Chef Seth shares his secrets...ahem, knowledge...about the grill with us.
First things first let's start with the basics. "Start with a good fire made from a natural burning fuel source like charcoal or wood," Chef tells us. Let this fire burn embers and get past that early white smoke that creates a bitter, harsh taste. You can do this by taking good care of the burning elements and keeping them clean.
Next, make sure your grilling surface is good and hot. You also want a very clean surface, and you can ensure this by taking care of your grill once you are finished cooking. At the end of your grill session, let the fire burn another 5-15 minutes- just long enough to let any remaining crumbs and char burn up into carbon. The metal is what actually causes grill marks on a food's surface- not the space in between the grates. Rub a little cooking oil (one with a high smoke point) over the grill surface to help prepare the grill itself.
Choose proteins that are well-suited for grilling. These foods should be thinner- typically between 1/2 to 11/2 inch thick. In order to achieve good color and even cooking, lay your protein down on the grill surface, and do not turn until you get a good grill mark. Wait until the meat is cooked at least 1/2 way though if not 2/3 of the way. As soon as hot liquid appears on the raw side, your protein is ready to flip.
Once you have cooked your food to your desired color, leave your fire burning for a bit to clean off any remaining debris. Shut down your fire, scrape down the grill surface, and then enjoy your freshly grilled meal. You deserve it.