based on these ingredients, tasting as I go, but there are loads of specific ideas at:-

When you hae the marinade to  your taste, put it in a plastic bag, add the meat, and squidge it around well, seal the bag excluding air, and put it in the fridge, in a bowl, for as long as possible. (fish should be about 1/\2 an hour, chicken about 4 hours, meat for up to 24 hours.

OK - now you have your dry rubbed, herb-crusted or marinaded meat ready to grill. Line your grill pan with foil (this is to sae washing up), pre-heat your grill, and grill about 2 to 3 inches from the flame. 

Specific adice on the length of time you need depends upon what you are grilling - after a bit of experience, it starts to become automatic, and can be judged from the look of the meat. But there is a good calculator which gies accurate guidelines at:- … 12,00.html

Just type in the type of meat, and it gives the guidelines. Its intended for charcoal grilling, but works just as well for griling under the heat.

And now - time for you to experiment - use the guidelines above, or get specific recipes from the Internet or any good cookbook.

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#5 Mon 15 Jan 07 5:01am

The Cuban Chef

Occupation peace and duck grease
From united states
Member since Mon 10 Jul 06

Re: perfect grilled meal

thats hard to say............. but i will make it alittle more simple....

great meals start with a great product.... then with meat... it has to be mid-rare

and with chicken: when the juice of the chicken comes out white it is done..... make sure it is not pink juice

but other then that best thing is get the best product and don't over cook..

red  meat mid-rare or it's not worth it.

chicken... juicy not burnt....
salt, pepper
let the grill create the flavor...


Last edited by The Cuban Chef (Mon 15 Jan 07 5:04am)

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#6 Sun 18 Mar 07 11:10pm


Member since Wed 10 Jan 07

Re: perfect grilled meal

what if i use george foreman's ? will it turn out great? whistle

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#7 Mon 19 Mar 07 6:37am


Occupation Student, Chef on the side
From Philadelphia, PA, USA
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: perfect grilled meal

Formans (and other contact grills for that matter - heck, I've even used a waffle iron for  the same end) make decent food, but there are some critical differences between them and a charcoal/gas grill or  a broiler/overhead grill.

The first is that they cook both sides at once, and thus the cooking time will tend to be somewhat more brief.

However, they also tend not to get nearly as hot, so crust formation via maillard will take a substantially longer amount of time.  If you are looking for a really rare piece of meat this method might not suit your goal,  if you prefer medium or more it should  work just fine.

As an aside,  one of the most helpful gadgets I have kicking around my kitchen is an instant read thermometer.  Allows you to know just where  the food is so you can cook it as you want without having to  muck about  with guess work.  Should you get one, here are some  temps to look for (all in Fahrenheit, sorry my metric skills are non-existent):

Lamb ~ 140

Beef: rare 118-127
         med.  rare 127-134
        medium 134-142
        med well 143-150
        well 150+ (I tend not to cook here unless cooking to tender (ie pit bar-b-que  or a braise)

Chicken: 165

Pork: rareish 138 (i  know there are those who would hang me for  advocating cooking pork to a temp this  low, but at 137 the wee  nasties which cause trichonosis sporellis die, and  as they are the primary impediment to less cooked  pork, once they are gone you are home  free
          145-155 is ideal, though pork may be braised / BBQ'ed if that is your desire

Fish: excluding tuna 135-140
       tuna 110-115

Ground beef/pork: 155 + (unless you grind whole cuts at home, then the same as above, processing plants are notoriously dirty  places, anything ground there should be cooked  to kill the nasties)

Ground Poultry: 170 + (same logic as above, plus the salmonella thing)

Venison: same as beef

As  far as adding flavor, if you go with top drawer meat then it isn't much necessary beyond salt and pepper.  Except with  chicken.  Chili powder (2 tbsp cumin, 2 tbsp oregano, 3 cascabells, 3 chipotles and 3 ancho's ground to a fine powder) plus salt to taste is a personal favorite.

GeoffP's advice on dry rubs and marinades is also excellent.  Best of luck.


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#8 Mon 19 Mar 07 6:53am


Forum super champ
Occupation Mother of 2 working more than full time
From Wallerawang, Oz
Member since Wed 29 Jun 05

Re: perfect grilled meal

this recipe is a fave with family & friends

Jons Chicken Marinade

1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lemons, juice & zest
tsp white pepper
6 cloves garlic (just smash them up a bit)
2 tsp salt
tbls dried oregano
1 bunch parsely, roughly chopped (continental, not curly)

Stick it all in a jar, shake it up. 
Marinate chicken for 30 minutes before cooking.

If I am going to grill chicken drumsticks I either bake them for 30 minutes covered with foil first or stick them in the microwave for 10 minutes... I know it sounds bad but you do want to risk raw chicken & it takes forever to cook on the BBQ otherwise.

Great for fish & lamb too

Last edited by frizz1974 (Mon 19 Mar 07 6:54am)

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