Helpful Grilling Tips for the Perfect BBQ

There is something about sitting out back and grilling dinner or lunch that is very relaxing. You can grill all summer and I know many who love to grill during the winter. Whether you’re grilling salmon, vegetables or hamburgers, following a few tips can make grilling a nicer experience and the food taste better. 

Preparing the BBQ Grill

You can prepare the BBQ grill by rubbing or spraying the grill with non-stick spray like Pam or olive oil. This keeps the food from sticking to the grill when you take it off. I used to forget this tip when I first started grilling and sometimes only got half a hamburger off of the grill.

Getting the Fire Right

Using a charcoal BBQ like a Weber is great, but you have to get the charcoal to burn just right. If the wind is blowing, you might find yourself frustrated with one side burning too hot and the other side completely cold. For bad weather, use more coals than usual and pay attention to how the bottom vents are open.

Arrange the charcoal in a pyramid at the bottom of the BBQ and light it. You will know when the coals are ready by their appearance. The coals will be 70% ash covered with a red glow. At this point spread the coals out in a single layer.

Food Reminders

When making the hamburger patties, put an indentation in the middle of the hamburger patty. After you have formed the hamburger patty, use your thumb and put an indentation in the middle before putting it on the grill. This helps the hamburger hold its shape and not swell into a meatball.

After you take meat or poultry, especially steak, off of the grill, let it sit for a while. This is called letting the meat rest. This lets the juices that have accumulated in the middle of the meat to spread out. If you cut into the meat too soon, it can be dry. With a small piece of steak or boneless chicken breast, five minutes is fine. For an entire roast or chicken, 20-30 minutes will work.

Cooking the Food Properly

Cooking different types of food properly takes practice and sometimes even trial and error. A few tips on properly cooking food include:

  • Season steaks right before they go on the grill.
  • Do not put foods on the grill so close that they are touching. Leave space around each piece of food which allows for even cooking.
  • Turn meat just once, otherwise the meat can lose flavor. Turn steak when juices start to bubble on the uncooked side.
  • To be fair, there are those that believe flipping steaks multiple times is better for a more even cooking.
  • Use a BBQ fork to turn steaks.
  • If you plan on using any type of sauce or glaze on the food, put it on in the last 10 minutes of grilling, otherwise it can burn.
  • You can keep a spray bottle with water handy to calm down any flare-ups.

Different foods take different temperatures and cooking time. You can go to Weber for a complete list of food cooking times and temperatures.

Cleaning the BBQ Grill

You might not feel like it after eating, but it is best to clean the grill after it has cooled. Brush the grill with a wire brush to remove all of the excess food.

Grilling Safety

Here are a few safety tips to use when grilling:

  • Do not let children or dogs play or run around the BBQ since a BBQ can tip easily.
  • Do not light your BBQ under a patio roof, no matter how hard it is raining or how hungry you are.
  • Use hot mitts.

Grilling Food Safety

A few tips to make your BBQ healthy include the following tips:

  • Do not keep food out in the heat very long.
  • Do not use the same plate for the cooked food as you did for the raw food and always wash the plate that had raw food on it right away.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure the meat is cooked as you want it.

Copyright © 2014 Sam Montana

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