11 Helpful Tips for Great Grilling

A tri-tip steak on a round barbecue with peppers and green onions.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, all we want to is stay outside and grill, grill, grill! Cooking food over an open fire is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures — if you set yourself up for success. But don’t worry…if your skills are feeling rusty, or you just want a refresher course on grilling fundamentals, then keep reading.

Our Tips

  1. Get Fuel Ahead of Time

    1. "Always be prepared" is a good motto to follow when it comes to grilling. Get your propane, wood, or charcoal well ahead of time.

  2. Keep the Grill (at least) 5 Feet from the House

    1. While each grill manufacturer has its own guidelines, we suggest you keep yours at least 5 feet away from any house walls and 10 feet from other flammable objects.

  3. Don't Ever Leave the Grill Unattended

    1. Do not leave the grill unattended, period. In case the grill accidentally catches fire, an adult should always be around to extinguish it quickly. Also, this helps with keeping children and pets safely away from the grill.

  4. Preheat the Grill

    1. Preheat your grill for a minimum of 15 minutes before cooking, getting the grates to the proper temperature ensures your food doesn’t stick.

  5. Start with a Clean Grill

    1. Don’t let weeks of charred chicken skin leave an unexpected taste on your grass-fed, grass-finished NY strip steak. After preheating the grill, simply use a metal brush to clean the grates.

  6. Tame the Flame

    1. Flare-ups can burn your meat, so keep the lid on as much as possible to limit the oxygen inside the grill. If the flames get out of control, don’t worry — just move the meat to indirect heat until the flames subside.

  7. Don't Touch—Don't Move the Food Around

    1. Did your mother chide you for playing with your food? Well, you shouldn’t play with your pasture-raised meat on the grill, either! Pro tip: the less you flip your meat, the better and more browned your exterior crust will be.

  8. Use a Digital Thermometer

    1. Take the guesswork out by starting with the right equipment, whether you are using a gas or charcoal grill. There are a myriad of tales about how to tell if meats are done, but the sure-fire way to do it is with a digital, instant-read thermometer — an invaluable tool for grilling. For around just $10, you can go from zero to hero.

  9. Don’t Put Cold Food on a Hot Grill

    1. Allowing your meat to come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes before grilling will help it cook more evenly.

  10. Slightly Undercook

    1. Meat continues to cook after it leaves the grill, so plan for the temperature to still go up about five degrees after removing it from the heat.

  11. Rest All Meat

    1. When given the time to rest, the meat retains more juice and will be even tastier and juicier! The time needed will depend on the size of the cut, but generally, five minutes (seared steak) to fifteen minutes (whole chicken) after cooking will do it, with larger cuts being rested longer.


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