1. Start with a Hot and Clean Grill
This may seem like a no-brainer but this may be the most important step – start with a clean grill.
This will allow the flavor of the food you are cooking to shine through. You don’t want ot taste those hot dogs from last night in the roast! It also helps prevent food from sticking to the grill.
It is not recommended to use a wire grill brush to clean your grill. A wire grill brush is dangerous as the metal wires can get lodged in your mouth, or throat, or can even result in bowel obstructions or perforations.
We recommend more natural ways to clean your grill.
- You will want to start by getting your grill nice and hot for at least 15 minutes to bake any grease or leftover food. This will become blackened and make it easier to remove compared to cold grease.
- Use an onion to scrub the grates! Onions have natural antibacterial properties, which means that they are excellent cleaners. Cut an onion in half and use it to scrub your grill clean. You will be surprised at how well it does!
- When you are finished cooking, use aluminum foil and crunch it into a ball. You can use vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the grill grates. Then use the aluminum ball to scrub the grill grates with the help of tongs to avoid burning your hands. This will help keep your grill clean for the next cookout.
- Olive Oil – If the barbecue grates are covered in grime, olive oil is a great option. First, remove the grates and coat them in olive oil. Leave them to soak in the oil for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse them clean. The oil should help remove any food residue and can also prevent your barbecue from rusting in the future.
2. Use Both Direct and Indirect Heat
For the best results at the grill, create both direct and indirect heat areas.
Here is what that means:
Direct heat: This means the item you’re grilling is directly above an open flame. It’s the hottest part of the grill and great for searing or getting nice grill lines. Use caution when using direct heat as you can overcook the outside of the item before the inside is done to your liking.
This is where indirect heat comes into play.
Indirect heat: This is a separate part of the grill that is still hot because the grill is preheated, but there are no flames directly below the grate. This setup gives you the best of both worlds. You can start something over direct heat and move it to indirect to finish it.
Chicken can be especially tricky for new grill cooks. Reaching an internal temperature of 165°F is essential to limit the chance for food-borne illness. Knowing when to use indirect cooking can help with this.
A good tip: If the food takes less than 20 minutes to cook, use direct heat; if it takes longer, use indirect heat. This is one of the best tips for grilling chicken to ensure juicy results. Smaller pieces like breasts and thighs are best grilled with direct heat, while whole chickens should be grilled on the indirect heat side.
The way to set up different heat zones is detailed as follows: On a charcoal or kamado grill, when your coals are ready and producing a clean smoke, move the coals onto one side of the grill. Now you’ve got yourself a two-zone fire. You can sear your food over the coals and move it to the other side to cook more slowly… On a gas grill, you can create a two-zone fire by turning on only half of your grill.
3. Use a Meat Thermometer
There is simply no substitute for a good meat thermometer when it comes to food safety. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to the proper temperature on the grill.
Below is a helpful guide for food temperature:
- Rare Beef – 125°F,
- Well Done Beef – 160°F,
- Ground Beef Burgers – 160°F,
- Pork – 145°F,
- Chicken – 165°F
Meat thermometers are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use. An instant-read thermometer is your best friend when it comes to grilling. Remember that cooking times will vary slightly based on many factors, including the thickness of the food, the starting temperature of the food, the grill preheating time, and the temperature of the fire. Using a meat thermometer takes all the guesswork away to get that perfect juicy piece of meat!
4. Let the Meat Rest
One of the most important tips is to let your meat rest after grilling. The resting process allows the juices to redistribute themselves throughout the meat. You should let your meat rest uncovered because the covering causes the food to steam and can make the golden brown crust or skin soggy. Follow your recipe to know how long to let the meat rest.
Allowing grilled items time to rest is especially important for red meat. As tempting as it may be to slice into your steak when it’s fresh off the grill, it’s crucial to let the meat rest for a few minutes. To taste the quality, you should always let the meat rest for about four minutes before cutting it.
The temptation will be your worst enemy at this point, but patience will pay off. Despite how hungry you or your guests might be, allow the meat to rest for at least 5-15 minutes before slicing into it. This tip is a great way to preserve the juices and flavors and ensures it doesn’t dry out. Experts suggest placing meats on an elevated cooling rack so it rests evenly. Then you can look forward to delicious grilled meat feasts!
– 4 Life Outdoor
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