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Grilling Successfully

Direct or indirect? Direct grilling is used for foods that require a relatively short grilling time, while indirect grilling is recommended for longer grilling times (usually over 30 minutes).

To prepare a charcoal grill for indirect grilling: Push coals to either side of the grill, leaving a cool spot over which to set the food.

If using a gas grill: Extinguish one burner, leaving the other on high. If you have a three-burner grill, the back burner can be set on high, the middle on low and the front turned off.

For long grilling times on a charcoal grill, check coals every 20 minutes or so, adding more charcoal as necessary to keep the fire going.

To control temperatures on a charcoal grill: Use grill tongs to spread the charcoal out or remove some of the coals. The thinner the layer of charcoal, the more quickly it will lose heat. A double layer of charcoal is generally recommended. Keep in mind that the heat will dissipate over time. For example, a double layer of charcoal will decrease from high heat to medium in about 10 minutes. In addition, you can lower the cooking temperature by raising the rack.

Oil the grill rack just before cooking. The grill should already be heated and the coals or burners adjusted for the correct temperature. Oil a folded paper towel. Hold it with tongs and pull it toward you over the rack. Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.

Cleaning the grill rack: This is easiest right after cooking while the coals are still hot or burners still lit. Dip a long-handled stiff wire grill brush in water and scrub the grill. A very clean grill rack is essential to prevent foods from sticking.

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