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Top 25 Grilling Tips For an Amazing BBQ

Here are my top 25 Grilling Tips to make sure that next BBQ is something special.

It’s that time of the year again.  One only has to be outside around 6 pm to smell the aromas of someone in the neighborhood having a grill out.

But just putting something on the grill does not mean that your BBQ will be a success.

Keep reading to learn more about my top grilling tips.

25 top grilling tips for an amazing barbecue -

Make your next BBQ a success with these top 25 Grilling Tips.

1. Room Temperature Meat.  At the top of the list of my grilling tips is making sure the meat is the right temperature.

One of the biggest mistakes that happens on the grill is when you take the meat out of the fridge and immediately cook it.

Let it come to room temperature first.  That will ensure that the grill won’t have to work hard to get the center of the meat cooked the way you like it.Bring Meat to room temperature before grillilng

2. Preheating is a Must.  The same goes for the grill. Don’t expect it to work efficiently and cook the meat properly if part of the cooking time is spent in the grill warming up.

When you use a gas grill be sure to preheat the grill first, just like you do an oven.  Also, cooking times in recipes are always from a standing start on a preheated grill. With charcoal grilling, the grill heats up naturally.preheat the grill for a great BBQ3. Flavor the meat.  Sure, you can take a steak or some chicken and just pop it on the grill and it will taste okay. But okay is not what we are after here.

A great dry rub, or a special marinade will go a long way towards making sure that your protein is the talk of the party, instead of just blah.caribbean jerk dry rub4. Add some smoke flavor.  The appeal of a BBQ is the flavor of smoke on the cooked meat. It really doesn’t matter whether you use gas or charcoal, always add some use hardwood logs, chunks, briquettes, or chips to give the meat a smoky flavor.

There are also difference to the smoke of different wood varieties too. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Apple wood is great for adding sweetness, mesquite is great for a tangy flavor, and hickory can add a bacon like taste to the meat.logs add a smokey flavor to a bbq

5. Leave it and forget it.  Well, not exactly,  but it does take time for the meat to develop a caramelized crust that is so appealing in a good grill.

If you are constantly turning and flipping the meat, it won’t have a chance to develop this.  Also, don’t squash the burgers.

Doing so makes the fat fall down onto the grill and dries out the meat.  If this chicken had been repeatedly flipped over, it would not have formed this delicious looking crust!grilled chicken

6. Invest in some good BBQ tools. There are lots of great tools that you can use for grilling.  Silicone pastry brushes and utensils will withstand a very high heat. And be sure to protect your hands.

BBQ gloves will withstand up to 662ºF. You can handle grill plates, tools and pots with ease with these heat resistant gloves!

7. Create heat Zones.  This is one of my favorite grilling tips for those that BBQ with a grill that uses coals, bank them in the middle. This will allow you to grill perfectly in the middle of the meat which is normally the thickets.

Then move the items to the outside where there is less heat to finish. (also good to cook buns around the outside too!)bank your coals for the best grilll

8. Rest the meat after cooking.  If you cut the meat too soon after cooking it will result in all the juices running out.

Keep them in the meat (and keep the flavor in) by letting the meat rest for a few minutes before you serve meat before serving

9. Grease the Grill Grates after cleaning. This is especially important if you plan to grill fish or other meats with a low fat content.

Greasing the grill grates will help to keep the food from sticking.

Silicone pastry brushes that withstand high heat are great for this purpose. (affiliate link) They are also great for basting during cooking with marinades and sauces.grease your grill before using

10. Start with a Clean Grill.  You would not want to cook in the same frying pan indoors without cleaning it between uses would you?

Why should the grill be any different? Previous grilling will leave your grill plates coated with grease, and meat particles.

To ensure the cleanest taste to the food, use a grill brush to clean the grill plates before you add the next round on meats.clean bbq grill plate

11. Time it and check to make sure.  Sure it is easy to say five minutes for rare, or whatever, but this means that everything must be exactly the same size.

Don’t leave it to chance.  Use a digital meat thermometer to make sure that your meat is perfectly grilled every time. (affiliate link.)use a meat timer for best results

12. Go with Charcoal. I know all of you will groan on this one, but trust me, charcoal gives a better BBQ flavor than gas.

Gas BBQs won’t give you the smokey flavor that you want from cooking outdoors without the addition of some special chips.

Yes, it is not as instant, but these tips are for the perfect grill, remember?charcoal

13. Make your own burgers.  My local BJs club has a great deal on burgers. But unless I am doing a BBQ at the last minute, I resist buying them and make my own burgers.

There really is no comparison in taste when the burger is done.

GRILLING TIPS:  make an indentation in the burgers when you form them. Why?

