As summer approaches, all of the families in the neighborhood start preparing their grills. Grilling is an American backyard staple, and if you don’t know how to grill, then you’re missing out. Grilling the perfect meat and veggies seems simple enough.
You place the food on the grill, cook it, and eat! Those are the bones of a grilling experience, but there’s much more to know. Grilling food correctly takes skill and knowledge of the grill.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up ruining the food and the grill. Luckily there are some grilling tips to help keep you on track. Understanding some basic grilling tips is the best way to ensure you keep the family fed all grilling season long!
Are you ready to start grilling like a pro? Continue reading below to learn everything you need to know!
1. Gather All the Essentials
Before the grilling season begins, ensure you gather all of your grilling essentials. You’ll need a grill brush, a pair of tongs, a hinged-wire basket, a long-handled spatula, and the right grill! The type of grill you cook on will have an effect on the flavor of your foods.
For example, electric grills might not create as much of a smokey flavor as wood-burning grills would. A good way to find the best grill for your needs is to do a bit of research. Compare different grills, such as the Rec Tec vs Traeger, and discover what grill will best suit your grilling needs.
Depending on the type of grill you purchase, you’ll then need to buy what’s needed to fire it up. Does your grill require wood, coals, or gas?
2. Clean Your Grill
Remember to clean your grill after each use and before each use. The best time to scrub the grates clean is when they’re hot. The heat will help you in removing any stuck-on food leftover.
Because of this, you should wait until after your grill is preheated to clean it when cleaning before grilling.
By cleaning your grill after each use and before each use, you ensure that the grill grates are completely clean. When the grates are clean, your food won’t stick to them when you’re cooking. If you notice that some bristles are falling out of the grill brush, then it’s time to replace it.
3. Preheat Before Using
Before each grilling session, you should preheat your grill. Do this with the lid closed for about 10-15 minutes. When the temperature reaches 500°F, the grill is preheated and ready for cooking.
Preheating the grill will help remove any leftover food debris that you might have missed, and it’ll prevent your food from sticking to the grates as well. When you’re ready to start cooking, be sure to oil your food first. It’s better to oil the food itself rather than the grates.
Lightly brush your food with oil as it’ll keep it moist and add a bit of flavor as well.
4. Cook With the Lid Shut
Cooking with the lid shut will ensure the grates stay hot enough to cook the food correctly. This will also help cook your food in the right amount of time without drying it out. If you continue to open the lid while you cook, the grates won’t hold their temperature, and it’ll take longer for the food to cook.
All of that smokey flavor that you love will also be trapped inside the grill if the lid is kept closed. Opening the lid will cause those smokey flavors to leave. The last reason why you should cook with the lid closed is that it prevents oxygen from entering the grill, which can cause flames to flare up.
5. Getting the Temperature Right
Timing is essential when grilling. Use a timer to ensure you’re not overcooking the food. You should also invest in a thermometer, which will tell you the exact temperature of your food.
Keep in mind that different climates create different grilling environments. If you’re cooking in a windy atmosphere, then a gas grill might run cooler, but a charcoal grill will run hotter. Grilling at higher altitudes will also cause the cooking process to take longer than when grilling at lower altitudes.
6. Indirect vs Direct Heat
knowing when to use direct and indirect heat is another important grilling skill. Indirect heat is when the fire is off to the side of the food. This type of grilling works best with larger cuts of meat that need more time to cook.
When using direct heat, the fire is directly under the meat you’re cooking. This type of grilling works best with smaller cuts of meat that require 20 minutes of cooking or less.
7. Avoid Lighter Fluid
Using lighter fluid on a grill is a grill professional no-no. Lighter fluid is liquid and will evaporate as you cook. This means that the meat on your grill will absorb some of these fumes.
No one wants to consume meat with a hint of chemical in the flavor. Instead, consider using lighter cubes. This will prevent your meat from taking in some of those chemicals, and it’s much cleaner as well.
Which Grilling Tips Will You Incorporate in Your Next Grilling Session?
With grilling season around the corner, which of these grilling tips will you use? Use some or use all! With these tips in your back pocket, you’ll be a grilling guru in no time!
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