Hot and Fast vs. Low and Slow – The Secret Is to Use an Electronic Meat Thermometer
When choosing how to cook meat on the grill, consider two things. The first thing is the amount of time you have for cooking. The second thing is your grilling knowledge and skills. If you are a novice, try simple cooking projects first. To cook quickly, choose the hot and fast grilling method. To take your time, choose the low and slow grilling method. You can also combine the two grilling methods. This is called reverse searing. Remember to keep your electronic meat thermometer near the grill no matter the technique you choose. It is vital to understand how each grilling technique works and why you need a digital food thermometer. We will discuss each cooking technique separately.
The focal point when grilling meat is the temperature. For you to accomplish your goals, first understand how grilling temperatures work. You will need a grilling thermometer to measure the internal temperatures of meat. But do you know how the interiors of the meat cook? Which source of temperature do they use? First, you have to turn on the burners to preheat the grill.
This is to provide heat for cooking the exteriors of meat. When the outer layer of meat gets hot, it transmits energy to the inner layers. Once you comprehend this heat transfer process, you are ready to cook. Get your bbq thermometer and other grilling essentials ready.
Hot and fast grilling method – What is it?
To cook your meat hot and fast, place it directly over the heat source. The infrared radiant heat will roast it for you. Keep your grill lid open to allow the heat to concentrate on the bottom surface. In hot and fast cooking, constant stirring and turning is a must; you must stay near the grill to constantly turn your meat. It is also necessary to keep your kitchen thermometer near you.
There is a golden rule to remember when using the hot and fast technique. Always use the hot and fast method when cooking thinner cuts of meat. These require higher temperatures to cook well. You can cook shrimp and thin steaks using the hot and fast technique.
Before you cook, place your thin cuts of meat in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes to make them cool. Do not freeze your meat because the ice crystals can pierce the cell walls and cause meat juices to flow out and wet the surface. This can affect the browning process when cooking meat.
When you turn on the infrared burners on a gas grill, the high heat will defrost the exteriors of meat and brown it. The middle will stay cool longer and will not overcook because the heat flows to the interiors of meat very slowly.
Cooking safe meat is the end goal. To achieve it, use the best meat thermometer. You can use an infrared thermometer because it takes internal temperatures from the surface of the meat. It works best when the piece of meat is thin.
Low and slow – What is it?
Low and slow or smoking produces yummier and juicier meat. It requires expertise and time. If you have none, you better go slowly on it. The technique entails cooking meat over a low heat source for several hours. Contrary to hot and fast, low and slow cooking is ideal when cooking thick cuts of meat.
For a cut of meat to be thick enough for the low and slow method, it should be at least 1-inch thick. Examples of food that you can cook this way include turkey breast, whole chicken, beef briskets, and prime ribs. These require more time to get warm in the middle.
When cooking thick meat, you can experience a variety of temperatures on the outer layers, inner layers, the middle area, and the edges. So you might want to use an advanced multi-channel remote thermometer. See the ChefsTemp Quad XPro electronic meat thermometer below.
Keep the smoker lid closed and the temperature down the entire cooking time. It will allow the heat to move to the middle at a slow but sure pace. At the same time, the accumulation of heat in the exteriors will be less.
As a result, the meat will cook to the recommended internal temperature. You can use a smoker thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat as it cooks. Here are the main points to note about this cooking technique:
- It is ideal for cooking thick cuts of meat.
- You can choose low and slow for meat with touch connective tissues. These are pork shoulders, beef briskets, and ribs. Remember to use your best cooking thermometer.
- When cooking low and slow, you can reach the proper internal temperature without overcooking some areas. You can cook meat to perfection by smoking it.
- You can ensure proper distribution of salt by cooking low and slow. When you season your meat, salt takes longer to reach the middle of the meat, even if you leave it overnight. The low heat slowly activates the salt, allowing it to move to the middle of the cut.
- When you cook low and slow, you allow the meat to absorb the smoke flavors gradually. But that is when you use wood to smoke your meat.
- The low and slow method uses warm convection air instead of direct radiant heat to cook meat. You can create a 2-zone set on your grill. That means having an indirect heat area and a direct heat zone. The indirect heat zone is for low and slow smoking while the direct zone area is for hot and fast cooking. Your 2-zone setup will depend on the type of grill you have.
- When cooking low and slow, the indirect heat should be between 225 °F ( 107 °C) and 325 °F (163 °C) when the cover/lid is down. When roasting a whole chicken or turkey, you can achieve better results at a temperature of 325 °F (163 °C) .
- Throughout the low and slow cooking time, you must use an electronic meat thermometerwith a probe. Whether it will have remote transmission capability or not, the crucial thing is that it takes accurate temp measurements.
- Getting tough meats done requires a temperature of 203 °F (95 °C). You might have to wait over ten hours using the lowest grill temp of 225 °F ( 107 °C). Hence, the low and slow method calls for patience.
If you want your meat to develop a dark crust, you may have to practice both hot and fast and low and slow methods. That is reverse sear, which we will not discuss today. Now you understand what it means to cook hot and fast or low and slow. In both cases, taking the internal temperatures of food is crucial. You should have an accurate electronic meat thermometer. Make sure your meat thermometer is heatproof. You must insert it in meat and leave it there until it cooks when using the low and slow method.
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