As spring moves toward summer, the term “bringing the heat” takes on several meanings.
In a southern city such as New Orleans, bringing the heat could refer to the sweltering temperature outside. It’s also baseball season, and a pitched fastball is known as bringing the heat.
And then there’s grilling.
Summer seems to gear up grilling efforts for many folks, and one of the more important points to consider when grilling is not just bringing the heat, but howyou bring the heat.
“It [cooking with direct heat and indirect heat] is very important. You can dry the meat out if the heat is too intense,” said Aldo Bonilla, who is the Meat Market Manager at Dorignac’s Food Center in Metairie. “You really want to cook the meat slow so it maintains its juices.”
If you cook food on the grill right on top of the heat source, then that is direct grilling, or using direct heat. It is often used to cook many smaller or thin pieces of food quickly, like steaks, chicken breasts and chops. Direct grilling is also a great option for searing food to produce a brown crust on the exterior that packs a flavorful punch. Caution should be taken with this method because while the outside can sear quickly, the inside may remain raw. Also, too much time spent on the grill, and you could end up with burnt food.
Another option grilling fans gravitate toward is cooking food off to the side of the heat source, also known as indirect grilling. This method grills the food slowly and thoroughly and is typically used for larger pieces of meat and helps prevent the burning that can happen with direct heat.
Combining the two techniques can be fun and brings out your inner grill master. Try grilling something indirectly and then directly to sear it for a great tasting exterior.