Food
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HEALTH, PLANET

How to Make Your Grill Non-Stick (without using animal fat)

March 8, 2016

Traditionally, a BBQ grill is rubbed with a piece of animal fat to prevent food from sticking to it while cooking. Obviously, this isn’t going to fly with vegetarians! Here are some ways to make your grill non-stick without using animal fat.

Oil

This is the obvious alternative to animal fat for greasing a grill but, honestly, it doesn’t always work that well. The main reason is because oil will carbonize and smoke at high temperatures.  Most of us aren’t that good at controlling the heat of a grill, which is supposed to be hot anyway, so the oil method sometimes fails.  For best results, make sure you are using an oil which has a high burning temperature (canola is a good choice).

Oil can also be hazardous to use as a grill lubricant. If it drips onto the hot below, it can flame up. To grease a grill with oil, dip a paper towel in oil. Make sure it isn’t so wet it is dripping. Using tongs, quickly drag the oily paper towel over the hot grill.  You should repeat this several times to ensure the grill is adequately lubricated.

DO NOT use spray oil! Not only is aerosol really bad for the environment, but droplets of aerosolized oil can turn into fireballs when they hit the flame.

Oil Your Food Instead of the Grill

A lot of die-hard grillers insist that you should oil your food and not the grill. When you put the oiled food on the grill, it fills the tiny cracks and nooks in the grill and the food, making a barrier between them which prevents sticking. The oil on the food also helps trap moisture inside the food so it stays juicy.   You can use a brush to coat your food before grilling it. Or, better yet, marinade your food in an oil-based marinade the night before. This way you can be sure the oil soaked into the food and also add some flavor.

Onion

This is a tip I picked up from Skip to My Lou. All you need to do is cut an onion in half and rub in on the heated grill before you put food down. Yes, it really works!

 

Clean Your Grill!

No matter what sort of lubricant you use for your grill, food is bound to stick to it if it is dirty. So, take the time to clean off all that gunk stuck to the grate from your last BBQ. Tip: It is easier to clean a grill when it is hot. If you don’t have a grill brush, then you can use tongs and a piece of balled-up tinfoil.

Other Tips:

Don’t put food on a grill before the grill is hot. Otherwise, it will definitely stick.

Don’t touch or flip the food before it is cooked. The food should naturally release from the grill as it is cooked. This is because water vapor will dissipate from the food and the steam will eventually cause the food to lift off the grill.

Bring food to room temperature before you put it on the grill. Cold food is more likely to stick.

Image credit:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scrapstothefuture/2625378799

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