Learn how to master your grill with these 10 smart grilling tips and tricks. Then put your skills to use and cook up one of our favorite recipes for the grill…they’re bound to become your favorites, too!
1. Warm Ups
All gas grilling gurus agree that a pre-heated grill is necessary for good results—it sears food on contact and helps prevent sticking. Fire up your grill and let it preheat for about 15 minutes. Aim for 450-550°F for high, 400-450°F for medium-high, 350-400°F for medium, 300-350°F for medium-low, and 250-300°F for low heat.
2. Give It the Brush-Off
It’s easiest to clean grill grates when the grill is hot. After pre-heating, use a BBQ Cleaning Brush to remove any charred bits left over on the grates, then do it again as soon as you’re done cooking.
3. Oil Up
Sometimes lean food sticks even with the cleanest of grills. Help prevent sticking by oiling the grill right before the food goes on with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel. Hold the towel with your BBQ Tongs so you don’t burn your fingers. And don’t even think about spraying a hot grill with cooking spray or oil!
4. Stay Sanitary
Move any platter that held raw meat right away and grab a clean one to use when your food comes off the grill.
5. Make a Basket
A grill basket or roasting pan might be the most handy grilling tool after your tongs. It keeps foods that are too small to turn one-by-one from falling through the grill rack—think cherry tomatoes, green beans, mushrooms, fruit, or shrimp.
6. Put a Lid on It
Keep that lid closed! Peek only when it’s necessary to turn food or check doneness.
7. Do It Right
Get a meat thermometer. It’s the most accurate way to tell if your food is cooked to the temperature you want. Check meat’s temperature in the same spot so fewer juices run out, and remember the temperature will rise a few degrees once it’s off the heat.
8. Is it Hot in Here?
Watch out for flare-ups. They happen when fat drips onto the heat and catches fire. You can reduce flare-ups by cooking with lean meat, trimming off excess fat, and removing poultry skin. And it never hurts to keep a spray bottle (or water gun) handy if a flare-up does happen.
9. Even Out
Hot spots happen with any type of grill. Move food around if you notice things aren’t cooking evenly.
10. Get Some Rest
Allow meat to rest (tented with foil) for about 10 minutes before serving. This lets juices redistribute evenly for the yummiest possible results.