It's that time-so get your grill nice and hot. What better way to build your bandwagon of support than around the smoky flavors of BBQ? We offer up the best tips to make sure your grilling is safe and taste-perfect. Get cookin', people!
We're assuming you've already made a commitment to either gas or charcoal grilling, so we'll jump right in with our best general advice and then provide suggestions for grilling one of our favorite foods: vegetables!
Best General Grilling Tips
1. Make sure all grill parts are in good working order and that your grill rack is clean before each use; we recommend a steal brush.
2. You can lessen what we call the stick-factor by lightly oiling your grill rack before you fire it up. Soak a paper towel with canola oil and rub it over all parts of the rack. Never do this after the grill is heating.
3. Follow the instructions that came with your grill to preheat your grill, so it's nice and hot and ready for cooking. For a charcoal grill, this should take about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the outside temperature. Your charcoal grill is ready when the briquettes have white ash on the outside. Stand back as you put food on the grill, because this can create a momentary flare-up.
4. Use the right equipment to prevent food from falling between the slats of the rack and to keep you safe-long-handled utensils are the best. Some of our favorite grilling tools are a grilling basket and long-handled tongs; if you pierce meats with a fork, you let some of the juices escape. If you use wooden skewers, soak these in water before skewering foods and grilling.
5. Remember that grilling is often where cross contamination of raw and cooked foods occurs. And this is something you want to avoid.
- Use different plates/platters/cutting boards/forks/brushes/spatulas for foods before they go on the grill and after the foods come off-or give a good clean with hot, soapy water in-between use.
- Marinades used for meats should be thrown away once the food is put on the grill (if you want to baste while grilling, make a separate batch of marinade that doesn't come into contact with the raw meat). Btw, marinating is a healthy, popular choice when grilling because it boosts flavor and can prevent the formation of carcinogens.
6. Use a thermometer to gauge when meat is cooked to a safe temperature.
7. Let meat rest about 10 minutes after coming off the grill-you keep the juices in this way.
Best Vegetable Grilling Tips
1. Cook veggies on a medium-high heat.
2. Leave the skin on vegetables-don't peel. And keep veggies in larger chunks, not bite-sized pieces.
3. Use a grill basket or skewer vegetables onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in water.
4. Brush canola oil or extra virgin oil over the vegetables before grilling.
5. Watch the vegetables closely as you're grilling, because cooking time can be quick. Turn the vegetables once or twice during grilling.
Cajun Grilled Corn Recipe & A Slightly Different Prep
- Melt about 1 teaspoon butter or margarine for each ear of corn you are preparing.
- Stir in 1/8 teaspoon Cajun spice and a pinch of salt to the melted butter/margarine for each ear of corn you are preparing-mix well.
- Brush the butter mixture all over clean, whole cobs of corn.
- Wrap each cob tightly in aluminum foil and place on a preheated grill for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Turn twice during grilling.
Other Mouthwatering Grill Recipes
We hit the world wide web, weeded out the not-so-great, and landed on some get-your-grill-ready-now recipes! Click here for superfast, 20 minutes or less barbecuing. And then there's the likes of light and lean BBQ, BBQ chicken pizza and Korean BBQ burgers right here. Just in case you feel like taking a walk on the swankier side of grilling, check out these recipes.