Cooking on the grill is a staple of summer meals, but to do it right, you need even cooking over the length of your grill. Hot and cool spots can ruin your food. Find your grill’s hot spots and eliminate them for a summer full of great meals.
You can discover your grill’s heat pattern very easily. First cover the surface of your grill with slices of white bread. Turn the burners on high and run the grill for a few minutes. Shut off the grill and flip all of the slices of bread. You will be able to see which slices toasted the most. This will help you to determine where your grill’s hot spots exist.
Now that you know where the grills hot spots are, you can take one of two approaches. You can correct the situation and even out the heat or you can work around it. Adding grates made of hard anodized aluminum should solve the problem. These types of grates are excellent conductors of heat, allowing for more even grilling.
In gas grills, cooler spots are often caused by blocked burners. Grease dripping from food can often clog up burners. Depending on the grill, you may have to remove the burner completely to clean it. Use a stiff wire brush to get all of the gunk out, but do not use oven cleaner or other harsh cleaners that might cause your burners to eventually rust.
You can also just use the hot spots to your advantage when cooking. Use the hot spots for direct heat cooking and the cooler spots for indirect heat cooking. It might be helpful to have a map of these spots, or just snap a photo of the toasted bread and keep it near your grill for reference until you have it all memorized.