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Top 5 Summer Grilling Tips

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To become a star in your backyard, try these barbecue cooking tips!

The weather won’t be the only thing heating up this summer, it’s time to fire up the grill! These are our top 5 summer grilling tips that will be sure to make this grilling season a tasty one. 

1. The Hot Seat

Every grill has hotspots.  Some people regard this as a negative.  Depending on the grill you can even set it up where you have “two-zone” cooking where you have a hotter side for searing and a cooler side for smoking.  This is very much like you would do if you had a wok! In fact, it provides an excellent advantage, especially if you are barbecuing a meal and need a cooler area.

Hot Spots Can Sear Your Meat the Best

Instead of fighting your grill, embrace the hotspots and learn where they are and use them to your advantage.  Not everything needs to be cooked over the hottest part of your grill the entire time, but just about everything benefits from just a little time over the hot spot to create just that extra little bit of seared perfection.

2. Probing to Perfection

There is only one gadget, cooking utensil, tool, whatever you want to call it that makes everyone from a baker to a pitmaster better at what they do.  That tool is an instant-read thermometer.  Don’t go cheap here, do yourself a favor and invest in a good one that will last a lifetime.  Instant-read thermometers register the temperature of the food typically in about 2 seconds.  

Tips for Grilling Food: Use That Thermometer

When you have a hundred chicken wings to check, the 2 second read time matters.  Having a great thermometer that you can trust and rely on makes you a better cook because you are no longer guessing at the temperature of your steaks, burgers, chicken, cakes, bread, etc.  Once you invest in a good one you will never cook without it again.

Remember, though, that many items continue to cook after they have been removed from the grill. Take that into consideration, but still test like crazy before serving. Never “eyeball” doneness.

Pick Up A Meat Probe

3. Seriously Simple Seasonings

Don’t overlook the simple seasonings in your pantry for great results.  Something as simple as a little salt, pepper and rosemary can make one of the best steaks you have ever eaten.  Everyone has associated barbecue with ultra-complex rubs and sauces, but the best barbecue often has nothing but salt, pepper, smoke and skill as the primary ingredients.  A fine example of this is James Beard Foundation Award winner Aaron Franklin, who only uses salt and pepper on his award-winning briskets.  

Taking Your Summer Barbecuing to the Next Level

There is a place for these rubs and sauces but learn to make great food with simple ingredients first before complicating the process too much. Of course, as you become more interested in experimenting with seasonings, you may want to take it to the next level. Shane, our Grilla Grills’ own Pitmaster, recommends that you explore our variety of rubs. From the All-Purpose rub that goes great on meats, seafood and poultry, to the Beef Rub that is totally meant for the red meat grilling fanatic, you can easily add depth and flavor.

Remember, too, that seasonings are not just for meats and proteins. They are for veggies and fruits, plus all those wonderful smoked dishes and casseroles like mac and cheese. 

Add Some BBQ Flavor


4. Burning Questions

Once upon a time if you wanted to learn all the pitmaster’s secrets you had to swear an oath of allegiance and then start an apprenticeship that required countless hours of stoking fires before you were even allowed to touch the meat.  The world is a different place now, and the resources to make you a star in your backyard are plentiful.  Just about all the great grilling tips and tricks have been written down in amazing books, but that’s only the start.

Watch a Video for More Summer BBQ Grilling Tips

 YouTube and other social media sites provide you direct and free access to thousands of hours of content that is all high quality and built for you to consume right from your phone next your grill.  So, take the time to do some research and follow your favorite cooking personalities, more times than not they have given you all the info you need for free and its right there for you to enjoy. 

Who knows? You might become our next Pitmaster influencer on social media who provides unique barbecue cooking tips to the grilling family! [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

5. The Grate Debate

 There is a lot of confusion when it comes to grill grates.  Should they be perfectly clean?  Should you oil them every cook?  What should you clean them with?  There are lots of heated debates on the internet concerning grill grates and I’m here to tell you the right answer is…somewhere in the middle.  If you cook often, then using a high-quality brush at the beginning and end of your cooking is just about all you need to do.  

Take the Time to Clean and Re-Oil

Once every couple of months if you notice more build-up happening, then take the time to do a complete clean of the grates and then re-oil.  The reality is that unless you have cooked something exceptionally messy the trusty grill brush used on a hot grill takes care of most of the mess, then follow that up with the brush on the cold grill before you light it the next time.  If you do this you will have a grill that is pretty nonstick and doesn’t require hours and hours of cleaning every time you use it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions that our top five summer grilling tips didn’t answer? We’ve pulled together some of the most frequent questions we hear regarding summer barbecuing. Use these answers to make your meals even tastier.

How Can I Get the Best Sear?

Beyond paying attention to those hotspots we mentioned, make sure to follow these steps to get the best sear on your meat:

  • Use paper towels to dry off your meat before grilling. It won’t sear when it’s wet.
  • Let the grill heat up sufficiently before putting the meat on. If you do it too early, you won’t get the sear you want.
  • Don’t move the meat around a lot. Let it sit until you are ready to turn it.

How Can I Make the Best Grilled Burgers Ever?

Grilling burgers is an art form, and you can perform like a gifted artist when you follow these tips for grilling:

  • Eliminate the swollen middle that hamburgers can develop when you grill them by making a small dent in the middle. This will help the patty remain flat throughout the cooking.
  • Don’t squeeze the ground beef too much when you form the patty. This will lead to a less-tender, tougher burger.

How Can I Add Extra Flavor to Any Meat I’m Cooking?

Instead of using a brush to oil your grill, cut an onion in half and use it to apply the oil to the grill. This will leave behind a faint taste that will add to whatever marinade or sauce you put on your meat.

Also, when you add salt to your meat, as we advised above, do it about 30 minutes before you put it onto the grill. This gives the meat plenty of time to season.

What Are Some Things I Should Avoid Doing When I Grill?

We know, we know — you really want to push down on your meat with your spatula. It gives you that grilling feeling. Resist the urge! That moment of satisfaction can actually backfire on you. When you push down on the meat, it leaches out the fat, which means less flavor for your meat.

You should also try not to take something straight from the refrigerator onto the grill unless you want to give it a rare sear. Meat tastes and cooks better when you bring it closer to room temperature. Remove it from the fridge about a half hour before you plan to cook it.

You also don’t want to overcook the meat. You may want to leave it on the Grilla until it looks perfect, but you will end up overcooking it because the meat continues to roast for a bit when you bring it off the grill. And don’t even think about cutting into it right away. Let it sit a few minutes for all the juiciness to redistribute.

Excited to put these barbecue cooking tips to action? Fire up the Grilla: Every meal can use some smoky goodness.


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