How to Grill Like a Professional – 24 Essential Grilling Tips
Preheating the grill is essential for a great grilling experience. Whether you are using a gas grill or a charcoal grill, it takes 15-30 minutes to get the grill up to the correct temperature. Once the grill reaches temperature, then you can begin to grill your items.
Tip 2 – Use Gas Grills for Better Char
Gas grills produce better results because they heat more evenly and are easier to maintain a constant temperature. One of the flavors that grilling produces is called char, which in essence is the caramelizing of natural sugar in the food.
Tip 3 – Close the Lid
One thing that happens with cooking on a grill, and it doesn’t matter if it is a gas or charcoal grill, is they lose heat when the lid is open. Closing the lid on the grill helps maintain constant, even heat. If you want great char and thoroughly cooked items on the grill, then it is important to keep the lid closed.
Tip 4 – Use the Smoker
If you want to have the option of preparing multiple items that require different temperatures and you are using a charcoal grill, use the smoker box as a secondary grill.
Tip 5 – Choose the Right Meats
Grilling is a fast cooking technique, so it is important to choose meats that are suited to that type of fast cooking. Lean cuts of meat will grill faster and require less cooking time because of the lack of intramuscular fat also known as marbling.
Tip 6 – Use Top Quality Grass Fed Meats
There is something to be said about you getting what you pay for. If you are grilling and want the absolute best-tasting meats, then opt to spend more for the prime cuts of grass-fed meats, and the whole experience will take you to the next level.
Tip 7 – Try Lesser Known Cuts of Meat
There are many more options available for you to try on your grill than you may be aware of. In recent years, the meat industry has started making available lesser-known cuts of meat that are incredibly tender and well suited to grilling. The bistro filet and the flat iron steak are two of these cuts. They come from the chuck shoulder and are taken from the tear’s major muscle, which is in the center of the chuck, and produce meats that are as tender as the filet Mignon and the New York steak.
Tip 8 – Be Safe
Always use tongs and spatulas designed for grilling. They have longer handles to help keep your hands away from the intense heat generated by the grill. They come in a variety of styles, but all have one key thing in common, the extra-long handles.
Tip 9 – Keep the Grill Clean
A clean grill is a must for a great cooking experience. You should always clean the grill before and after each use. Preheat your grill, clean it, then season it before placing any grill items on the grill. Once you are done grilling, or as needed if you are doing a lot of grilling, clean the grill while it is hot, re-season it, then close it up. Food items stick to dirty grills.
Tip 10 – Make the Grill Non-Stick
Once you have cleaned the grill, and before you place anything on it to grill, take half of a potato and rub it all over the surface of the grill. This coating from the potato will make your grill non-stick and will alleviate the use of rubbing the grill with beef fat or some form of oil on the grill.
Tip 11 – Grill with Room Temperature Meats
One of the biggest things to a successful grilling experience is the necessity of allowing the meats to come to room temperature before cooking, and quite honestly, this applies to your inside kitchen as well. Cooking time is affected by the temperature of the meat, the colder it is, the longer it takes to cook. The longer it takes it to cook, the more chances of the meat being dry and tasteless.
Tip 12 – Thumbprints for Ground Meats
When making burgers of any kind, it is important to get the meat to stay flat when it is being cooked. The application of heat shortens the protein strands in the meat, so if you put a thumbprint in the center of the patty before cooking it on the grill, the melting fats will pool there, and it will keep the patty from soft-balling, which means the outer edges are cooking faster than the center and as the protein strands constrict, the center gets thicker and doesn’t cook evenly.
Tip 13 – Use a Good Meat Thermometer
Cooking temperature is key to successful grilling. To achieve accurate cooking temperatures, you need a great thermometer, the ChefsTemp X10 Instant Read Thermometer is designed specifically for this purpose.
Tip 14 – Use Tongs
Never use a meat fork, always use tongs or a spatula. Make sure they have long handles to keep your hands away from the heat. Do not use a meat fork, when you use a meat fork, you are piercing the meat and the moisture that is inside the meat will run out, and your meat will dry out. Use tongs or a spatula
Tip 15 – Make Grilling Zones
Grilling zones are easy to set up on either type of grill. On a gas grill, you simply turn down or turn off a number of your grill burners to create areas of less heat. With a charcoal grill, move the charcoal to one side of the grill for hot grilling, and then move the meat to the other side of your grill to create the right temperature zones for longer cooking.
Tip 16 – Low and Slow is the Key
The main reason that people have meats that are burnt on the outside and raw in the middle, especially hazardous with poultry, is the grill is too hot and doesn’t allow the center to get cooked fully before the outside is done. Lower the temperature and monitor the internal temperature of what you are cooking.
Tip 17 – Resist the Urge to Constantly Flip the Food
With all items you are going to grill, if you resist the urge to constantly flip the food, meats will release from the grill on their own, and any other items you are grilling will cook more even and completely. Use your thermometer to check temperatures rather than constantly flipping items on your grill.
Tip 18 – Use Skewers for a Change of Pace
Skewers have so many different uses, one thing you need to do is to soak them in water before you insert them into any grill items. The Japanese technique of Robata is an awesome way of grilling meats and vegetables and will enhance flavors for you.
Tip 19 – When to Apply the BBQ Sauce
A major component of BBQ Sauce is sugar, so if you are going to apply BBQ Sauce to your cooked items, it needs to be done in the last few minutes of the cooking process so that the sauce doesn’t burn, and it evenly coats the meat and seals in the juices.
Tip 20 – Dry Rubs
Dry Rubs are a method of adding spices to meats to enhance flavor, it is also called dry marinating, and it requires 12-24 hours to fully season the meat. Apply your dry rubs and then place the meat into a sealed container and return it to the refrigerator and let it soak into the meat naturally. The results will amaze you.
Tip 21 – Dip Grilling
Dip grilling is a method of grilling used to help keep meats like chicken breast and other extremely lean meats from drying out. Dip grilling requires thinning your sauce out to the thickness of soy sauce and then as you are grill, remove the meat from the grill, dip it into the sauce and return it to the grill. It is similar to basting.
22 Tip – Cook for Presentation
Making beautiful grill marks, nice charred edges, and other things always make the food look better, it is important in the dining experience for the food to not only taste good but to also look good. As they say, “Presentation is Everything”.
23 Tip – Under-Grill for Perfect Fish
Fish is one of the fastest cooking proteins you can cook on the grill. If your pull temperature is 145˚F, then you will pull the fish at 140˚F and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, and it will reach the desired temperature.
24 Tip – Let it Rest
The biggest tip for the best tasting, most juicy meats, is to let it rest. Once you have cooked the meat, especially thick cuts of steaks, place them on a platter and cover it with foil for twenty minutes. The juices will return to the center, the meat will finish cooking by carryover cooking and you will have the best tasting most amazing meats ever.
Discover more recipes and learn kitchen tricks by joining our cooking family on Facebook.
Shop now for products used in this post:
You may also like: