With picnic season around the corner, it’s always a good reason to brush up on your outdoor grilling skills. Gear up to amaze your friends with your way around a grill basket on the next barbecue evening. From a huge batch of burgers to a delicate whole fish, a grill basket can make you the champion of barbecue. Some of the trade secrets and know-how of how to barbecue to perfection have been listed below.
A side of Veggies in the house!
A side of veggies is a must-have for a barbecue party!
With the use of a grill basket, you can have them cooked and ready within 10 minutes. Here’s what needs to be done:
Step 1: Chop all the veggies in similar-sized chunks – so that everything gets cooked evenly.
Step 2: Marinate them in a little bit of oil – to keep them from drying out (Optional: You could season the oil with some salt, garlic, and herbs of your choice).
Step 3: Preheat the grill basket with the lid closed, in the grill for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Put the veggies in the preheated grill basket and let the magic happen. You could either toss it every 3 to 4 minutes or turn them over after 5 minutes with the help of tongs.
Certain vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, and eggs do not need a grill basket. You would need a grill basket in the following situations:
- Save some space on the grill
- Cook a lot of veggies at the same time to get a blended flavor.
- Prevent small pieces of veggies from falling through the grates.
An advantage of cooking in a basket – you could fill it up extra without worrying about the vegetables being undercooked – the steam would make sure that everything is cooked properly.
You also don’t need to be bothered with the skewers. All you need to do is spread everything on the basket and toss it whenever needed – it’s just like cooking on a wok. You don’t need to bother with piercing each piece of vegetable with a skewer. So, it’s hassle-free in that aspect.
Pro-tip: placing all the vegetables in a single file helps them to cook evenly and faster!
You could also use grilled vegetables as toppings for pizza, pasta, salads, and sandwiches.
A Fishy – Affair in the Grill!
If you are afraid of your fish sticking to the grill, then your fear can be abated. When the food (in this case, fish) is placed in a hinged grill basket, it does not come in contact with the grill. It stays nestled between the protective sides while it gets flipped. As an additional measure to prevent the fish from sticking to the grill, you could coat it with a layer of nonstick cooking spray before you place it in the grill basket. Cooking fish on a grill can be a delicate business. But using a grill basket makes it easy. However, it would be advisable to be a tad cautious while grilling your tuna steak!
Here is a step by step guide on how to grill and flip seafood:
Step 1: Preheat the grill on high.
Step 2: Let the fish thaw till it comes around to room temperature.
Step 3: Grease the grill basket thoroughly with some cooking oil.
Step 4: Marinate and season the fish with herbs of your choice.
Step 5: Place the fish on the grill basket on the grill.
Step 6: If the fish is on the thinner side, then grill each side for around 3.5 minutes before flipping it over. If the fish is thicker, then let it stay on the grill for around 5 minutes on each side.
Step 7: Cook the fish till its opaque and reach an internal temperature of around 140 to 145 degree Fahrenheit.
Special instructions for salmon: If the fish is too long, then the tail should be folded and tucked under the fish. The fish should be grilled – skin side up – for around 5 minutes. Flip the basket over, and let it stay there for around five minutes till the center is opaque. Once the center is done, your salmon is ready to be plated and served to your guests.
Chicken Steak meal!
Follow the same method (as fish) to cook your chicken steak or chicken wings. Just remember to marinate the meat with your favorite seasonings for a little while longer so that the meat doesn’t become dry after grilling.
How to keep the grill basket clean?
The grill basket is usually dishwater safe. But you should check the user manual once, just to be safe! It would be advisable to clean it with hot water, mild degreaser, and dish cleaning soap with a non-abrasive sponge before leaving it in the dishwasher. They can also withstand strong cleaning agents. Most importantly, cleaning a grill basket is much easier than cleaning a grill.
Optimization of a grill basket:
Let’s take a quick look at the advantages of a grill basket:
Eliminates the use of skewers: Skewers are not required. Everything can be tossed on the basket, thus makes cooking easy by taking a lot less time.
Greasy meat barbecue made easy: Grill baskets have been made to deal with all kinds of greasy meats – chicken quarters, whole fish, fish steaks, chicken, and turkey legs. Once the meat is locked in the basket, you could fire up the grill and flip it occasionally till your meat is cooked.
Ideal for greens that goes with the grease: Best suited for vegetables like broccoli, mushroom, bell peppers, potatoes, and zucchinis.
Evenly cooked burgers: Multiple burgers can be made at the same time, and all of them are cooked evenly with the same amount of crisp.
Safety: A grilled basket prevents flare-ups caused by the grease by adding a layer between the fire-pit and the food.
Healthier: Food cooked on grilled baskets is healthier with a side of veggies, as no extra oil or fat is required to grill.
Time Saver: It saves time as a lot of things can be made at the same time. All you would have to do is turn or toss the things every 4 to 5 minutes.