Grilling Tips For Mastering Your Outdoor Kitchen

December 7, 2022 Outdoor Cooking

No outdoor appliance has more versatility than the grill. But with so many grills to choose from, you may be experienced in one type but have no experience with another. While we’ve previously covered each grill’s pros and cons, here are some tips and tricks to prepare you to cook in no time.

Charcoal Grills

  1. Avoid Lighter Fluid

While charcoal has great flavor, lighter fluid brings a much less desirable taste. If you’re looking for a different way to light your charcoal grill, electric or chimney starters are great ways to heat your coals before grilling. Or, if you’re in a pinch, traditional firestarters for kindling, like paper and cardboard, work well.

  1. Be Patient

It’s easy to throw food on the grill before the temperature is hot enough, but you’ll have a much easier time cooking when you let your grill surface get hot. Less experienced grillers may also flip their foods too early, preventing their food from cooking all the way through. Patience, patience, patience.

  1. Let Your Meat Rest

Although you’re hungry and ready to go, give your meat a few minutes before slicing. This allows the meat to absorb all the juices possible, giving you the perfect bite of steak paired with the perfect red wine.

Gas Grills

  1. Leave Some Room

Although saving time and throwing everything on the grill makes sense, it might lead to uneven cooking. When you give your meats a chance to breathe, you have a much better chance of evenly grilling your food all the way through.

  1. Here to Sear

For the perfect seared meat, get your grill as hot as possible. Put the meat on the grill, then wait a minute or two. Then flip, repeat, and turn the heat down as you allow the meat to continue cooking. This helps caramelize the outside of the meat for that great seared taste.

  1. Grill Indirectly

If your gas grill has multiple burners, use the heat by grilling smaller items like veggies on the side or allowing your seared meats to continue to roast. This allows you to multitask and finish whole meals in one fell swoop.

Flat-Top Grills

  1. Oil Your Surface

Like a painter with their tools, ensure you’re taking proper care of your grill, and the grill will treat you well in return. Oiling your flat-top grill with canola, avocado, or olive oil gives you a non-stick surface to work your magic.

  1. Add Some Pans

Use the flat surface and throw pots, pans, or skillets on the grill. This keeps you from going back and forth from the indoor stovetop to the outdoor grill.

  1. Trap Your Grease

You’ll start accumulating grease while you’re cooking, which is normal. Just make sure you’re cleaning while cooking, taking time to scrape the grease off the griddle with a scraper into a disposable drip pan. This saves you time and effort when your food’s good to go and you’re ready to eat.

Smokers

  1. Fuel Wisely

Regarding wood smokers, less wood can mean more when cooking. Putting too much wood in your smoker can cause too much smoke, turning your perfect steak into beef jerky. Even though a lot of smoke can make you look like you know what you’re doing, it can turn south quickly.

  1. Keep A Good Airflow

Most smokers have vents at the top for a reason. It’s best to allow your smoker to ventilate the entire time, if possible, for maximum taste and even cooking. 

  1. Low And Slow

This tried-and-true method has been treating grillmasters and hungry families well for decades. Cooking at around 225-250 degrees over a longer period gives the meats a better opportunity to retain and absorb their juices, making for the perfect, tender bite.

No matter which you’re using, you’ll be ready for your next gathering in no time.

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