How do I cook certain foods on my charcoal grill?
The type of food you're cooking is not nearly as important as how you gook it. It's much better to present your guests with a masterfully cooked, juicy hamburger than a charred, ashy lump that once resembled a steak. Follow the basics below to achieve the perfect cook for your chosen menu.
Fish - Use a medium fire. Fish should ideally be close to room temperature before you cook it. Coat the fish with a light coating of oil and turn it often. Remember that fish cooks easily and quickly. To determine when fish is done, use a fork and attempt to break it apart in the thickest portion of the piece. It should flake easily. If not, keep on cooking.
Chicken - use a medium to hot fire. Chicken pieces should ideally be close to room temperature before you cook them. Place the seasoned chicken on the grill and allow the pieces to brown on the first side and then the other. If the fire is hot enough, the chicken will seize the cooking grate when it hits the grill and then it will conveniently release when it is ready to be turned over. Chicken is considered to be done once it reaches 165 degrees F. Use the bi-therm instant thermometer to verify it is done.
Pork Chops and Lamb Chops - Use a medium to hot fire. Pork and Lamb Chops should be close to room temperature or maybe even a little cooler before cooking. Both of these meats cook similar to chicken. Pork is done when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. There may be some some pinkness, but all undesirable things are killed at 137 degrees F. Do not cook over 155 degrees F or you will end up with a dry, tough piece of meat that's not quite jerky, and not quite edible.
Steaks - Use a hot fire for steaks. The temperature of a steak before cooking varies somewhat depending on the cut of meat you choose. It is recommended to select a smaller diameter yet thicker (3/4 inch) piece of meat. This will allow you to achieve the proper charring on the outside of the meat, but still retain a juicy interior that will please the palette. These are the type of steaks you will find in your favorite steakhouses and roadhouses. If for some reason you end up using a thinner steak (1/2 inch), cool the steak down to where it is firm, but not frozen solid. This will provide for charring on the outside while the inside is spending most of the time just thawing.