Before long, we will fire up our grills again to create dishes that will dazzle family and friends. Now is the time to brush up on basic skills – some handy, some essential – so that we’re ready as soon as the grill covers come off.

Getting to Know Our Grills.

No need for a heart to heart, but understanding how our grills work is a no-brainer. Knowing how grill vents regulate air flow enables us to control cooking temperature and enjoy fuel efficiency. Let it breathe, and you will notice the difference.

Fire it Up!

To avoid the bitter taste that lighter fluid can impart on food, invest in a chimney. Also, adding things like fire starters to your cooking will improve the overall taste and will leave no distraction to the true flavor of the food

Non Stick Grill Grates

Food will stick to grill grates we haven’t cleaned and oiled so we need to apply oil to grates before putting them on the grill, or use a grill brush to slide an oil soaked paper towel over cooking grates just before placing food.This will keep the process as clean and quick as possible.

Direct vs. Indirect Fire.

We decide on our cook setup based on what we plan to grill. Thin cuts of meat, burgers, and hot dogs will do well directly over coals, while chicken, ribs, and tougher cuts fare better over indirect heat; lining coals up around the edges of a grill or lighting just half of the gas burners lets us cook over heat but not directly over flame.

The Right Tools for the Right Job

Having the right tools handy for turning, lifting, and saucing meat helps us avoid pitfalls that force us to improvise. Who among us has never dropped a hamburger or hot dog through the cooking grates because we used the wrong tool to turn it or move it? Don’t make things harder than they have to be.

Saucing, and Marinating

Tougher cuts of meat like eye round roast can benefit from marinating, not just for added flavor, but also for tenderizing. Applying BBQ sauce too early can result in charred meat because of the sugars in many sauces. Books and online resources offer great saucing and marinating techniques along with recipes.

Are We There Yet?

Nothing can ruin our anticipation of great BBQ more than meat that is improperly cooked (not to mention health concerns). It’s wise to invest in a good digital instant read thermometer, and learn how to probe various cuts. Learn time and temperature recommendations for the various types of meat as well. With enough experience, aspiring Pit Masters will eventually be able to judge doneness by sight and touch.

Speak the Language

The local butcher is happy to offer advice and suggestions for good BBQ. In time, picking the right meat for our needs becomes second nature once we understand the pros and cons of various cuts. Know the game and its rules so every BBQ brings you another win.

Soon we’ll enjoy a long summer of grilling and BBQ. In the meantime, if the need arises to offer up a memorable feast, but space, time, or confidence are lacking, then we have options! For anything from BBQ catering to personal chef services, we have companies like Foodini’s! Remember too, that while you’re picking at their delicious food, you can also pick their expert brains for tips and techniques directly from seasoned pros.

"Creating Culinary Magic"

- Chef John Deatcher

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