5 Essential Grilling Tips & Tricks

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The smell of your steak on the grill tantalizes your nose with its smoky, sweet, and earthy aroma. Your guests wonder how much longer it will take until they can stuff their faces, and even your dog starts to beg for a sirloin. Everyone wants to kiss the cook, and you can’t blame them.

But did you know that you can up the ante when grilling your favorite dishes, ranging from burgers to succulent pineapples and shrimp kabobs? The right strategies can help you create even more mouthwatering, flavorful grilled creations that will keep your friends and loved ones coming back for more. Let’s explore five essential grilling tips and tricks to take your grilling experience to a whole new level.

1. Give It (Your Meat) a Rest

You may be tempted to take your meat directly from your freezer to your hot grill when it’s time to barbecue. Don’t. Instead, let your steaks and other meats sit at your kitchen’s ambient temperature for five minutes first. This will give your cow cuts and more the opportunity to adjust to room temps, resulting in more texturally satisfying entrees and more predictable internal meat temps (more on this next). Double-check to ensure your meat’s resting area is safeguarded from dirt, kids, pets, and critters, though. You should also avoid letting the meat rest in hot temps or direct sunlight to keep it from spoiling.

2. Hot from the Inside Out

Are you a gas grill or a charcoal grill kind of person? Both coal and gas can be used to create tasty grilled dishes, from beef to chicken, so stick with whichever option you’re most comfortable using. Either way, your meat will need to get hot enough inside to be safe for you and your guests to eat. The Centers for Disease Control suggests your meat reaches the following internal temperatures (in Fahrenheit):

  • Large cuts of meat (pork chops and tri-tips) and fish: 145 degrees
  • Ground beef: 160 degrees
  • Chicken and precooked meat (hot dogs, sausages): 165 degrees

3. Burn, Baby, Burn — With the Right Equipment

Stock up on today’s top-tier grilling tools to guarantee the best-tasting tenderloin steak and more. At the very least, you’ll need grilling essentials like your grill, gloves, a meat thermometer, tongs, a torch for lighting your charcoal grill (plus the charcoal), and propane for your propane grill. 

Consider investing in access drawers, cabinets, and doors to hold all of your grilling supplies in a convenient, easy-to-access location if you’re grilling outdoors. Access cabinets can be an excellent addition to a BBQ grill island.

Don’t forget to also invest in quality utensils and dishes for your cookout dining experience, ranging from bowls for salads to pitchers for fruit beers made with delicious fruit purees, serving forks, and scissor tongs for grasping heavy meats and corn cobs.

4. Eat Your Vegetables

Chicken wings and ribs aren’t the only things that should fill your cookout menu this grilling season. The best barbecue is one you balance out with a variety of grilled vegetables to provide a truly tasty gourmet experience. Give your fall, summer, and spring garden veggies —

ranging from eggplant to squash, zucchini, and cauliflower — the attention they deserve by adding flames, seasoning (thyme, coriander, pepper, and salt), and shish-kebab skewers for delectable and fun yet healthy side dishes.

5. Keep It Clean

Once you’re finished whipping up your signature grilled dishes, don’t forget to tackle the not-so-fun part of grilling: cleaning the grill. Yes, your grill belongs outdoors, and the flames burn bacteria off your grates, but the grill still needs a thorough cleaning at least twice yearly to keep it looking attractive and functioning at its optimum level. Wire brushes are excellent tools for cleaning grill grates. Remember to dump out all the old ashes, too.

To deep-clean your gas grill, you’ll need to disassemble it and wash its grease tray, cook box, burner tubes, flavorizer bars, and grates with soapy, warm water. For a rapid cleaning, preheat your grill for around 15 minutes on high and brush your grates using a wet brush. Deep-cleaning your charcoal grill will require you to let your grill’s coals cool before dumping them out, then wash the kettle’s interior and the grates with steel wool and soapy, warm water.

Elevate Your Grilling Techniques Today

Proven grilling strategies can make your grilling process easier and yield scrumptious results every time you break out the grill. These tricks include letting your meats sit in room temps before grilling them and ensuring they reach the proper internal temps. Invest in reliable grilling equipment, add veggies to the mix, and keep your grill clean to further improve your grilling experience. Consider all of the above-mentioned grilling tips as you seek to bring even more sizzle to your barbecues in the months ahead.

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