1. NEVER puncture that poor meat. It’s been through enough to make it to your grocery store and then to your house. Give it a break now and use tongs. Why you ask? When you puncture the flesh of steak or even chicken breasts before, during or too soon after grilling, you give those natural juices a path to escape. The result? Jerky…
2. NEVER cut into that meat too soon. Extending the first rule, always give that meat a few minutes to rest after grilling before you cut. Those internal juices have been through some trauma, give them a chance to redistribute.
3. NEVER let down your guard while grilling. Once you put that meat or those veggies on the grill you are responsible for their cooking. If there is a flare up and you aren’t there, shame on you, you just created charcoal…
4. NEVER neglect your grill’s grates. Keep them clean and take the time after grilling to clean them with soap and water. They will last a lot longer and letting food bits dry and pile up on those grates is just nasty…
5. NEVER get caught halfway through grilling without fuel. This is especially true with gas grilling. Invest in a good gauge like this gauge and know how much fuel you have at all times. Also, keep an extra bottle of propane full and on hand so you can swap them out in the middle of a grill session.
6. NEVER let that meat stick, keep those grates lubricated. Clean grill grates help out here, but also make sure you oil your grates before grilling. This is easy, just hold a folded up paper towel with tongs, dip it in cooking oil and rub the grates.
7. NEVER baste too early with a marinade containing sugar. The most popular culprit here is barbecue sauce. BBQ sauce is loaded with sugar. If you baste too early, that sugar will burn and you will create a coocoon of charcoil. Add the sauce right at the end of grilling, when the meat only has a few minutes left.
8. NEVER grill without a cup of water or a squirt bottle of water on hand. Flare-ups are caused by fat dripping onto the grill. Lean meats like chicken breasts don’t cause many flare-ups, but most other meats do. Man your post, be a firefighter and put out those flare ups by sprinkling a tiny bit of water or squirting the flames with your squirt bottle of water when the flare-ups ocur. Don’t overdo it, it doesn’t take much water.
9. NEVER place your meat on the grill until the grill has had enough time to heat up. One of the keys to juicy meat is to sear the outside of the meat first to lock in the juices. If you put the meat on too early, you risk the meat drying out. For direct high heat grilling, you shouldn’t be able to hold your hand a few inches over the grates for more than 5 seconds.
10. NEVER leave the lid open or open the lid too often when indirect cooking large cuts of meat like whole chickens. Just like the oven in your house, you are letting all of the heat escape each time you open the lid. Remember, if you are lookin’, you aren’t cookin’ (for indirect cooking). Speaking of ovens, did you know you could turn your grill into a pizza oven? Check out our VillaWare Pizza Grill review for details!
Remember these rules and you will be on your way to grilling mastery!