14 Grilling Tips for Grillers
Here are some grilling tips to help you get started down the right path.
1) It all starts with a good cut of meat. We do cover this in our recipe section along with other grilling tips, but personally I am partial to a great rib eye. This cut has a fair amount of marbling which is great for flavor. The marbling is the fat throughout the meat.
2) Make sure your meat is well prepped before you begin to cook. What I mean by that is to season your food at least an hour before you cook it.
3) I prefer getting my meat to room temperature before I cook it.
4) Always keep your grates clean. I generally clean them off after the meal using high temperatures. Basically set your burners on high until the leftover food cooks to a point where a wire brush will take it off easily.
5) Searing is a great way to start a good steak. This actually locks the juices in and caramelizes the meat. Put your grill on as high as it will go and leave the meat on each side for about one minute. Then you can reduce the temperature to finish cooking.
6) Another important grilling tip is, always watch your meal. Do not leave it unattended. Believe me when I tell you I have burned more than my fair share of meals by not paying attention to what I was doing.
7) Depending on what you are cooking you may need to turn your food frequently to avoid burning it and to get it cooked evenly.
A small steak 1/2 inch in thickness might only be turned once to finish where a larger cut say 1 1/2 inches or larger you might turn as much as three times
Burgers might be turned as much as three to four times before finishing depending on thickness
8) There is no more important grilling tip I can give you then when turning your meat, use a spatula or a pair of tongs. Never use a knife or fork to turn your meat. If you pierce the meat all the juices will flow out and your meat will dry up.
9) Flare-ups come from the fat on the meat, but so does the flavor. Some guru's suggest trimming as much fat off as you can before cooking but personally I don't like to do that. I like the added flavor so I tolerate the flare-ups.
10) When using a charcoal grill you can use a spray bottle of water to settle the flames down if you need to.
11) Be sure to get your temperatures right. Even though you are grilling, not everything you cook needs to be cooked on a high setting. Burgers, steaks etc. would be cooked on a high setting, however fish and vegetables for example would be cooked on a medium setting. If you were cooking a roast or whole chicken you would probably use a low setting or even indirect heat.
12) Be sure to maintain your equipment. Clean out your firebox and drip pan from time to time. Keeping your grill well cleaned and maintained is not only important to extending the life of your equipment, but it reduces flare ups as well. Also, if your grill has lava rocks they do have to be replaced once in a while. Generally every other year depending on your use.
13) Direct grilling vs indirect grilling. Cooking with indirect heat is just what it says. You turn off the burners directly below the food or in the case of a charcoal grill you set the coals to the side. This method makes for much slower cooking and I cover this and other grilling tips in our recipe section as well. This is a great way to cook a roast or whole chicken. Actually I cook my baby's backs this way as well. Ribs really do need to be cooked slowly to be done right.
14) My final grilling tip is to be sure you have enough fuel before you start. There is nothing worse than having to run out in the middle of cooking. It just ruins the overall experience and could ruin the meal. I do hate to admit it, but this has happened to me a couple of times.
I hope our grilling tips have helped you. Don't be afraid to check out our grilling recipes as well and remember this is grilling so you will measure your cooking time in minutes not hours.