Did you know that around 70% of people in the United States own and use a grill each year?
Not only is grilling a tasty way to cook your food, but it is also an event that you can share with family and friends.
If you are new to grilling and don’t want to make amateur mistakes, there are a couple of things to know.
Continue reading to discover some of the best grilling tips for beginners that will make you look like a pro in no time!
1. Keep Things Clean
One of the best grilling tips to follow is to keep everything as clean as you can.
Cleaning the grill before you put your food on can ensure that you don’t consume anything you shouldn’t and that your food is clean. It is helpful to clean the grill with a brush after the heat has already been turned on so that it can burn off some of the old food debris.
You should also keep your brushes and utensils clean. Wiping them down after each use will extend their life and keep your food from taking on any of the old flavors. Be careful if you are using a bristle brush, as they have been known to fall off onto the grill and get inside the food.
2. Give Some Room
Whether you are grilling meat or vegetables, you need to give each item some room to breathe.
Many people make the mistake of overloading their grill. Putting too many items on the grill, too close to each other, can impact the way that they cook. Extra space is necessary so that the steam can rise to the top and evenly cook the food.
It is a good idea to keep items at least 2 inches apart from each other. This distance will allow enough air to escape so that you can get an even cook.
3. Use Medium to High Heat
When you are grilling steak or any other protein, you should turn the heat up to medium or high.
Putting meat on the grill when it is too cool can impact its ability to get a good sear. To sear meat you need a lot of heat in a short time. It is helpful to leave the lid open when you are cooking at high temperatures so that the food is only getting hot from one side at a time.
If you are trying to keep things warm or if you have something that is burning on the outside but raw on the inside, use low heat.
4. Start with Something Simpe
If you aren’t as experienced with grilling, you should start with something simple.
Chicken, pork, and shrimp are some of the easiest proteins to cook when you are first starting. Putting an expensive cut of steak on the grill when you don’t know how to properly cook it could lead to wasted money.
Some of the easiest vegetables to throw on the grill are corn on the cob and asparagus. If you plan to leave the shucks on the corn, make sure you soak them in water ahead of time so that they don’t catch on fire!
5. Avoid Over-Flipping
Overflipping your meat and vegetables can ruin the cook and prevent you from ever getting the sear that you hope to get.
Leave everything in its place for a couple of minutes and let the grill do its job. The high heat will start to sear the other side. As you become more experienced, you will be able to cook a burger and only have to flip it once or twice.
Another reason to avoid over-flipping is that it can damage the structure of the food. This is especially true for burgers.
6. Invest in a Good Grill
Investing in a quality grill can make a big difference when you go to cook your favorite foods.
Whether you want to use charcoal, electric, or propane grill, you can find something that will fit your needs. Charcoal grills are the most affordable and create a smokey flavor on food, especially when you use flavored coals.
Many people recommend getting Mont Alpi grills, they are durable and last a long time. Most of these styles are propane grills that run on gas and give you the most control while cooking. The electric grills are also perfect for when you want more control, however, they might not be able to reach as high of temperatures.
7. Get a Thermometer
The only way to be positive that you have fully cooked meat is by checking its temperature.
A good meat thermometer can prevent you from second-guessing yourself and serving raw meat. Raw chicken and pork can be dangerous, so you should also use one when grilling these proteins.
Although you can eat most raw beef, it is still helpful to check the temperature. This will prevent you from overcooking the meat or getting it to a specific cook.
8. Find the Hotspots
A good griller knows its grill well and can identify its hot and cold spots.
After the first couple of times that you use the grill, you will likely notice areas that produce more heat. When the food is cooking at a quicker rate in one area than it is in another, keep note of the location.
It is best to keep the grill at a consistent temperature, but sometimes this is not possible. Learning your grill’s hot spots can help you use them to your advantage and you will be aware of the spots where items tend to overcook.
Try These Grilling Tips
Taking on the grill can be a challenging task, but with these grilling tips, you will look and feel confident.
You shouldn’t have to fear picking up the spatula and turning the flames on. As long as you start with easy foods and know your temperatures, you can start cooking some delicious meals. Always keep your grill and utensils clean so that no one accidentally eats a brush bristle or burnt debris.
As you develop your skills, the flavor in your food will develop too.
Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about how to grill and cook some of the best food!