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Healthy Grilling

Secrets for superior sizzle.

Barbecuing is simple if you know your way around the grill. Here are some basic tips for grilling perfect meals:

Patience pays. Start grilling when coals are ash-colored and glowing. For gas and electric grills, ignite and cover for 5 to 10 minutes before grilling.

Cook it right. Small cuts of meat, such as thin pork chops (3/4 inch thick) and tenderloin, and cubed meat for kabobs, should be cooked directly over the heat source and turned as needed for even cooking. A one-pound pork tenderloin is done in about 20 minutes (when the temperature reaches 155 degrees F). Let stand 5 minutes before carving; temperature will rise to 160 degrees F. Thick chops and larger cuts, like loin roasts, should be cooked over indirect heat. By banking coals around the edge of the fire grate and centering a drip pan in the middle, you can create an indirect source of heat. Simply place the meat on the grill over the pan, cover, and roast.

Lean meals in minutes. Most foods cook fast on the grill. But don't overcook or foods will be dry and tough. Burgers made with lean meat or turkey are done in about 10 minutes, or when their juices run clear. Pork chops, chicken breast, and fish steaks are ready in less than 15 minutes. Just remember, when meat and poultry juices run clear or when fish flakes easily, it's done. For a moist, juicy chop, look for a hint of pink in the center. A meat thermometer will register 160 degrees F and the meat will give slightly when touched with tongs.

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