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Everyday Food, July/August 2003

With a little bit of practice, you can master these simple techniques and produce terrific results every time.

Preparing the Grill
Always start with a clean grill: Use specially made brushes to sweep the grates, then wipe away any residue with an oiled cloth or paper towel.

Heating the Grill
When building the fire for charcoal grills, stack the coals two or three deep in one area for high heat; spread coals in a single layer in another for medium heat. This will allow you to shift foods during cooking to prevent burning.

Avoiding Flare-Ups
When grilling marinated foods, let the excess marinade drip off before placing food on the grill.

Basting and Turning
Brushing meat or poultry with sauces during cooking will keep it moist and tender. To ensure even cooking, flip food as needed; long-handled tongs are the perfect tool for most foods, but use a spatula for burgers or delicate fish.

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