just started grilling recently...taking advantage of an abandoned old charcoal grill on our roof/walkout area. searched chowhound but i think most people here already know what they're doing so i couldn't find any beginner tips!
so let me start with my basic questions:
my father always grilled with the cover on, after the coals stopped flaming, and only flipped meats once.
my roommate grills with the cover on, as soon as coals START flaming, and says you have to constantly flip.
which is correct? i have been using my father's method and while the burgers have been juicier than my roommate's, that could be just that he lets them cook too long. also, mine always turn out a sort of yellowy-beige color rather than brown. does that mean anything?
what about cooking times? and level of heat? i have been assuming 3-4 minutes per side for a burger at high heat. how long for a chicken breast? how long for potatoes? or bell peppers? should veggies be pre-cooked first? does that depend on whether it's on a skewer on the grill or if wrapped in foil? and if i grill things wrapped in foil, will it taste significantly different--i.e. steamed--compared to direct grilling? if i add wood chips (i read you soak them first so they don't burn) do i throw them in while the fire is still going, or after the coals are ashed over?
someone posted earlier about grilling pizzas outdoors. LOVE this idea. but does this involve a pan ON the grill, or putting the crust directly on the grill? again, what level of heat and covered or not?
thanks for any help you can give...i know these are really basic questions!