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Lid Closed or Not and Heat Indicator!!!

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Post Wed Mar 03, 2004 7:34 pm
klon99 raw
raw

Posts: 3
I have a Gas Grill, and know to let it pre-heat for at least 20 mins. My question is when you put a steak or per say any beef product on the girll, do you cook with the lid open or closed, and if the lid is open im assuming you leave the burners at high, and if lid is closed you drop them down to medium.
I also have a MHP WNK Series Grill, which I love to death. The only thing I didnt get with it was a Heat Indicator. I was wondering if anyone can suggest a place on where to buy one. I would like to know the inside temperature of my grill when the lid is closed.

Thanks for any help.


Posts: 12
klon99 wrote:
I have a Gas Grill, and know to let it pre-heat for at least 20 mins. My question is when you put a steak or per say any beef product on the girll, do you cook with the lid open or closed, and if the lid is open im assuming you leave the burners at high, and if lid is closed you drop them down to medium.
I also have a MHP WNK Series Grill, which I love to death. The only thing I didnt get with it was a Heat Indicator. I was wondering if anyone can suggest a place on where to buy one. I would like to know the inside temperature of my grill when the lid is closed.

Thanks for any help.


Hello there Klon99!

I think (and I'm sure I'll be told if I"m wrong :D ) that the rule of thumb is if it's an inch or less in thickness then close the lid.

The idea is that with the lid closed the heat circulates all inside the grill therefore cooking the top of the grill item as well as the side that is on the fire.

FWIW I generally always keep my lid closed (except of course when checking the item).

HTH

David

Post Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:06 am
chagan well done
well done

Posts: 1350
Location: Central NJ by way of NY
Hi Klon99, welcome to the board! With small items that cook quickly (like steak) you would usually get a nice hot fire going- say in the neighborhood of 600 degrees or more. You would then clean your grill grate, and put a little bit of olive oil on the grates by dipping a paper towel in the oil and spreading it over the grates using a set of tongs. Cover your grill and let it come up to temp for 10 minutes or so, so that the grates are good and hot. I would then remove the lid (or lift it up) and grill directly over the coals or burners six minutes or so per side (for a one inch steak to come out medium over a HOT fire) rotating the steak 60- 90 degrees after 3 minutes to get a nice cross-hatch grill mark going, and repeat the procedure on the other side. This is the way that I would do most steaks (and grilled items) that would be done in 20 minutes or less. Dave, (I don't know if you miss-typed) you have the fundamentals down about why you would close the lid, but I don't know if you meant to close the lid if the item is MORE than an inch in thickness as would be the case. Although I find that up to an inch and a half steak can be grilled without the cover in my opinion. I did recently get some monster porterhouses that were in the area of 2 inches thick, and while the fire was quite hot, and I increased the time to 8 minutes per side, the steaks were not cooked through (to my wife's liking), Closing the lid in that case would have helped the situation. The general rule is there are no rules- have fun. However if the item is small and cooks fast a lid is not generally required. Larger items that take longer to grill, would be done using indirect heat with the lid closed (and at a lower temp).

As for the thermometer, try this link to get some ideas:

http://www.barbecue-store.com/thermometers.htm

I have the Temperature detective which I am quite fond of, although there are similar products on the market i.e. Polder thermometers that do basically the same thing for less money, and should be easy to find in your local Home Depot, Kmart, Lowes etc. These types of thermometers are designed to be put inside the meat to test the internal temp, but if you are not cooking at too high a temp (<400- anything higher will damage the unit) you could leave the probe on the grates to get an accurate measurement of the temp that your food is being cooked. You might also mount a thermometer permanently to you grill by drilling a hole in the lid (and applying a little high heat grill paint to the bare metal). If you do, make sure that you mount the thermometer close to where the food is being cooked- because temps will vary quite a bit depending on where the thermometer is placed, you want to know the temp at food level.
Cheers!
Last edited by chagan on Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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No, it ain't burnt- it's barbecue

Post Thu Mar 04, 2004 9:27 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
I agree with both David and Chagan. Just thin of it in terms of heat. Where is the heat, what keeps it there, and what is it in contact with, and most importantly how does it move.
Food cooks from the outside in. It cooks from the heatsource. This is the basis of the whole direct indirect theory. Direct method moves heat from fire to one side of meat. Indirect moves heat to air to all sides of meat with an increased at point of contact with the grill. So on thicker foods that won't cook to the center from one side or the other directly you need more heat on the other side to get there (lid down).
But thats not a rule. Like Chagan said...there are no rules. Experiment. Have Fun.

Good Luck and enjoy!
Image

Post Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:50 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
A lot of good advise above.

I use the lid to regulate the temperature of the fire. My grill has fixed grates which cannot be raised or lowered. So the only way to adjust the temperature is to open/close the vents (and of course the amount of fuel). So I normally grill with the lid open for smaller cuts that take a short amount of time on higher heat and close it for larger cuts that take longer to cook through or if flare-ups get out of hand.

If you want to save a little fuel, your owner’s manual recommends preheating for 5 to 10 minutes; and preheat on high for 10 minutes to clean the porcelain grates. Unless you are trying to burn off some heavy remains from your last cookout you shouldn’t to run it for 20.

Your gas grill can generate a lot of heat. If you’re going to get a temperature gauge then get one that will handle the heat. Steven teaches the “ouch” method for determining how hot your grill is (Warm, Medium, or Hot). There are a lot of us that don’t have a gauge on our grill. The poke method or an instant read thermometer works well for telling when the food is done.

As already stated, we’re here to have fun!
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Post Sat Mar 06, 2004 1:44 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
I've been meaning to ask a similar question. As near perfect as Steven's books are... most recpies don't say whether to grill covered or uncovered. So far I only have How to Grill. Maybe the other books address it better?
I always grill covered. If I wanted a thick steak nicely crusted on the outside where the fat melts but with a juicy pink inside should I grill hot and uncovered? I would also want it free of excess water to reduce steaming the inside right? ...and straight from the fridge to the grill?
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Sat Mar 06, 2004 4:49 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
I always grill steaks uncovered, unless the air temp is < 40, then I'll close it for part of the cook. So, steaks = high temperature + no cover. Many books say to let the meat warm to room temp before grilling. This insures that the grates stay hotter and sear better. That said, I rarely take the trime to do this. Just lazy I guess.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine


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