New to grilling and don’t know where to start? Grilling may seem complicated or intimidating at first, but once you get the basics down, you’ll be cooking delicious recipes in no time. Before you fire up the grill, start with these three backyard grilling tips for beginners!
Remember That Timing is Key
Before you jump right into throwing food on the grill, know that grilling is all about timing. Just like cooking in an oven, you’ll want to start by preheating your grill. Set it to medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes and cover it to ensure the grates get nice and hot. This will prevent your food from sticking to the grates and help it cook through evenly.
Another way to make sure your food is cooked evenly is to give it time to sit at room temperature. Don’t throw your meat or vegetables on the grill straight from the fridge. Instead, let them sit for about 10 minutes while you wait for your grill to preheat. And try not to leave the grill unattended for long periods of time, or else your juicy hamburgers may become charred hockey pucks if you forget about them.
Know the Right Temperature for the Right Ingredients
Different types of meats and vegetables cook best at different temperatures and times on the grill. Vegetables and thinner slices of meat should be cooked quickly over direct heat, while larger cuts of meat will need to stay on the grill longer and at higher temperatures. For example, fish is usually cooked on a lower heat of 145° F, while burgers and chicken require up to 165° F. Of course, this varies from food to food, but these are some good guidelines. You might want to pick up a backyard grilling cookbook or follow recipes online while you’re still memorizing the correct temperatures and timing for each type of meat.
Maintain Your Grill and Tools
Get into the habit of maintaining your backyard grill early on to help it last longer and cook the best meal every time. Cleaning your grill after each use will help it perform better and help your food taste better by reducing flare-ups and burn marks. You can do this by heating up your grill to medium heat with the lid closed for about 15 minutes. This will burn off and loosen grease and grime, which you can then scrape off with a wire brush. Keep a wire grill brush and spray bottle near your grilling station for an easy cleaning routine every time.
Grilling is a staple of cookouts, the summer season, and many holidays, so there has never been a better time to get into this cooking method. We hope these three backyard grilling tips for beginners help you start your grilling journey on the right foot and avoid some common grilling mistakes!