And two, it radiates heat back down onto the food, so it is helping cook the food from both sides at once. To get started, experiment with these grilling goodies: With a thick New York strip or beefy rib-eye steak, you’ll want to close the grill to ensure it cooks all the way through, or at least as thoroughly as you want it, depending on your preference for rare, medium rare, or medium meat. “Cooking with the lid down captures the heat and lets it do its magic on the food,” says Elizabeth Karmel of (and author of “Steak and Cake.”) “The food will benefit from the rotating hot air (convection) and it won’t take as long to cook.”, Related Reading: CNET’s Best Grills for 2020. Cooking on a grill with the lid open or off is designed for fast cooking over direct heat. Place meat in a roasting pan and place vegetables on a baking sheet. But sometimes you want a combination approach: You sear the outside of the meat directly over the flame or heat source with the lid open, and then you move the meat away from the flames (and high heat) and close the lid to cook the inside of the meat without burning the outside too much. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week. This water usually collects onto the lid and then drips back into the sauce. Think of it for foods like: The outcome with the lid down? If you don’t master the art of the open or closed lid, you are not going to have a terrific dinner. In almost every case, covered foods perform best when cooked with a bit of moisture. Sauces definitely thicken much faster when the lid is off … Unlike some vegetables, you’ll cover the grill when you cook this corn. Try our archive of Grilling Recipes for a variety of techniques and the food to use for them. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Pre-cooked items like hot dogs or other sausages, Fish where you want a hard sear but a rare center, like tuna or salmon, Hardy vegetables like onions, potatoes, and carrots, Bone-in chicken parts or spatchcocked whole chickens. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device. Whether food cooks faster with the lid on or off depends on the food, its size, the container and the oven temperature. Get our Basic Grilled Steak recipe. Once the dish is bubbling and hot, remove the lid if you want to brown the top. Peeking on your food while cooking with a closed grill can affect the food in opposite ways, depending on whether you’re using gas or charcoal as a fuel source. Casseroles with creamy fillings, such as broccoli, cheese and rice, lasagna, or macaroni and cheese should be covered initially while the ingredients heat up. This method is wonderful for: Thick steaks and chops Fat, pub-style burgers Raw sausages like bratwurst or Italian links Hardy vegetables like onions, potatoes, and carrots Bone-in chicken parts or spatchcocked whole chickens Fish steaks like swordfish or sea bass You can also use this approach with breaded meats and stews. 1. – Caitlin McGrath wrote an earlier version of this article in 2013. The two types of food that were made for fast cooking over direct heat are either thin or fast-cooking by nature. Roasting meats and vegetables cooks them quickly, while creating a golden crust and tender interior. By placing a lid over the food, you create moist heat. Brush with oil to help the food brown and roast at 375 to 400 F. The reason is that these foods need to rise, or expand, in the oven, and they need to brown. A closed grill will cook meat all the way through to the center for a more uniform doneness. If you’re grilling quick-cooking foods such as burgers, thin steaks, chops, fish, shrimp, or sliced vegetables directly over the flames, you can leave the grill open. This is no dumb question: This is THE question. This is ideal for things that take longer to cook. When cooking on an outdoor grill, the decision to keep the lid open or to close it depends on what you’re grilling, how you’re cooking it, and what kind of grill you use. No forks or spoons required, just easy-to-pick-up party foods, so you can clean up in no time. In the event that your goal is to keep moisture in—like when your pot of soup, stew, or sauce is already at the right consistency but you want to keep cooking the vegetables and melding the flavors—clap that lid on to keep any more liquid from evaporating. Whether you’ve got a gas or charcoal grill, with the grill uncovered, you can get a crustier char on the exterior of meat without overcooking the center. They’ll cook quickly and get a nice char while the pineapple caramelizes. Chowhound’s Argentine Grilled Chicken recipe is cooked undercover (but we took a peek underneath the lid). Grilling with the lid up, whether on gas or charcoal, is about the same as cooking over a... Gas Grills. Using a sharp floured knife, cut the dough into squares or rectangles that measure roughly 2 inches wide, and place them on top of the liquid. St. Louis Pork Ribs with Mango Jalapeño BBQ Sauce. We’re here to make it easy for you. With gas grills, opening the lid can lower the heat. Having lid on will trap the evaporated water. In almost every case, you'll want to bake cookies, bread and other baked goods without a lid. With charcoal, the rush of oxygen can burn the food. She's the creator of, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes.". Offers may be subject to change without notice. Otherwise, you can leave the lid on from start to finish. Get our Pineapple Glazed Shrimp Skewers recipe. Some foods simply can't be covered during cooking, while others offer some flexibility. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Grilling season is officially here, and more welcome than ever in a summer when being outside at all feels like a terrific luxury. You may unsubscribe at any time. In other words: You want to cook these items right over the flame to get a good crisp crust or sear and do them fast and hot to retain juices. Learn more about creating zones for direct vs indirect grilling too: If you’re tossing in soaked wood chips for smoke flavor, you need the lid down to contain the smoke. If, on the other hand, you want to cover chicken and poach it in the oven, you'd add chicken broth or wine to keep the food moist. You might need to adjust flavorings depending on your approach. Man, people are just really attached to … Beans simmered in a pot with the lid on but slightly ajar (which is how we normally do it) will end up much creamier, though more delicate and likely to break apart. Both? When Should You Use the Lid on Your Grill? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. But when you grill thicker steaks, bone-in chicken, or whole roasts you’ll want the lid down, especially when you’re cooking with indirect heat. Fine Cooking: Making Hearty Chicken Braises, Fine Cooking: Crank Up the Heat for the Best Baked Chicken, Fine Cooking: Better Cooking Through Convection. From chips and dip to one-bite apps, finger foods are the perfect way to kick off a party. One, it traps smoke, which helps give that fabulous char-grilled flavor. Leave the lid off until they start to cook, stir them gently into the stew and follow recipe directions about whether to cover the pot. 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