Gas or Barbeque Brisket Grilling

Grilling purists love cooking over charcoal. It takes some work to set up and heat the briquets (and you have to deal with the used ones at the end), but charcoal gives meats and vegetables a rich, smoky taste. Though gas grills don’t contribute as much flavor, they light with the press of a button and require only brief preheating, so you can start cooking in a matter of minutes — a definite bonus when you have a crowd that’s ready to eat.

Getting started
Make sure you have a full tank of gas or a new bag of charcoal and something to start the briquets with (see preheating sections for options). Check the tank gauge on your gas grill, if it has one, to see if you have a full tank. Since the gauge works by the tank’s weight, you can also lift the tank to check; if a tank feels empty, it is. Use a fresh bag of charcoal for the most consistent results; once a bag has been opened, it doesn’t burn as well. Safeway Grilling Experts answer all of your questions. Here are answers to the most recent questions:

I purchased a bottom round steak 1 1/4 inches thick for my grill... can you tell me the best way to prepare it... it was a great value and I want to impress my entire family!

I would suggest preparing or buying a prepared marinade and marinating the meat for 24 hours in the refrigerator. It is very important that you turn the meat in the marinade 2 or 3 times over the 24 hours. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (400°F). Pull the meat out of the refrigerator and let it sit out at room temperature for 45 minutes to one hour. This will help the meat cook more evenly. Remove the steak from the marinade and wipe off any excess marinade with some paper towels. Place the steak on the hot grill and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes per side. Using a meat thermometer, you want to check the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the meat. For medium-rare you want the temperature to be 130°F. When the meat is done, remove it from the heat and let the meat rest for 7 to 10 minutes before slicing across the grain.

What is the best way to barbeque brisket?
Low and slow. You will want to heat up the BBQ to 225°F using one or two burners. Season the meat with your favorite seasoning. Place the meat on indirect heat. (Not over the lit burners) and place a drip pan under the grates and brisket. Depending on the size of the brisket it could take 10 to 12 hours to become tender. You will want the meat to be fork tender. This means that if you stick a fork into the thickest part of the meat and turn the fork the meat should easily separate.

I have some frozen halibut that I traditionally bread and prepare on the stovetop. I'd rather do this on the grill but I hear it's a little tricky. What is the secret to BBQ recently thawed halibut?
Make sure that the fish is completely thawed out. It will most likely be pretty wet. If it is, blot it dry with some paper towel. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat. It is very important to have a hot grill. Coat the fish all over with a little olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning. Place the fish on the grill. The fish will release itself from the grates when it is time to turn. If it is stuck to the grates, let it cook a little longer. As long as the grill is hot, the fish will not stick to the grill. Only use a spatula to turn the fish. If you use tongs, the fish will most likely fall apart. It all depends on the thickness of the fish, but a general rule of thumb is 10 minutes per 1-inch thickness of fish.

Any healthy suggestions for grilling (on George Foreman(R)....or cast iron skillet with olive oil?...)...frozen scallops....I love the way they taste in restaurants, especially in salads...appreciate any help/suggestions.
I love scallops too. I suggest thawing out the scallops in the refrigerator, then blotting them dry with some paper towels. Heat up the cast iron skillet, then add some olive oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. When the oil starts to simmer or smoke just a little, place the scallops in the pan and cook until they are golden brown; turn them over and cook until the other side is golden brown as well. Unless they are really large scallops, they should be fully cooked by then. If they are large, you can place them in a 400°F oven for a few minutes to finish cooking. I would not use the George Foreman(R) grill. It will not get hot enough to sear - it will only steam the scallops.

I am going to grill (on propane grill) pork ribs and would like to know if I should grill on bottom or top rack, and should I leave the lid open or closed? I know to cook at @ 220 degrees 45 mins. per side. Can you help?
The lid should be closed, and put the ribs on the bottom rack.

Most recipes for panade (thick past to hold hamburgers or meatballs together to keep from falling apart on the grill) specify "white bread" or "white sandwich bread". What is today's substitute: sourdough, rye, wheat,...?
Wheat has a fairly neutral flavor, so that will work just fine. If you like sourdough or rye, they will also work, but their flavors are stronger, so they will have an impact on the final flavor of the burger.

I have a George Foreman® Grill. I love steak, most of all rib eye or New York strip. I need to know timing in cooking on each side, and seasonings I can use to make a perfect steak. I live in an apartment so no real grill is available.
I would set the temperature on high. Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and for medium rare it will take approximately 6 to 8 minutes per side. When the steak is cooked to your desired doneness, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before eating

What is the best way to grill fish so it doesn't fall apart on the grill? Are there certain types of fish that are better for grilling?
The most important part of grilling fish is the temperature of the grill. It needs to be very hot (hold your hand 3 inches above the grate; if you can keep it there for 3 seconds, your grill is at the right temperature. If you can keep it there longer than 3 seconds, then the grill is not hot enough; if you can not hold it over the grate for 3 seconds, then the grill is too hot.). Next is to make sure that you always use a spatula to handle the fish on the grill (NEVER USE TONGS). The best fish on a grill is a firm-fleshed fish (Tuna, Swordfish, Mahi Mahi, etc.) If you want to grill a flaky-fleshed fish (Cod, Bass, Trout, etc.) you should leave the skin on. This will help keep the meat together. Use either soft butter or oil (olive or vegetable) and lightly coat the fish, then season. Have a hot grill and some type of fat on the fish will increase your odds of the fish not sticking. The fish should release itself from the grill when it is ready to turn. If it is stuck to the grates, then either it is not ready to be turned, or the grill is not hot enough.

