Grilling Tips

Do you want to be the king (or queen) of the grill? Then recall what they told you on the first day of high school: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
May not have helped with calculus, but it will set you up to be a grillmaster if you follow these easy tips:

Preheat the Grill
  • Preheat your grill with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes (Get it HOT)
  • Follow your grill’s instructions to get your grill to about 500 degrees: this cleans the grill and prepares you to start cooking
    immediately with a good sear, which keeps food from sticking later when it’s time to flip

Direct vs. Indirect Heat Grilling
  • Direct Heat(when the fire is directly below the food) is best for relatively small, tender pieces of food that cook in 20 minutes or less.
  • Indirect Heat(when the fire is on either side of the food) is best for larger, tougher cuts of meat that require more than 20 minutes of cooking.
  • How to know what type of heat to use? If the food takes less than 20 minutes to cook, use direct heat; if it takes longer, use indirect heat
    to ensure the outside doesn’t get crisp or burned before the inside is cooked through.
    This will ensure juicy results. Smaller pieces like breasts and thighs are best grilled directly, while whole chickens or briskets should be grilled indirectly.

Tame the Flame
  • Too many flare-ups can burn your food. Keep the lid on as much as possible! This limits the amount of oxygen inside the grill, which will help extinguish any flare-ups.
  • If the flames are getting out of control, move the food over indirect heat temporarily, until they die down. Then move the food back.

Caramelization is Key
  • Grilled foods taste great because of the seared taste: be patient while it sears
  • Don’t be a food flipper! Let things cook on one side, then turn only once
  • SECRET: If it’s stuck, it’s not ready to turn. Test, wait, then turn when it’s free

Picture Perfect Burgers
Burger lovers, here’s a pro tip! Burgers can puff up in the middle as they cook, making the tops rounded and awkward for piling on the toppings.
To avoid this, press an indentation into the top of each raw patty with your thumb or the back of a spoon.
When the center pushes up, the top of each burger will be relatively level and your burgers will cook more evenly too!

Season Gently
Be gentle when applying rubs. If you rub seasonings hard into the food, you can damage the
meat fibers and texture of the food and run the risk of over-seasoning it.

Go Low and Slow with Ribs
For tender ribs, maintain a low temperature for several hours. Rather than direct-grilling them, follow the indirect-cooking method
(and don't be tempted to peek—a backyard grilling tip to keep in mind for all indirect grilling).
Spikes and dips in the heat will tighten and dry out the meat, but consistently low temps will produce soft and succulent meat – so keep that lid closed!

Know When to Sauce
We know it's tempting to slather on sauce when you've got a barbecue sauce you love, but patience is key. Be careful not to sauce ribs too early,
especially if you are using a sweet sauce, as the sugars will burn and threaten
your ribs. Sauce them during the final 30 minutes of cooking.

Don’t Over-Marinate
Overnight? Too long! When marinating, we use a short soak for most foods—30 minutes to two hours. Much more
than an hour or two in the marinade can over-soften food and result in a mushy texture (especially if the marinades
contain enzymes from ingredients like pineapple and papaya) or give the food a tough texture if the marinade has a lot of
acid-rich citrus juice and/or vinegar. Best rule: the smaller and more delicate the food, the shorter the soak.

Know When It’s Ready
To check the doneness of a bone-in chicken thigh, pull one of the thickest ones from the grill and cut into the underside.
If the color of the meat near the bone is still pink, put it back on the grill until it is fully cooked. For the best food safety test,
you can also check doneness by using an instant-read thermometer—bone-in chicken thighs should register a temperature of 175F.

Kabob Prep
Instead of soaking the day of grilling, keep pre-soaked wooden kabob skewers in a freezer bag in the freezer! Pull them out and start grilling.
Whether you're making meat or veggie kabobs, don't skimp when you're threading them on the skewers. Kabob ingredients, such as chicken pieces,
will stay juicier longer if they are touching one another (but not crammed) on the skewers.

Great Grilled Veggies
Lightly coat veggies in olive oil before grilling them to help prevent sticking and drying out. Vegetables such as asparagus,
bell peppers, sliced squash, and onion slices are best grilled by the direct method.
Last but not least, GET FIRED UP. Use the very best coals you can find. We recommend ours.