As the temperatures warm up the grills are coming out for everything from weekday dinners and large parties. Grilling is a great way to make food preparation easy, healthy and move the party to the out of doors. Before you fire up the grill this season read through these grilling tips and tricks to help make your next grilled meal a big hit!

  • Keeping your grill clean helps reduce fire danger and maintain taste-heating the grill on high for 10-15 minutes before or after each use helps burn off excess grease. Thoroughly clean under the grates twice a year.
  • Need to clean your grill but can’t find a grill brush? No problem! Just crumble up some aluminum foil and rub back and forth over the grill!
  • A light coat of olive oil prior to cooking will help grilled veggies stay juicy and avoid sticking to the grill.
  • A grill pan is perfect for cooking delicate fish or smaller veggies on the grill.
  • To avoid burgers that are overly “poofy” in the middle push the back of a spoon into the middle before cooking. The indentation will grow larger as the burger cooks and create an even final product!
  • When making marinades stick to a 1:3 ratio of acidity to oil-the acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar help to tenderize the meat while the oils keep the food moist.
  • Marinating food for more than 2 hours can cause a mushy result, most foods are perfectly seasoned with 30 minutes to 2 hours in the marinade.
  • Never use water to try to extinguish out of control flames on a grill-the water can splatter and cause further damage and burns. The fastest way to control flame flare-ups is to simply put the lid on the grill to reduce the oxygen to the fire or remove the food and let the flames burn down on their own.
  • Allowing your grill to heat up for 20 minutes prior to adding your meat allows for more even cooking.
  • Resist the urge to turn your meat repeatedly, flipping meats just one or two times is optimal to sear the surface and optimal taste!

What are your favorite grilled dishes? Have you brought the grill out yet this year?