What is the recommended grilling time and temperature for a loin of pork?
For grilling a loin of pork, my suggestion is to sear/grill the meat over medium-high heat until the exterior takes on a golden brown color, and then cook over indirect heat. With the lid down, your grill becomes a oven. Try to maintain a temperature of 325°F. Depending on the size of the loin, cooking times will vary. For a 2 pound piece it should take approximately 30 to 40 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 150°F (use an internal meat thermometer). For a bigger piece, I would figure about 20 minutes per pound. When the meat is done, remove it from the heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

What gives chicken that nice golden brown color when grilled?
Assuming you are talking about skin on chicken? If you want to get a golden brown color, you should put some oil (olive or vegetable) on the outside of the chicken, and then seasonings (salt and pepper). Place the meat skin side down on a medium grill and be patient. The skin will crisp up and take on a golden brown color. If the chicken starts to get too dark or burn, either the grill temperature is too high or it needs to be turned over.

How long and to what temperature should I grill boneless pork chops?
A lot depends on the thickness of the chops. Let's say that the chops are 3/4-inch thick boneless chops. Heat up the grill on medium high heat (hold your hand 3 inches above the grate; if you can keep it there for 3 seconds, your grill is at the right temperature. If you can keep it there longer than 3 seconds, then the grill is not hot enough; if you can not hold it over the grate for 3 seconds, then the grill is too hot.) Remove the chops from the refrigerator and let them sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Season with your favorite seasoning, and then place them on the grill. They will take approximately 8 to 10 minutes to cook (4 to 5 minutes per side) to an internal temperature of 150°F (check with an internal meat thermometer). Remove the chops from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes before eating.

What is the best way to grill Rancher's Reserve beef ribs on a charcoal grill?
I find that the best way to cook beef ribs is to season them the day before you plan to grill with your favorite seasoning. When ready to cook, preheat an oven to 300°F. Place the ribs in a baking pan and add a cup of water to the pan. Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven for approximately 2 hours or until the meat is tender. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, light a charcoal grill, and let it burn until the coals are all white. Place the ribs on the grill and baste them with your favorite sauce. They should only take about 8 minutes on the grill to get color and flavor.

What kind of oil do you recommend using when cooking meat on a gas grill?
I recommend using a vegetable oil such as canola or corn. You can also use olive oil. However, do not use extra virgin olive oil, as it is expensive and will burn at a lower temperature than most other oils.

I am a novice at grilling, and I have faced the same difficulty time and time again. My chicken sticks to the gas grill, in spite of my oiling it before heating the grill. Any other tips you could recommend?
It is very important that the grill is hot or most foods will stick. For the chicken, I would suggest patting it dry with some paper towels first. Use a small amount of oil to coat the meat, then season. Place the meat on the hot grill and let it cook.

I have a natural gas barbecue grill. It is equiped with a infrared side burner for Rotisserie grilling. I would like to know how much time I should allow to cook whole chickens, turkeys, beef and pork roasts and hams. The barbeque did not come with any guidelines such as minutes per pound, etc. Thank you for any help you could give me.
Not knowing the temperature settings on your grill, I will give you some suggestions to use. There should be a thermometer that tells you the temperature of the grill when the lid is closed. Once you close the lid, you are now cooking in a oven. 350°F is 350°F. A rotisserie will speed up the cooking a little bit more than a regular oven, but more than speeding it up, it will cook the meat more evenly. Generally about 20 to 25 minutes per pound is what I use for beef roasts.

What is the tastiest way to grill a pork picnic shoulder that doesn't require multiple ingredients?
The way that I like to make a pork shoulder tastier is to let it sit in a basic meat brine for 24 to 48 hours (1 gallon + 1 cup of water with 1/3 cup sugar and 1 cup salt). Dissolve the sugar and salt in the water, and place up to 5 pounds of meat in the brine and refrigrate. Remove the meat from the brine and pat dry with some paper towels. Season the outside of the meat with salt and pepper or your favorite rub. Cook on low heat or indirect heat (250°F) until tender.

I have a new gas grill (Blue Ember by Fiesta grills) that features a Rotisserie Burner. I have wanted to cook one of those ready-made, not frozen pizzas that Safeway sells on my grill. Two questions: 1) Do I need some sort of stone surface to place the pizza on or will a cookie sheet suffice and 2) Should I use the rotisserie instead of the burners, maintaining I suppose 450 degrees? Thanks. I shop at Safeway all the time and am looking forward to "grilling" a pizza and hearing back from you.
No need to do anything special to cook a pizza on the grill. Just place the pizza on the grill and rotate when cooked about halfway. No rotisserie heat is needed. Also , 450 degree may be too hot unless your pizza is really thin and you want it to cook very quickly. Use a slightly lower temperature to make sure the center of the pizza gets cooked.

