A Beginner's Guide to Grilling: Tips and Tricks for Success

A Beginner’s Guide to Grilling: Tips and Tricks for Success

If you’ve just bought and assembled a new gas or charcoal grill, congratulations! Now, if you’re a newcomer to barbecuing, you’re probably asking yourself what happens next. Even the best indoor chefs may find themselves at a loss over how to prepare the best meats, vegetables, fish, and more on an open flame outside. To help you with your stage fright—or would that be “grill chills”—we provide a beginner’s guide to grilling with several tips and tricks for success!

Befriend Your Grill

You and your grill are at the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Get to know it better. Familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual and learn all the ins and outs of the device. Come to understand the differences between a gas and charcoal grill and what they can do (and not do). In short, gas grills can provide more consistency in temperature settings, while charcoal grills offer more options. They can burn various kinds of wood, adding different smoky flavors to your food. Learn how to monitor and adjust heat accordingly. It may take a while, but you’ll come to know what your grill is capable of in the coming years.

Arm Yourself

Arm yourself with the right tools, that is! Every complete grill requires a few basic tools at the beginning. Purchase a long-handled spatula for flipping burgers and more. Pick up a large set of lockable tongs that allow you to handle and manipulate meat without getting too close. Buy a grill brush to clean the grill before and after grilling, keeping things clean and helping your grill last longer. A meat thermometer lets you see how things are cooking from the inside out. As you improve, you can pick up other devices to create a more flavorful barbecue. But for now, these are the core tools in your repertoire.

Use a Slow Burn

Good things come to those who wait, and you’ll need to fire up your grill and wait a few minutes for it to heat up before slapping on those steaks, burgers, or what have you. Turn it on or ignite the coals and let it warm up for 15 to 20 minutes. You need to get a good heat going before you start, and with charcoal grills, you must ensure there’s an even burn. Letting it stand and heat up for a quarter of an hour ensures your meat seals in the juices and starts cooking the minute it hits the metal.

Keep Things Clean

Once you finish barbecuing, let the grill cool down, but use the grill brush to work off the excess food stuck to the bars while it’s still warm. Cleaning off the grill now means a lack of burning and stickiness the next time you use it. It’ll keep future meats and vegetables from becoming tainted due to the flavors of previous barbecues as well. When you’re done, use a vegetable or olive-oil-soaked paper towel to wipe down the grill. This helps the meat release more easily the next time you grill.

That’s a beginner’s guide to grilling with a few tips and tricks for success. Hopefully, this will make the already abundant pleasures of outdoor grilling that much more enjoyable for you!

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