#AtoZChallenge: #Cooking Terms – G is for Grilling

What is Grilling?

GGrilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below (as in North America).  It generally involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat and tends to cook meats quickly.

Methods of Grilling Include….

Grid ironing.  Gridironing is the cooking of meats or other foods using a grill suspended above a heat source.

Charcoal kettle-grilling.  Charcoal kettle-grilling refers to the process of grilling over a charcoal fire in a kettle, to the point that the edges are charred, or charred grill marks are visible.

Grill-baking.  By using a baking sheet pan placed above the grill surface, as well as a drip pan below the surface, it is possible to combine grilling and roasting to cook meats that are stuffed or coated with breadcrumbs or batter, as well as to bake breads and even casseroles and desserts.

Grill-braising.  It is possible to braise meats and vegetables in a pot on top of a grill. A gas or electric grill would be the best choices for what is known as “barbecue-braising” or “grill-braising”, or combining grilling directly on the surface and braising in a pot.

Indoor grilling.  Many restaurants incorporate an indoor grill as part of their cooking apparatus. These grills resemble outdoor grills, in that they are made up of a grid suspended over a heat source. Indoor grills are more likely to use electric or gas-based heating elements, however.

Sear grilling.  Sear-grill and gear grilling is a process of searing meat or food items with an infrared grill. In sear grilling, propane or natural gas is used to heat a ceramic plate, which then radiates heat at temperatures over 480 °C (900 °F)

Stove-top pan grilling.  Stove-top pan grilling is an indoor cooking process that uses a grill pan – a cooking pan similar to a frying pan but with raised ridges to emulate the function or look of a gridiron.

Flattop grilling.  Foods termed “grilled” may actually be prepared on a hot griddle, or flat pan. The griddle or pan may be prepared with oil (or butter), and the food is cooked quickly over a high heat.

Charbroiling.  Charbroiling, or chargrilling outside North America, refers to grilling on a surface with wide raised ridges, to the point of having the food slightly charred in texture.

Overhead grilling.  In the United States, oven pan broiling refers to a method of cooking on a broil pan with raised ridges, inside an oven, when the heat can be applied from either above or below.

Salamander.  A salamander is a culinary broiler characterised by electric or gas very high temperature overhead heating elements. It is used primarily in professional kitchens for overhead grilling (US: broiling).  Salamanders are generally similar to an oven without a front door, with the heating elements at the top.

Two-sided grilling.  Some commercial devices permit the simultaneous grilling of both sides of the meat at the same time.

Stone grills.  Sometimes a stone is used to grill foods. Stones in these cases can store temperatures up to 450 °C (842 °F).

A bit of History:

Grilling existed in the Americas since pre-colonial times. The Arawak people used a wooden structure to roast meat on, which was called barbacoa in Spanish.

Barbecue goes back to 18th-century colonial America.  The word barbecue has been traced via the Spanish (‘barbacoa’) to a similar word used by the Arawak people of the Caribbean to denote a wooden structure on which they roasted meat.

As the settlers spread westward, regional variations developed, leaving us today with four distinct styles of barbecue

Until well into the 1940s, grilling mostly happened at campsites and picnics.

After World War II, as the middle class began to move to the suburbs, backyard grilling caught on, becoming all the rage by the 1950s.

While welding buoys in 1951, Stephen had the idea of using the bottom of the buoy as the cooking base for the grill and the top half as the lid, thereby creating the now famous and distinctive Weber Grill after adding a tripod at the bottom and a handle for the lid

In the 1940s Chicago Combustion Corporation (now called LazyMan) began making gas grills for restaurants with lava rocks replacing charcoal.  In 1959 they (Chicago Combustion corp)  adapted 20 pound propane cylinders used by plumbers and began selling portable gas grills.

During the 1990s, double-sided grilling was popular in the USA using consumer electrical grills (e.g., the popular George Foreman Grill).

I came across this site that has quite a bit of information about the history of grilling:  http://amazingribs.com/BBQ_articles/barbecue_history.html

There are many variations to grilling depending on the region of the world you are talking about.

  • Asia

In Japanese cities, a yakitori cart, restaurant, or shop with charcoal-fired grills and marinated grilled meat on a stick can often be found.


In Germany, the most prominent outdoor form of grilling is gridironing over a bed of burning charcoal

  • South America

In Argentina and Uruguay, both asado (beef roasted on a fire) and steak a la parrilla (beefsteak cooked on traditional grill) are staple dishes and even hailed as national specialities.

  • Sweden

In Sweden, grilling directly over hot coals is the most prominent form.

  • UK, Commonwealth and Ireland

In the United Kingdom, Commonwealth countries and Ireland, grilling generally refers to cooking food directly under a source of direct, dry heat. The “grill” is usually a separate part of an oven where the food is inserted just under the element.  This practice is referred to as “broiling” in North America.

  • United States

In the United States, the use of the word grill refers to cooking food directly over a source of dry heat.

We all know that many types of meats can be grilled, but did you know that there is a variety of other things that can be grilled as well…  Things you might not have considered.

Main Dishes

1. Pizza.
2. Clams.
3. Lemon Kebabs.
4. Meatballs.
5. Tofu.
6. Oysters.
7. Quesadilla.
Sides Dishes and Add-Ons

8. Avocado.
9. Whole Peppers.
9. Bacon.

10. Romaine.
11. Fries.
12. Zucchini.
13. Bread.
14. Hearts of Palm.
15. Mozzarella Cheese.
16. Artichokes.
17. Rice Balls.
Sweet Treats

19. Peaches.
20. Pineapple.
21. Ice Cream.
22. Berries.
23. Pound Cake.
24. French Toast.
25. Watermelon.
26. Grapes.

27. Banana Split.

(Above list via: http://greatist.com/health/27-unexpected-foods-grill-summer)



Join me on an A to Z Journey of Cooking Terms throughout the month of April.


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