Summer is finally here, and that means it’s time to get that grill fired up! If you’re new to the world of grilling, it can seem a bit intimidating at first. But fear not, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can be grilling up juicy steaks, flavorful chicken, and veggies that are so good even the pickiest eaters will be asking for seconds. In this post, I’ll cover everything you need to know to get started with success on the grill.
What type of grill should you be using?
First things first, let’s talk about the different types of grills. You can use a charcoal grill, gas grill, or pellet grill. Each has its own pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. I use pellets because it gives me the Smokey flavor without having the need to watch the grill nonstop.
Treat your grill like an oven
It may seem obvious, but it’s essential to remember that grilling is essentially cooking, just outdoors. Set up your grill with two zones, one side with high heat and the other with low heat, just like you would with an oven. This will ensure that you can cook your food to the desired temperature without burning it.
Make sure you have a Clean Grill
You don’t want any leftover debris or grime from your last grilling session getting in the way of your delicious meal. A clean grill is also essential for even cooking and preventing flare-ups.
Season with Salt first
No matter what you’re grilling, season with salt first to help bring out the flavor and to keep it juicy. Salt helps to draw out the natural juices in the meat, keeping it tender and succulent. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasoning blends to find your perfect flavor combinations.
Let marinating your food become second nature. A good marinade provides less work and a delicious outcome every time. I have a Greek marinade that I use for pretty much EVERYTHING! Marinating your meat in advance not only adds flavor but also helps to tenderize tougher cuts of meat.
If you must use butter, use ghee. It can tolerate a higher temperature and hold more heat! Ghee is a form of clarified butter that is often used in Indian cooking, and it’s become a popular alternative to regular butter for high-heat cooking like grilling.
Use a Meat Thermometer when Grilling
Get a meat thermometer ASAP. Most pellet grills come with them, but you can easily get one from online. This will allow you not to overcook and dry out your meat. It’s essential to know the internal temperature of the meat you’re grilling to ensure it’s cooked thoroughly.
Also, get in the habit of just letting things be. When you add an item to the grill, try not to move it too soon. Doing so can cause sticking to the grate. When the meat is ready to move, it will no longer stick to the grate. Be patient, and it will be worth it.
Use the Palm Tenderness Test
Don’t have a thermometer? Well, the rule of thumb is that the tenderness should match the inside of your palm. If you touch your thumb and index finger together, the fleshy part at the base of your thumb will feel similar to a rare steak. Touch your middle finger to your thumb, and it’s similar to a medium-rare steak. Pinch your ring finger to your thumb, and it’s medium, and pinky equals well done.
Grill More Vegetables
Try grilling more vegetables! With the right seasonings mixed with that Smokey flavor, you often won’t even miss the meat. Grilling veggies is a great way to add in some healthy options to your meals while still keeping them flavorful and delicious. Try grilling up some zucchini, eggplant, or portobello mushrooms as a meatless main dish.
Grilling doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these simple tips and tricks, you can be on your way to grilling like a pro in no time. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, there’s always room for improvement. So get out there, fire up that grill, and enjoy some delicious meals with friends and family!