Summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill and enjoy some delicious barbecued food. But if you’re new to grilling, or just want to brush up on your skills, it can be tricky to know where to start.
Never fear! We’ve put together a list of our top tips and tricks for grilling your food to perfection. So whether you’re cooking up a steak, some veggie burgers, or some juicy chicken, we’ve got you covered.
1. Preheat your grill properly
This is one of the most important tips for grilling success. If your grill isn’t hot enough, your food will stick and won’t cook evenly. Conversely, if it’s too hot, your food will char on the outside but be raw in the middle. So how do you know when it’s just right?
The best way to check is by using a grill thermometer. Put it in the center of the cooking surface and wait 5 minutes. If the temperature is below 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius), give it some more time to heat up. If it’s above that, you’re good to go!
2. Use the right tools
In order to grill like a pro, you need the right tools. First, invest in a good quality grill brush. This will help you to clean the grates before cooking and prevent sticking.
You’ll also need some long-handled tongs for flipping and moving food around on the grill. And if you’re planning on doing any grilling during the week, it’s worth investing in a pair of heat-resistant gloves. And don’t forget the grill, as the barbecue enthusiasts from bbqhost.com/best-gas-charcoal-combo-grill recommend. You might already know that there are two types of grill – charcoal, and gas. If you’re new to grilling or someone who grills regularly, using a gas grill is an excellent option. They’re generally easier to use and maintain than charcoal grills. Of course, there are other barbecue enthusiasts who love the slow-cooked, charred, and smoky goodness that a charcoal grill can give. That said, once you get the hang of things, there’s nothing wrong with switching to charcoal – it just takes a bit more practice. However, if you want the best of both worlds, there’s also the hybrid grill or the gas-charcoal combo grill. This can make the transition from gas to charcoal or vice versa more convenient. However, keep in mind that you can only use one grilling function at a time. This means you can’t shift back and forth between gas and charcoal grilling during the same cooking session.
3. Season your food
This is another essential step for great-tasting grilled food. Seasoning helps to add flavor and can also prevent sticking. For steak, we recommend using a simple dry rub of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. For chicken or fish, you could use a store-bought marinade or make your own with oil, vinegar, herbs, and spices.
If you’re using a marinade, make sure to give your food plenty of time to soak in all the flavors – we recommend at least 30 minutes.
4. Oil the grates
This is another key step for preventing sticking and ensuring evenly cooked food. Before you start cooking, use a paper towel or a piece of cheesecloth to rub some oil onto the grates. We recommend using vegetable or canola oil, as olive oil has a tendency to smoke at high temperatures.
5. Don’t overcrowd the grill
It’s tempting to try and cook everything at once, but resist the urge! If you overcrowd the grill, the heat can’t circulate properly and your food will take longer to cook. So cook in batches if necessary and enjoy your food hot off the grill.
6. Use indirect heat for delicate items
If you’re grilling something that’s delicate or takes a long time to cook through, like fish or vegetables, it’s best to use indirect heat. This means turning off the burner(s) directly beneath the food and cooking with the remaining lit burners.
7. Know when to flip
One of the most common mistakes people make when grilling is flipping their food too often. This can result in dry, tough meat. So how do you know when it’s time to flip?
As a general rule, you should only flip once – and that’s after about halfway through the cooking time. To check if it’s ready, use your tongs to gently lift up one edge of the food. If it releases easily from the grill, it’s time to flip.
8. Let your food rest
Once your food is cooked through, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes before cutting or serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, making for a juicier, more flavorful meal.
And there you have it – our top tips and tricks for grilling your food to perfection! With these in mind, you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family at your next barbecue. So fire up the grill and get cooking!