Yum Yum for Dum Dum...A cooking guide for beginners. Everything you want to know from recipes to what gadgets you need in your kitchen.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
How to Use a Grill Basket
It’s that time of year to start grilling. Whether you're grilling a big batch of shrimp, a delicate whole fish, or a ton of cherry tomatoes, you need a grill basket. A grill basket will keep those skinny stalks of asparagus from ending up in the coals instead of your plate and help you flip delicate fish like salmon.
You need a grill basket. There are two main types: hinged, two-sided (sometimes flexible) baskets and perforated baskets with raised sides and open tops (also called grill woks). Both of these cheap, easy-to-find tools can open up new ways to grill making it possible to do things you never thought you could do before:
You Can Grill Whole Fish
If fear of sticking has been holding you back from grilling whole fish, fragile fillets, or glazed chicken wings, it's time to let it go. When placed in a hinged grill basket, food doesn't actually make contact with the grill, but instead stays firmly yet gently nestled between the basket's two protective sides as it gets flipped. (Tip: To prevent grilled food from clinging to the basket, be sure to oil it or coat it with nonstick cooking spray before cooking.)
You Can Cook Side Dishes on the Grill
Forget running back and forth from your kitchen to your grill; grill baskets allow you to cook both mains and sides in the great outdoors. (And no one wants to roast potatoes or steam green beans in a hot kitchen in the summertime anyway.) Both hinged baskets and grill woks excel at cooking vegetables, especially small or thin items that can easily fall between the grates of a grill, like scallions, mushrooms, broccoli florets, and sliced onions. Regardless of the type of basket you use, group items with similar cook times together (or add them in the appropriate succession if using a grill wok) and cut them about the same size so they cook at the same rate. It's okay to overfill the basket a little when cooking vegetables—the steam released can help them cook through. Bonus: a hinged basket with a long handle is perfect for cooking over a campfire, no grill required!
You Can Lose the Skewers
Threading food on skewers can take a lot of time and some items are difficult to pierce. Next time you're in the mood for grilled shrimp or prawns, just toss them in a spicy, buttery sauce and cook them in a hinged basket or grill wok. A basket makes turning a breeze, while a wok lets you keep the food moving, much like sautéing in a skillet on a stovetop. Arranging seafood or meat in a single layer will help it cook quickly and evenly.
You Can Turn Out Lots of Food at Once
If you're cooking lots of burgers or chops for a crew, use a hinged grill basket to flip them all at the same time. Just make sure your items are about the same thickness to ensure that every piece is cooked to perfection.