I have heard that if you grill corn on the cob with the husk on and wrapped in Reynolds Wrap, you can grill it as long as you want and it will not burn. Is this true?
No! Everything will eventually burn on the grill. I would suggest peeling back the husks and removing the corn silk (strings), then covering the ear back up with the husks. You should then soak the corn in cold water for 30 minutes (this will keep the husk moist so it doesn’t dry out and burn too fast). Place the ear on the grill and cook (turning occasionally) for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

What is the best way to cook chicken legs on a grill? Do I boil first, microwave? I have heard so many different things and need to know the which is best to do.
You can cook chicken legs many ways, but on a grill I would suggest to start the legs off over a medium-high heat until they get a golden brown color, and then move them to a medium-low heat (so they don’t burn) and finish cooking. Remember that you need to tend to the legs while they are over the higher heat, as they can easily burn.

I recently got a grill with porcelain cast iron cooking grids, what's the best way to clean them?
You should use a brass grill brush (much softer than steel brush).

Smoking with a Gas Grill?
Depending on the size of the wood chips, soaking anywhere from 1-8 hours should do (smaller chips take less time). Wrap the chips in a foil pouch- leaving an opening or several holes in the top of the pouch. Place the pouch directly above the flame and wait until they begin to smoke for grilling. If you need to smoke a grilled item over a long period of time, use 2-3 pieces of hot charcoal to place in a larger pouch of wood chips.

For adding wood smoke flavor to smaller items (steaks, chops, etc.), wood planks work as well and are becoming increasingly popular in many different varieties. In the case of steaks/chops, you will want to sear them quickly over high heat before finishing over lower heat on the wood plank. Soak the wood plank in the recommended fashion, then make sure it is hot and beginning to smoke before finishing the steak/chop on top of it.

Does a dry rub do the same thing for a steak as a marinade?
Yes and No. A dry rub adds an additional layer of flavor to your Rancher’s Reserve steak, just as a marinade would. However, it will not aid in tenderizing like most marinades do. You’ll need between 1 and 24 hours for the rub to fully infuse the cut with the flavor. After you have added the rub to the steak, be sure to put in a resealable container or bag and place it in the refrigerator.

What is the best temperature to grill steaks?
On a propane grill, set the dial to medium-high. On a charcoal grill, when you can hold your hand at grilling height for only 3 seconds, that is medium-high.

How do I keep my steaks from drying out on the grill?
Be sure to turn your steaks only once while cooking, and use tongs instead of a fork. A fork will pierce the meat and allow the juices to run out, causing a dry steak. Once cooked to your preferred doneness, allow the steaks to rest 5-10 minutes to maintain juiciness.

Are there any food safety tips I should keep in mind when grilling?
Use an internal meat thermometer to check the temperature of your beef before consuming, and wash and sanitize your thermometer after every use. For medium-rare doneness, steaks should be cooked to at least 135°F. Also, once cooked, beef should be placed on a clean serving dish – not the one that previously held the raw beef.

My steaks are frozen. How long should I let them defrost in the refrigerator before they’ll be ready for the grill?
Allow them to defrost between 12 and 24 hours, depending on the thickness. Keep them in the lowest compartment of the refrigerator, so that if any leakage occurs, it won’t drip on other items.

How do I create the perfect hamburger patty?
Start with cold meat and cold wet hands (chill your hands under cold running water). Handle the meat gently to prevent the patties from getting too dense and firm. If possible, let the patties rest in the fridge for an hour after forming. This helps them stay together better on the grill.

What are some tips for grilling hamburgers?
Always start with a clean, preheated grill. Applying a nonstick cooking spray is helpful as well. Start with chilled patties, and always turn ground beef patties with a spatula. Do not press patties, as this causes the loss of flavorful juices, and results in a dry burger.

Ground beef should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. The most accurate and recommended method of determining doneness is the use of an instant-read meat thermometer.

Always have plenty of napkins around too, as well-made burgers are not only delicious, they are juicy too!

What beef cuts should be marinated prior to grilling?
Typically, steak cuts with “chuck,” “round,” or “flank” in the name are great for marinating prior to grilling. Examples include chuck steak, top round steak, eye round steak, and flank steak. Give them at least 1 to 3 hours (or even overnight) in the refrigerator in a resealable bag to keep the marinade close to the beef, and the beef juices in the bag. Dispose of marinade once steaks are on the grill.

Where can I find a rub or marinade for my steaks in the store?
The full-service meat counter offers free marinades and rubs. Simply purchase your beef from the full-service counter or bring your cut from the self-service case, choose your rub or marinade, and they will take care of the rest. The rub or marinade will start to infuse your cut with flavor before you even leave the store!

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