Grilling refers to a specific method of cooking that applies high volume of direct, radiant heat on the surface of food. In this method, food items are exposed to extremely high temperatures that are more than 500 °F (260 °C). Food products that are generally cooked through grilling include: fish, poultry, pork, beef and other meat items.

Grilling Taste

When meat products are cooked at such high temperatures, a special chemical reaction takes place that is known as Maillard reaction. Because of this chemical process, a distinctive roast aroma is produced in the grilled meat. This way, grilling does not just cook meat quickly but also adds a more delicious taste to the food thus prepared.

Grilling Pans

Different types of pans are used to cook food through grilling, such as griddles that are flat plates and are heated from below; grill pans that are special frying pans; and grills that are simply open wire grids. When griddles or grill pans are used, the method of direct conduction is applied to transfer heat. On the other hand, when grills are used to cook food through grilling, heat is transferred mainly through thermal radiation. In either case, heat is applied from below. When heat is applied from above, the heat transfer is done through thermal convection. Here, the pan used to cook food is termed as broiler pan.

Grilling VS Broiling

The heat is generally applied from below, but in some cases, it can be applied from above also. In most countries of the world, both forms of cooking are termed as grilling. But, in the United States of America, the term used for the later (when the heat is applied from above) is broiling.

Grilling Facts

Meat products are often grilled by first mixing them with certain ingredients, such as cherries, olive oil, oregano, marjoram, savory, sage, mint, rosemary and garlic. These ingredients add to the taste of the food, but their main purpose is to minimize the amount of carcinogens. Carcinogens are unhealthy chemicals that are produced when food is cooked at temperatures exceeding 360 °F. An alternative method to neutralize the effect of these harmful chemicals is to cook meat products first in a microwave oven and then to drain their juices properly. When the food is grilled after this process, the chances of carcinogen production are very minimal. The best thing about grilled food is that it is very low in saturated fat.

Different types of methods are used for grilling. The most popular methods include: flattop grilling, stove-top pan grilling, charcoal kettle grilling and barbecue.

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