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To Become a Pitmaster, Learn Indirect vs Direct Cooking

Ever burned your meat because the coals are too hot?  Tired of standing by your grill,  constantly shifting your food to avoid a burnt exterior and raw interior (see pic below)? After being cooked for 5 minutes directly over hot coals, these chicken pieces are burned on the outside but raw on the inside. The solution: understanding indirect vs direct cooking. This simple concept fulfills Pitmaster Neghae’s MIME criteria (Maximum Impact, Minimum Effort).  In it’s simplest form, it involves arranging coal on only one half side of the grill, creating an indirect zone (convection heat) and a direct zone (radiant heat). See diagram below. A 2-zone setup on a charcoal grill. Such a setup allows for direct cooking (good for searing) and an...

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Two Step Prep – the Dry Brine

Salt is a critical ingredient that ramps up the juiciness, tenderness, and flavor of any meat when used to season before cooking. Some sprinkle salt on the surface, but why season the surface when you can get it deeper? Some inject meats with a salt solution, but only the skilled avoid pocketing the liquid, causing inconsistencies within the cut. Others may submerge the meat in a salt solution, known as a wet brine. In my opinion, wet brines are a lot of effort, especially if you complicate them with sugars and spices. All of the above work, but I want to MIME.

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