15 May

The Great Grilling Debate

Grilling is one of those sacred arts that people tend to have strong opinions about. It seems one should avoid certain grilling and BBQ topics in polite company. The religion of the grill and the politics of good BBQ make for a fierce debate – one that you might find yourself having very soon with the Indy 500 right around the corner.

As healthy debates might flame around the grill in the coming weeks, we thought it best to take the opportunity and speak our piece and share some of those hot-topics with you.

Charcoal vs. Gas
This is a strong issue to many… One of those taboo dinner party topics of conversation. Charcoal is often characterized as the traditional method. While gas grillers can’t quite understand the fuss. Is there a difference? Does it matter? Gas grilling might be the ‘easier’ road because you aren’t waiting for charcoals to get hot, but it’s more of a personal opinion than a scientific fact as to the better method. I enjoy using natural wood for great flavor and aroma.

Direct vs. Indirect Cooking Methods
There is a school of thought that grilling is only about the direct method, and you should use your oven for anything else needed. Do you think both have a place in the grill world? Both have their merits and their time and place. My preference is direct grilling because of better carmelization.

Grill Hardware & Accessories – Toys or Tools?
It’s easy to become a gadget geek. Who wouldn’t want to have the latest and greatest MUST-HAVE cooking tools? There is a very strong case for less is more advocating to use the basics and only the basics when grilling. We would agree that some tools turn out to be more of a toy or gimmick, but which items do you think qualify as tools versus toys? Grilled stuffed jalapenos? You could use a rack for that… or you don’t. It’s not a necessity. You might think the kitchen at Kahn’s Catering is chockfull of gadgets and gizmos, but we tend to stick to the basics whenever we can. To be a great grill you don’t need much more than the grill itself and a few tools such as tongs and spatulas for turning your meat or veggies for even cooking.

Marinades or Rubs
Flavor options galore! Which way do you go? Truthfully, it depends on what is being grilled. Marinate a steak, dry rub a rack of ribs. Marinades are great for tenderizing meats and quicker cooking. If you plan on going low and slow, opt for a rub to bring on intense flavor.

How to Judge Temperature or Doneness
Is it wrong to use meat thermometers? What if it’s dark? Can we bring out grill lights or does this violate the grill toys or tools concept? And how does a grillmaster keep which steak doneness matches which guest? One of the most popular methods for checking your meat is The Finger Test. It’s a great guide and perfect for the non-professional food enthusiast.

Photo: New York Times

We’ve said our piece and now it’s your turn to share yours. What are your opinions in this great grill debate? We’d love to hear from you. Connect with us on Facebook and let us know your thoughts.

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