10 Tiny Changes You Can Make to Improve Your Grilling
This grilling season might be your best ever!
Whether you’re just learning the grilling basics or are practically a pro, a few tiny changes can instantly upgrade your grill game. Your first tip: Be prepared. No one wants to have to scramble for tongs in front of a bed of hot coals. Having everything in order–veggies chopped, grill tongs ready–will go a long way.
Don’t Skip Cleaning Your Grill
It’s not the most exciting task, but keeping those grates clean is essential. Extra residue can cause food to stick, cling on to unwanted flavors, or worse—start a grease fire. To avoid serious buildup, clean your grill grates regularly.
Add a Hint of Wood Flavoring
You don’t have to spend all day slow-smoking pork to get that smoky wood flavor. In Any Night Grilling, author Paula Disbrowe suggests soaking wood chips, then placing them with your grill’s hot coals. The smoke will bring bold flavor to grilled pork or grilled pizza!
Cut Notches in Your Steaks
To stop grilled steaks from getting that dreaded curl, the Char-Broil Great Book of Grilling suggests adding a few small notches to the fat areas before putting it on the grill. They’ll be perfectly flat and ready for a slab of compound butter.
Use Spatulas to Skin a Salmon
There are so many amazing grilled fish recipes! When you’re cooking it skin-on, the Char-Broil Great Book of Grilling suggests grabbing two spatulas to work some magic. When the salmon’s fully cooked on the skin side, it should be easy to slide a spatula beneath the skin to remove it.
Don’t Form Burger Patties Too Tightly
Our Test Kitchen finds that looser burger patties retain their juices better while grilling. So don’t worry too much about packing the meat into perfect circles–how you cook them is way more important. That’s just one of the most common burger mistakes we see.
Don’t Touch the Food Too Early
As Disbrowe explains in Any Night Grilling, meats should be easy to flip when they’ve spent enough time on the grill. But if you try to flip a beautiful burger too soon, it might stick to the grates. Give your food time before turning!
Use a Two-Zone Fire
You can create direct and indirect heat zones on your grill by putting coals under just one half. That way, you have part of the grill devoted to direct-heat cooking, while the other half is the perfect way to cook indirectly at lower temperatures.
You Don’t Have to Marinate Everything
Think Beyond Meat and Veggies
Grilled vegetables and steaks are wonderful, but your grill can make so much more. Grilled fruit makes a delicious dessert, and it’s the perfect way to end a night of cooking. Between pineapple slices, bananas, apples and other fruits, the possibilities are endless!