How to Grill Meat, Cooking Times, Tips & Tricks

This is the application of direct heat to high quality seasoned items of meat which are normally no thicker than 7-8 cm first brushed with oil. The outer surfaces should caramelize with the natural juices, be evenly and lightly colored and have seared cross marks from the grill bars. Inside the food should be succulent and cooked to the desired degree.

Grilling equipment:

There is a wide range of equipment and fuel available for grilling:
(a) a charcoal grill provides under-heat;

(b) a char-grill provides under-heat and uses gas or electricity;

(c) a salamander grill provides overhead heat and uses gas or electricity;

(d) an infra-red grill provides over or under-heat and uses electricity;

(e) a griddle plate stands on top of the stove and uses gas or electricity. All grills and grill bars should be cleaned frequently before, during and after use. If attention is not given to cleaning during prolonged use burnt particles stick to the food affecting flavour and appearance.

Garnishes:

The basic garnish for all grilled meats and poultry consists of Straw Potatoes, Parsley Butter and watercress. The French term to denote this on the menu is vert-pré.

Another French term commonly used for a general garnish is garni. This allows flexibility and generally includes the same items as vert-pré plus Grilled Tomatoes and Mushrooms.

Sauces may be featured as an accompaniment, those most commonly used are buttered based sauces such as Béarnaise or piquante flavored sauces such as Diable. They are served separately in sauceboats.

Some examples of these garnishes and sauces are as follows:
Grilled Tournedos Steak with Sauce Béarnaise — Tournedos Grillé Béarnaise

Grilled Chicken with Sauce Diable — Poulet Grillé Diablé

Grilled Entrecote Steak Vert-Pré — Entrecôte Grillée Vert-Pré

Grilled Pork Chop with Tomatoes and Mushrooms — Chop de Porc Grillé aux Tomates et Champignons

General application:

Table shown below gives items of meat, poultry and offal suitable for grilling, their approximate weight per portion and length of time they should be grilled for. Items to be grilled should first be trimmed of all sinew, gristle and excess fat. They should then be seasoned (with the exception of bacon and gammon) and brushed with oil.

Method: (using under-heat)

(1) Heat the grill — it must be hot before grilling commences.

(2) Brush all over with oil and season the raw food.

(3) Place the food on the previously oiled grill bars.

(4) If there are different heat zones in the grill then place the item onto the hottest part to give the searing marks of the grill bars. Turn the meat sideways so that a criss-cross effect is marked on both sides of the food and when marked move it away from this point to enable the food to cook to the desired degree without burning.

(5) Brush the bars of the grill continuously with oil to prevent sticking.

 

Cut of Meat Approximate
Weight Per Portion
Time
(medium cooked)
Beef
Chateaubriand 250 grams 15-18 mins
Double sirloin steak 400 grams 15-18 mins
Fillet steak 200 grams 10-15 mins
Minute steak 200 grams 3-4 mins
Point steak 200 grams 10-12 mins
Porterhouse steak (T-bone) 650 grams 15-18 mins
Rib steak 650 grams 15-18 mins
Rump steak 200 grams 8-10 mins
Single entrecôte steak 200 grams 8-10 mins
Tournedos 200 grams 8-10 mins
Lamb
Chop 200 grams 15-18 mins
Chump chop< 250 grams 15-18 mins
Crown chop 400 grams 15-18 mins
Cutlet 100 grams 8-10 mins
Double cutlet 200 grams 15-18 mins
Noisette 100 grams 3-5 mins
Rosette 100 grams 5-8 mins
Liver 200 grams 5-6 mins
Kidney 75 grams 3-8 mins
Pork
Bacon 100 grams 3-8 mins
Chop 200 grams 15-18 mins
Gammon Steak 150 grams 8-10 mins
Poultry
Chicken (1½ – 2 kg) 45 mins
Spring Chicken 400 grams 20-25 mins
Veal
Cutlets 250 grams 8-10 mins
Liver 200 grams 5-6 mins
Escalopes 150 grams 8-10 mins

Note:
(1) The cooking times indicated are intended as a guide for cooking an individual item and do not always correspond with those indicated in recipes where allowances have been made for other associated work to be carried out.

(2) Chateaubriand is usually grilled first then transferred to an oven for roasting, This prevents it drying out during the long time it would take to grill until cooked right through.

(3) It is very unusual to grill veal escalopes due to their lack of natural fat content.

Method: (using overhead heat – a salamander grill)

(1) Light the salamander grill — it must be hot before grilling commences. If using a grill of this type with a specially designed grilling plate proceed as above but remember the heat is from above.

(2) If using a grilling tray place the seasoned and oiled meat onto a lightly greased tray.

(3) Grill the items as quickly as possible until evenly coloured, turn them over and cook until coloured. Reduce the heat by lowering the grill rack and continue cooking until the item is cooked to the desired degree.

Notes:
(1) A tray containing oil may be used to pass the raw meat through. Ensure that all excess oil is drained off as drips will easily catch fire on an open type of grill.

(2) In trade practice where an authentic grill is not installed, a salamander grill is used. It is common practice to sear the food on both sides in a criss-cross pattern using a red hot poker before placing it under the salamander.

(3) If grilling chicken coated with breadcrumbs the chicken is grilled first, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and melted butter and placed under a salamander grill or put in a hot oven to color.

(4) Skewered items such as Kebabs are usually marinated in oil and seasoning before being grilled. They must be turned continuously to ensure even cooking and prevent burning as they are generally small in diameter.

(5) Kidneys need to be skinned, cut through lengthways and opened. A small incision should then be made in the center part with a knife and a skewer passed through both sides to keep the kidney open.

(6) Meat, once grilled, should be served at once as it dries out very quickly and so is not suitable for holding for any length of time.

(7) It is general practice to brush the surface of the main grilled item with melted butter when it is served to enhance its flavor and to give a shine to the product.

(8) It is usual practice to place a slice of Parsley Butter on the surface of the main item to enhance its appearance and improve flavor. This must be done at the last possible moment or the butter will melt. Some chefs serve parsley butter separately in a sauceboat with a little ice to prevent melting.

Possible problem, cause and solution:

(1) Meat is dry and lacks flavor:
— during cooking the meat was not brushed with melted fat; care must be taken to follow the correct procedure whilst grilling to avoid this problem which cannot be rectified.

— meat was overcooked; care must be taken to cook the meat for the correct length of time to avoid this problem which cannot be rectified.

— meat was held for too long before service; care must be taken to grill the meat as close to the time it is required as possible to avoid this problem which cannot be rectified.

— a previously grilled item was reheated; grilled meat is not suitable for retention and reheating – the meat should be prepared and cooked as close as possible to the time it is required to avoid this problem.

(2) Meat has distorted during cooking:
— poor quality meat was used; care must be taken to purchase the best quality items for grilling as low quality meat gives rise to problems which cannot be rectified.

— meat was not properly butchered; care must be taken when preparing the meat as problems arising at this stage cannot be rectified.

— meat was overcooked; care must be taken to cook the meat for the correct length of time to avoid this problem which cannot be rectified.

— meat was held for too long before service: care must be taken to grill the meat as close to the time it is required as possible to avoid this problem which cannot be rectified.

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