Principles of Grilling – Conduction, Convection, etc.

Grill Section
Principles of Grilling

Conduction, Convection and Radiant Heating

Recently a good friend of mine purchased a new smoker. He has only cooked on the smoker a couple times and with good success, but the other day he complained that he burned some ribs by accident. He commented that the heat just got away from him.

This unfortunate situation can happen as one is learning to use a new gas grill or even a charcoal smoker. In an effort to help prevent these situations from happening to future grillers, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the science of proper grilling principles.

 It is important to understand three scientific principles behind heat transfer as it refers to grilling.  Conduction, convection, and radiant heat (radiation) will be described below so you will be able to apply these ideas to your next grilling experience.

Conduction is the process of heat transfer by direct contact of the food to the heat source. This usually occurs at higher temperatures, thus creating a searing effect. Infrared grilling is a good example of conduction. Conduction also occurs at the grilling surface (grill grates).

Convection occurs when the heat is carried to the food that is being cooked. The use of some type fluid such as air, water and even oil will act as a carrier for heat transfer. In grilling, this process is also termed “indirect grilling”. Indirect grilling occurs when food is not in contact with the heat source. The food is cooked away from the heat and the heat is circulated around the food.  There many forms of convection grilling and the research on this matter is quite extensive. Convection or indirect grilling is a good method for slow smoking or grilling. Convection occurs at the top of the grill or smoker. Because of this, it is important to have a hood that seals properly.  A grill or smoker with thicker or heavier metals in the hood will help with the convection process by keeping the heat trapped longer.  Ventilation is important otherwise, the heated air does not circulate and will accumulate above the food instead.

Radiation is the transfer of heat by the direct exposure to the heat source. This is another form of conduction and is responsible for such things as grill marks. The food makes direct contact with the hot grill grates, the natural sugars and moisture of food erupt, thus caramelizing and leaving the charred markings.

Grill head shapes dramatically influence radiant and convection heating.  Units used for smoking characteristically have dome shaped hoods because they rely almost exclusively on convection cooking.  The dome forces heat to circulate around the food and keeps it from stagnating at the top.  A high quality grill will also use the same principle with the hood having a dome shape to help reflect and circulate the heat evenly across the cooking surface. This is why you will not find square or rectangular shaped hoods on quality grills.

With some food such as steak, fish, and some vegetables first cook using the conduction method and then configure the grill to cook using convection heating.  To configure the grill to do this, turn off all but one or two burners (depending on your size grill) and move the food on the grilling surface away from the direct heat.

Learning and applying these three simple principles will help you in becoming a grill master.

-Todd Smith
W.P. Law, Inc.

Waterproof Wire Connectors for Irrigation Valves

Waterproof Wire Connectors for Irrigation Valve

Waterproof wiring connectors should be used on all irrigation wire connection that is underground or in any environment that could become wet. Most irrigation control valve connections are made in a valve box. The valve box will fill with water during rainfall as well as when the irrigation system is running. This will cause wire connection that are not water proofed to be exposed to the water. This will cause shorts and corrosion of the wires.

The water proof wiring connectors used on irrigation wiring serve two purposes. They provide and insulation to the water, and also help to prevent oxidation / corrosion to the wire connections.  Water proof wiring connection is a must on all wire connections used throughout the irrigation system for that reason.

Steve Richardson

W.P. Law Inc.


Irrigation Valve Repair

Irrigation Valve Repair

Repairing irrigation control valves is a pretty simple thing. The first thing that you should know is that no matter what brand valve it is, almost every repair can be made without cutting the valve from the line.

 Irrigation control valves are pretty simple devices. They consist of a solenoid, diaphragm, and the body.  Trash in the valve is responsible for 95% of the problems these valve encounter. The other 5% would be a burnt out solenoid, old or damaged diaphragm. This repair requires replacement of the bad component. The sand or trash related problem fix is as simple as removing the parts, washing out the sand or debris and reassembling the valve. Repairing irrigation valves is a job most anyone can do.

For additional information on troubleshooting irrigation valves, click the link below:

Irrigation Valve Troubleshooting

Steve Richardson
W.P. Law Inc.

Treating Ugly Rust Stains from Irrigation Water

How do I treat and prevent these ugly rust stains on my driveway and foundation?

We all take pride in our homes and that includes the landscape as well.  We spend a lot of time, money and effort to try and make our lawns as beautiful as possible.  It is very frustrating when our irrigation system sprays on our driveway and foundation and produces those ugly rust stains.  It really takes away from the beauty of our homes.  So what can we do about it?

Rid O’ Rust Stain Remover will remover will get rid of those unsightly stains.   Simply apply Rid O’ Rust Stain remover with a tank sprayer, roller, or brush and watch those stains disappear.  It really is that simple.

Now that we have gotten rid of those stains, how do we prevent them from reoccurring?  The first step is to stop into your local W.P. Law Inc. and get a free well water sample bottle test kit.  Fill the bottle with your water sample, fill out the information on the form and send it off to Rid O’ Rust.  Rid o’ Rust will analyze your water sample and tell you exactly what is needed to prevent the staining.  Once you know what you need, come into W.P. Law Inc and our expert staff will help you with your new Rid O’ Rust system.   

Don’t let the beauty of your landscape be hindered by ugly rust stains.  Let Rid O’ Rust and W.P. Law Inc. help you have the best looking landscape in your neighborhood.

Don Martine
W.P. Law Inc.

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