With Memorial Day around the corner, people all over the country will be firing up their grills! Which is great, unless you don’t know how to grill. It can be intimidating if you’ve never grilled before, or you’ve really only stumbled your way through a couple of times. We’ve got some of our favorite tips to give you the best beginner’s guide to grilling. Enjoy a nice steak, or some grilled veggies alongside the rest of the nation this summer in confidence by reading these tips!
Clean the Grill
Starting off with a clean grill is super important when it comes to grilling your food. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) cook in a dirty pan, so don’t cook on a dirty grill. Not only is it gross, but it can leave your grilled food with remnants of the old food and flavors into it. Cleaning your grill is simple and should only take a couple of minutes if you stay up on it. Get a wire grilling brush to get all the stuck-on junk off the metal rack. Use the other, more spingelike side to really scrub it clean. Then, before grilling the next time, simply put some olive oil on a folded paper towel and just rub it on the grilling grate. This will create a nice non-stick surface, and will make sure any and all bits of food are removed before you fire up the grill.
Lighting the Grill
This seems silly, but it is a Beginner’s Guide to Grilling, after all. For a propane grill, you will need to turn the propane tank on first. On the grill heat control knob (like what you find on the front of your oven), press it inward and turn it to the left. This will set off a little ignitor with a small spark, so the grill is lit. Once it’s lit, then you can use that knob to adjust the level of heat you will be cooking with. Sometimes the grill won’t start with the first click, so you may need to move the knob back and forth a few times, to ignite the spark and get it to light.
If you have a charcoal grill, you will need charcoal, obviously. Fill the bottom of your grill, and then use a little lighter fluid to help start the fire. Use a long grill lighter to light the charcoal on fire. Place the grill grate on top using grilling gloves or your grilling tongs. Do not use your bare hands to put the grill grate back on over the fire. Allow the fire to die down a bit before placing your food on to grill.
Prepare Your Meat or Vegetables
After the grill is lit, you need to allow it to warm up, like you would a pan on the stove. While it’s warming, you can prepare your meat. Pat your meat dry with a paper towel, and then season both sides liberally. Use a tray or large plate to take your meat out to the grill. Use tongs to put your meat on the grill. If you’re cooking vegetables, unless they’re large, you will most likely need to use a grill basket or tin foil. Don’t be afraid to use tin foil! Tin foil will cook vegetables that are already cut up. Add some butter and some seasonings to the foil packets and let them cook, your vegetables will be moist and delicious!
Don’t Be Afraid of Fire
When you’re cooking meat on the grill, there’s gonna be a little fire licking at the edges of your meat. This is one of the important tips in the Beginner’s Guide to Grilling. As long as its not a raging inferno, you should be fine. A little char on the meat gives it that smoky, grill flavor and is desirable. Don’t be afraid to let it sit in the heat for a bit. Keep an eye on it, and let it cook.
Set a Timer
The best way to cook your meats evenly is to set a timer so you know when to flip them. Weber has a great guide on how long meats should be cooked by weight, to give you an idea of time. Set a timer, and stay near the grill. When the timer goes off, flip the meats or vegetables using the tongs, and then set the timer again. Use a food thermometer if you’re unsure if your meats are cooked thoroughly.
Remove Food From the Grill
The last tip in our Beginner’s Guide to Grilling is about removing food from the grill. Once the timers go off, remove the food from the grill. If you allow items to stay resting on thr grill, even if you turn the heat off, you will dry your meat out, and it will be tough. Place all your food back on a large tray like before, and bring it insde. If you’re waiting on other dishes to finish before eating, cover your grilled foods and place them somewhere warm so their temperature stays optimal.
The cook is only as good as his barbecue sauce! Check out this recipe for a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce that’s simple to make: