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8 Tips To Grill Like A Pro

April 5, 2013 10 Comments

grilling outside

Become A Better Grill Master With These Simple 8 Tips

I’m often asked by home cooking enthusiasts how to grill like the pros do. My first response is always practice, practice, practice. Think about it, professional chefs working the grill station on any given night may cook dozens of steaks. That adds up to hundreds a steaks each week cooked to desired temperatures rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well.

I would imagine if you cooked dozens of steaks or dozens of chicken breasts or hundreds of fish filets each week, you would be an expert and be able to cook them with your eyes closed. Reality sets in and you may cook a couple of steaks once a week or twice a month so how can you be sure you’ll get it right.

Nothing beats experience or the opportunity to cook one thing many times over and over but that doesn’t mean you can improve your grilling technique.

Here are 8 tips that I think will make you a better home griller and improve your chances of putting perfectly cooked steaks on the table every time. Combine this with experience and you’ll be grilling like a pro.

Gas or Charcoal

In my opinion, grilling over gas and grilling over charcoal are two entirely different experiences. Grilling over gas is like cooking in the house on a gas stove except you are outside.

It’s easier and faster to cook on a gas grill but you can only get the grill racks as hot as the grill is rated in btu’s. Great for lots of items that don’t need a lot really hot grill and perfect when you are in a hurry but not so good if you want that real smokey flavor.

Grilling over charcoal takes a little bit longer to get the fire started and get the grill hot but once it’s ready to go, you can control the heat by adding move coals or moving them into a confined area.

Not everything you cook needs such intense heat but it’s nice to have when you need it. You also get the added benefit of smoke produced when using real charcoal.

These tips work for either gas or charcoal. No matter what method you use at your house, following these tips will make you a better griller.

#1. Start with a Clean Grill

g clean grill


Nothing makes grilling less fun than opening the cover and finding a messy grill with the racks caked with barbecues past. I’ve seen grills so impenetrable with baked on gooey barbecue sauce that I’m surprised the heat can get through the rack.

And how about when in the middle of grilling, the grease stuck to the sides of the grill and the grease trap catch fire only to make your grilling experience even more challenging.

Keep your grill clean! It allows the heat to transfer better, prevents fires and just makes you feel like a better cook. The best way to start with a clean grill? Finish with a clean grill.

When the grill is hot, it is a lot easier to clean so be sure to pull out your grill brush and give it a clean before you head inside to eat.

Last modified on Fri 24 May 2019 12:59 pm

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Comments (10)

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  1. LNWeaver says:

    That’s a good point that a gas grill will only get as hot as it’s rated in btu’s. Charcoal lets you control the heat more directly. You can also take charcoal wherever you go.

  2. Todd says:

    Some great points – especially “don’t play with your food”. That was one of the things I had hard time with when I started grilling. I would get worried it was burning so I kept moving it around, flipping, etc. Just leave it be! 🙂

  3. Lisa Thompson says:

    Great points!

    If you haven’t ever tried Porter & York Brand Meats, you might want to give it a try. They ship their meat out in special packaging designed to keep the fresh, never frozen, beef that has been raised naturally (grass fed, grain finished). I was able to cut one of their filet mignon’s with a fork. Delicious.

  4. Ashley Turns says:

    I’m planning on getting my husband a new grill pro for his birthday. So thanks for the suggestion that he should use some oil or something else to grease up the grill unless what you’re cooking has already been using oil for something. I’ll be sure that the hamburgers and hot dogs we make on his birthday with his new pro tool are cooked on an oiled up grates.

  5. Deb Pearl says:

    I am getting my husband a grill for his birthday and I wanted to include some tips with it so he can learn how to grill like a pro. These are all wonderful tips! I didn’t know about grill zones before! That’s cool that you can get direct heat and indirect heat to help cook the food. Thanks for the tips! I’m sure these will help my husband cook like a pro!

  6. Hilmy M. says:

    Wonderful points especially on grilling techniques. Surely using charcoal is more convenient in managing the heat transfer, but both have advantages and disadvantages. thanks for sharing.

  7. william says:

    One reason to not use olive oil is that it smokes/burns at a lower temperature than Canola or Safflower.

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