Top 10 Grilling Tips

  1. Start with good ingredients. While you may be an expert griller, if you start with ingredients that are only fair, you are at a disadvantage. Make friends with your local butcher and shop at local farmer markets when you can.
  2. Prep first. There’s a French culinary term – mise en place – which translates to “set in place.” Any well-organized chef will tell you that you need to prep first. This includes chopping, making your rub, mixing your marinade, organizing your grilling tools, and more. It will make the grilling process that more fun.
  3. Skewer it.  You can use bamboo or metal skewers for all sorts of kabob recipes. Try different combinations such as chicken wrapped in bacon with some mushrooms; ham and pineapple; or sirloin steak with multi-colored peppers and onions. If you use bamboo, make sure to soak the skewers ahead of time.
  4. Try a grill basket. Grill baskets are ideal for more delicate items such as fish filets or vegetables that could fall through the grill grate such as asparagus. You can use grill baskets with gas, charcoal or electric grills. 
  5. Veg out. Grilled vegetables make a great accompaniment to just about any meal. Make sure to lightly coat them with some olive oil to prevent from sticking or drying out. Some top vegetables to grill include peppers, zucchini, eggplant and onions. They do best over direct heat.
  6. Rub-a-dub-dub. If you are using a rub for your meat, don’t rub it into the meat too hard. You can damage the meat fibers and texture and also over season. Rub gently.  
  7. Low and slow. Low and slow seems to be the way to go if you are grilling ribs. It’s the key to getting that succulent flavor and tender texture. Some things in life just can’t be rushed.     
  8. Don’t react. If you are mixing marinades or dressings that have high acid content (e.g., tomatoes, citrus, beer or wine) use a non-reactive bowl. What does that mean? A non-reactive bowl is made from products that will not react chemically with the foods – typically stainless steel or glass. Reactive bowls are often made from cast iron, aluminum, or plastic (which also stains easily). If you use a reactive bowl, it may impart an unwanted flavor to the food.
  9. Bone in vs. boneless: If you are grilling boneless chicken, it will cook faster than bone-in chicken. Boneless chicken should also be cooked over direct heat, while bone-in should be cooked over indirect heat or it will burn. Always make sure you are cooking to the USDA-recommended temperatures.  An instant-read thermometer can help.
  10. Rest up. Once done, let meats rest on a clean platter for about 10 minutes before carving. Juices will evenly redistribute to ensure you get the best bites possible.