Ready for a cookout? Here are some easy outdoor grilling recipes—plus, our 10 tips for grilling to mouthwatering perfection. Burgers, steaks, fish, and most any food tastes great from the grill if you do it right!
Top 10 Tips for the Grill
Before you get started, dust your grill grates with oil or cooking spray to keep food from sticking. Be sure to let the grates come to temperature before you begin cooking.
Bring ingredients to room temperature before you cook; they will then cook more evenly and quickly.
Remember the 4-by-4 rule to determine how hot your grill is: If you can keep your palm 4 inches over the coals for 4 seconds, it’s at medium heat.
For even browning of meat and poultry, pat the surface with a paper towel to remove moisture before grilling.
To prevent your steaks from curling on the grill, score the outer layer of fat at 1-inch intervals.
Refrain from pressing hamburger patties on the grill with a spatula or piercing meat with a fork; you’ll lose the juices. Use a spatula or tongs to move the meat around.
If you prefer skinless chicken, be sure to marinate the meat first; then baste frequently with leftover marinade during grilling.
Use fresh lemon juice in your marinades. It tenderizes meat, blends well with many flavors (from soy sauce and ginger to BBQ sauce), and accents other tastes.
Let meats rest at least 5 (if not 10) minutes before slicing them. The meat will reabsorb the juices it lost from cooking.
The best time to clean your grill is when the grates are still warm. With the back of a spatula, scrape anything on the grates into the fire, then use a wire brush to scrub the grates clean.
Bonus: Invest in an instant-read thermometer, which makes grilling easier and safer. You will insert this thermometer into the center of the steak to see if it’s done to your liking. For example, medium is 145 degrees. Well-done is 160 degrees. See our minimum temperatures for cooking meat.
Great Recipes for the Grill
Now that you’re a grilling expert, try these easy and delicious recipes! We’ve rounded up a selection of main dishes, sides, and desserts that all can be cooked on the grill.
Desserts on the Grill
More Main Dishes for the Grill
- Grilled Striped Bass With Grilled Corn and Watermelon Relish
- Grilled Lamb Kabobs
- Basic Burgers
- Chicken Satay
- Island Beef Teriyaki
- Simple Steak
- Grilled Peach Glazed Chicken
- Campfire Smelt
More Vegetable Sides for the Grill
- Farmers’ Market Grilled Vegetable Platter
- Latin-Style Grilled Corn
- Grilled Eggplant
- Grilled Radicchio
- See our Guide to Grilling Vegetables
More Desserts on the Grill
Browse our Picnic Recipes for more salads, sides, drinks, and outdoor recipe ideas!
Do you have any grilling recipes or tips that you would like to share? Tell us in the comments!