Dayton ‘grillographer’ gives expert grilling tips ahead of Independence Day

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Grilling and backyard barbecues are arguably one of the biggest parts of Fourth of July festivities. This year, even more people may be staying home to due to the coronavirus outbreak, giving them an opportunity to fine-tune their barbecuing skills. Englewood Police Sergeant and Weber grillographer (grill photographer) Mike Lang said he caught the company’s attention with his popular food blog. Now he’s sharing his expert tips on making the best Fourth of July barbecue, starting with safety.

Lang said, “The biggest thing for any of your grills is to make sure you keep away from structures and of course, grill outside. The garage may seem convenient, but it could easily start a fire, and of course, there’s always the danger of carbon monoxide from any sort of combustible fuel that you’re using to grill with.”

Lang also explained that proper preparation is a component in making sure food cooks thoroughly for safe and tasty barbecue.

“Well the most important thing if you’re going to be grilling at all this weekend, is to make sure you preheat your grill. Especially if you’re on a gas grill, 15 to 20 minutes to get everything up to temperature so you get a nice sear on whatever you’re going to put down. Charcoal grill, same thing. Get your coals lit and ready, drop that lid, about 10 to 15 minutes and we’ll be ready to start grilling.”

After preheating two of his more than 20 grills Lang made Fourth of July classics. Cheeseburgers and chicken wings. He began by putting the burgers on a charcoal grill for nearly 10 minutes, flipping them once and basting them with an Asian-inspired sauce toward the end of their cook time. Lang says the chicken wings were smoked for 30 minutes, seared for two, and finished off with a buffalo sauce of his choice. He added that similar to humans, it’s important to keep food properly spaced for even heat distribution.

“Not only do we need social distancing, but believe it or not, food does too. We can’t crowd food together, we don’t want it to touch. We want it to be evenly spaced out, that way it cooks evenly all the way around.”

Lang finished the process by adding cheese and grilled buns and pineapples to his burgers, then shutting the grills down. He says closing the top and bottom vents on the charcoal grill and turning off the gas grill will reduce the risk of having an accident or wasting fuel.

Lang says this weekend is the perfect time to prepare food low and slow on the grill, allowing for more family and fun time, and to celebrate what Independence Day truly means.

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