Grilling Tips

Here in America, we spend a lot of time outside grilling, so it’s not surprising that one my most popular e-mail requests is for grilling tips. One of the benefits of using a gas grill is that you’ve got great temperature control. For example, you can have one side of your grill set at high, and the other set at a lower temperature. 

My Top 7 Grilling Tips and Tricks

Grilling Tip No. 1 

Use proper tools. Some of my favorites are hot pads or oven mitts, metal and bamboo skewers, instant read thermometer — you’ll want this for your thicker pieces of tri tip. Other important pieces of equipment are a large metal spatula, commercial grade tongs, small metal spatula for fish, a wire brush for cleaning and a small kitchen towel for wiping oil on the grill. 

Grilling Tip No. 2 

Set one side of your grill at high heat. You can tell its at the right temperature by using this method. Hold your hand about 2 inches above the grill. If you can’t keep it there more than 2 seconds, that’s high. If you can hold it only 3 seconds, that’s medium high, 4-5 seconds is medium and 6 seconds is medium low and 7 seconds or longer is low. 

Grilling Tip No. 3 

Oil the grill. Once your grill is at its highest temperature, you’ll want to season the grill. I like to pour some olive oil on a kitchen towel and, with my tongs, wipe down the grill. 

Grilling Tip No. 4

Sear the Meat. Let your meat sear 2-3 minutes on each side over high heat, then transfer the steak to the low heat and close the lid and let it continue to cook until your desired temperature. 

Grilling Tip No. 5

Check for doneness. There are several ways to tell if your food is cooked. I use the hand method for steaks (see my separate video). Beef and lamb is cooked medium rare at about 150 F and 170 F for well done. Fish is done when it is opaque but still moist in the center and the flesh begins to flake. For chicken pieces, make a cut into the meat and be sure there is no traces of pink near the bone. Pork should reach an internal temperature of 150 F and the meat should be opaque but moist. 

Grilling Tip No. 6 

Let it Rest. After cooking your meats, cover it loosely with foil and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to settle. 

Grilling Tip No. 7

Clean the grill. As soon as your food is done and you’ve removed it from the grill, let the grill burn off with the lid closed for about 5 minutes. Next, I scrub the grill with a wire brush and turn off the heat so it’s ready for my next barbecue.