8 Practical Grilling Tips
Tired of grilling dry chicken breasts or overcooked, mushy vegetables? Don’t give up! We’re here to give you a crash course on practical grilling tips you can use no matter what you’re grilling.
- Cook similar portion sizes together so they all cook evenly.
Have you ever thrown all of your chicken breasts on the grill at the same time, only to end up with some pieces overcooked before others are even finished? You can easily avoid situations like this by putting smaller portion sizes on the grill a little later than larger ones, or by taking smaller sizes off the grill a little earlier.
- Trim excess fat, choose lean cuts of meat, and avoid cooking over very high temperatures to reduce flare ups.
When excess fat heats up on the grill, it will drip and cause flare ups. Trimming excess fat or choosing leaner meat to begin with will prevent flare ups and help you produce a tastier, less blackened meal.
Cooking over the right temperature can also help you reduce flare ups.
- Always re-adjust your temperature after you preheat your grill.
Your grill’s highest heat settings are intended for fast pre-heating or searing steaks and other cuts of meat. When your grill is done preheating, make sure you turn the grill temperature down so you don’t burn or overcook your meal.
Medium heat is perfect for most grilling, baking, and roasting, while low heat is intended for warming, slow cooking, smoking, or cooking delicate foods.
- Cook with the lid down to maintain the right temperature.
You can grill just as effectively with the lid up, but if you keep the lid closed, the heat from your BBQ stays contained and your meal will cook faster and more efficiently.
Just remember that flare ups are more common when the lid is down.
- Never pierce food while you’re cooking.
If you pierce your food while it’s cooking (say, with a knife or fork), all the flavourful juices will escape and you’ll be left with a dry, possibly bland meal.
- Turn your food infrequently.
Turning your food too often can cause uneven cooking and messy presentation. If you only turn your food once, you’ll be left with a beautiful skin or crust that’s perfectly cooked and deliciously crispy and flavourful.
- Hold off on the salt!
Applying salt too long before you cook can also dry out your meat. Instead, salt your meat just before you put it on the grill, or let people salt their meals to their preference after you’ve finished grilling.
- Baste meat with BBQ sauce and other sugar-based sauces only during the last few minutes of grilling.
The sugar in BBQ sauce and other sweet sauces can burn if you leave on the grill too long. The trick is to slather your sauce on with just enough time to let it caramelize nicely without burning.
With these basic tips in mind, you can become a master griller in no time. Soon, you’ll be perfectly cooking steak, salmon, burgers, vegetables, and anything else you decide to throw on the grill!c