When hamburger patties cook, they shrink. When they shrink the edges tend to break apart which will cause cracks to form in the patty.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, you need the burger patty to be thinner in the middle than it is around the edges. This will give you an even patty once it has finished cooking.make your own burgers

Grilling is such a fun way to entertain with friends, but you have to do more than just put some meat on the grill. Read on for more tips!

25 tips for a perfect grill. Go Easy on the Vegetables.  Grills can make a mess of veggies if you leave them on too long.

For the best results just lightly char them and then add seasonings, or olive oil later for some extra taste.Grilled vegetables

15. Use a grill basket.  Delicate foods like fruit, veggies, and fish are better cooked over the grill using a grill basket.

You can also place shish kebabs in one of these and turn them all in one piece instead of individually.

Use a grill basket for fish

Photo credit: Flickr

16. Don’t Fan the Flames. The flames will flare up if you are slopping with oil based marinades, squish your burgers(don’t do it!) or have extra fatty meat.

Trim your meat of excess fat first and have a water bottle handy to use in case of flare ups.Don't fan the flames

17. Go for the grill marks.  Nothing says BBQ like perfectly placed grill marks on the meat.

To get them, place the meat on the grill at a 12 o’clock angle, and then rotate it to a 3 o’clock angle to get diamond marks before you flip the first time.Grill marks on cooked food

18. Safety first.  Keep these simple rules from the USDA in mind: avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards for cooked and raw meats. The same goes for utensils and platters.

When your meat it cooked, don’t put it back in the raw juices. Put it on a clean platter. Don’t baste with the marinating liquid. Make extra just for this purpose. Safety first with cooked and raw meats

19. Add the rub early.  The meat needs to come to room temperature anyway. Add the rub when you take it out of the fridge and let it sit while you wait for the meat to come to room temp.

Add your spice rub early

Photo credit Wikipedia commons

20. Add the BBQ sauce at the very end.  Most BBQ sauces are very high in sugar which will burn easily.

Adding it in the last few minutes of the cooking time will give great flavor, but not char the meat.Add BBQ sauce at the end of the cooking time.

21. Don’t be afraid of mistakes.  Some of my best grilling experiences (and some of the worst…) came from experiments in sauces and marinades.

Also, who wants the same grill every time? Experiment!Don't be afraid to experiment. Practice makes perfect.

22. The Charcoal matters.  I know that using charcoal takes time, but pass right by the type that is labeled “match to light.” This is sprayed in lighter fluid and this will end up in your meat.  Buy good quality charcoal and be patient.

Instead of lighter fluid (which does NOT burn off, no matter what they say), use a chimney lighter. To use one of these, you You place paper in the bottom of it and charcoal in the top.

After a few minutes you will have a lit charcoal that you can just pour onto the bed of charcoal to get your fire started.

chimney starter

Photo credit Wikipedia

23. Don’t over crowd the grill.  A great grill needs space around the foods to cook well. If the grill plate it too crowded it will impede the flow of air ad the food is more likely to burn.

This one is too crowded.  Cook the meat in turns instead.Don't crowd your food on the grill

24. Hold off on the alcohol.  One of the fun parts of a friendly BBQ is having a drink with some friends. But hold off on the alcohol until you are done cooking.  Trust me on this one….Hold off on the alcohol until the grilling is done

25. End with a clean up.  Make it easier to start the next time. Turn off the grill and let it cool down.  Scrape the grill with the wire brush.

Next time all that will be needed is some oiling. clean barbeque grill

And most of all have fun!

Do you have some BBQ grilling tips you would like to share?  Please leave them in the comments section below. I’d love to add them to my post.

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Tim Pitts

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Nicely put together. Always room for improvement when it comes to BBQing. Many thanks, Tim

Zoe Campos

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Thank you for reminding me to use a dry rub or marinate the meat before cooking it in order to achieve a perfectly seasoned and cooked BBQ. We're thinking of celebrating my husband's birthday by having a barbecue party in our front yard and invite our neighbors. It might be a good idea to look for some propane delivery services as early as now to ensure that we'll have ample supplies for cooking,

Thomas Peterson

Tuesday 9th of July 2019

Greasing the grill grates to help prevent food from sticking is a great idea. I've been wanting to throw a summer barbecue and wanted to make sure it's a great cooking experience. I'll have to remember to grease the grill grates after cleaning it and get a silicone pastry brush to help cook with this bbq meat pit sauce I got for sale!

Jo Bass

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Really helpfull tips

Hannah Neilson

Tuesday 26th of June 2018

Thanks for the tip about having room temperature meat when grilling. It would probably make the meat cook easier if they are at room temperature. You may also want to invest in good grilling papers to make it turn out well.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."