Grilling Tips For Beginners: The Complete Guide
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Grilling is definitely one of my favorite ways of cooking. Theres something primitively satisfying about smelling the smoky aroma of charred meat.
At first, grilling might appear complicated and even a bit intimidating. What if I fail? What if the food gets burnt? Come on, relax!
Its not that hard. With the right tips, you can succeed even if you are a beginner!
First, you need to know how to use and maintain your grill and control its temperature. Youll also want to cook the meat so that it has that tasty and crispy surface without burning or overcooking it. Because we are dealing with fire and hot surfaces, safety is also an important aspect to consider.
Learning how to grill is fun! Lets go through the basics of grilling so that you can prepare an awesome meal for your family.
Cool Down Your Grill & Clean
Once you have finished grilling, you would want to make sure that the grill is in the same condition as before you use it. Firstly, you would want to burn any cooked sauce or even food off by turning the heat all the way, letting it cook with its lid down for maybe 15 minutes.
Then, turn the grill off and let it cool down. Once you are sure that it has completely cooled off, clean it properly, as this will help reduce rust and to ensure longevity.;
Deep Cleaning And Check Frequently
Do proper maintenance and deep cleaning frequently, at least every 2 months:
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Should You Use Lighter Fluid Or Not
This one is up to you, but if you ask me lighter fluid isnt really worth it. I mean, yes you get an instant flame and you can start heating the wood or coal right away, no worries about that.
But your food will have a bit of a kerosene tinge to its flavor, especially if you cant help but pour a little more fluid over the coals or wood when it seems like theyre dying down.
This is something my father used to do, and I could always tell when he did it, even if hadnt seen it happening. I could taste it on the food, but then again maybe Ive got very sensitive taste buds.
I say skip the lighter fluid, but if youre in a hurry to get the food done, its definitely going to help. For flavor? Not so much.
Not Fully Preheating The Pellet Grill
You can read this mistake as another weakness of impatience. If you pop food into your oven too early, low heat can result in undercooked or dry food.
However, with a pellet grill, fresh smoke can impart bitter and unpleasant flavors.
Wait until your pellet grill is done smoking excessively. This thick smoke that billows out early on is known as dirty smoke because it makes meat bitter.
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Additional Tips For Barbecuing With Charcoal
- Watch out for the wind direction when setting up the barbecue so that the neighbors are not bothered by the smoke.
- The charcoal barbecue must be equipped with wind protection, preferably on each side of the grill. This prevents the danger of hot ash and sparks being blown about. Position the wind protection to shelters the barbecue, letting the smoke rise straight up.
- The barbecue must stand firmly and securely on the ground, without wobbling.
- Never use lighter fluid to light the coals. Use solid fire-lighters or wax or jelly starters.
- Paper or cardboard should never be used on a barbecue. The coloring agents and glues they contain could be damaging to health. Fir cones should not be used on barbecues either.
How To Make A Hamburger Patty
- Take one pound of ground beef and equally divide into 4 parts.;
- Next, loosely form the quarter pound sized patties by hand.; Dont overwork the meat when forming the patties to prevent dry and tough hamburgers.
- Then, season both sides of the hamburger patties with salt and pepper.
- