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You know that everything tastes better when grilled over an open flame. Let’s refresh our memories with some grill advice for the summer. Learn some BBQ cooking tips and tricks for grilling chicken, beef, vegetables, seafood, and burgers perfectly, plus 10 recipes for the grill!
Top 10 Tips for Cooking on the Grill
Start with a clean grill. (See tip #10.) Before you turn the grill on, lightly baste your grill grates with a cooking oil or spray to keep food from sticking. Be sure to let the grates come to temperature before you begin cooking.
Don’t put cold meat right on the grill. Bring ingredients to room temperature before you cook; they will then cook more evenly and quickly. If you need to, plan your meals so you leave 30 minutes for meat to sit on the counter.
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. Do the same to skin-on fish fillets, scoring the skin side.
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. Also, don’t move the food around. Best to flip meat once once. The fewer times you flip food, the better. If the meat is stuck to the grill, let it cook more until it naturally loosens its grip and is ready for flipping.
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! Let the meat rest once off the grill for 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: Buy a meat thermometer. It’s really worthwhile to spend $10 and buy 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 Fahrenheit. Well-done is 160 degrees F. See recommended minimum temperatures for cooking meat.
10 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.
This Baby Back Ribs With Coffee Spice Rub are made with a unique coffee rub mixture that features a hint of cocoa. While cooking the ribs on the grill, brush the sauce onto the ribs every 30 minutes and right before you take off the grill. Mmmm! This recipe is adapted from Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Bible.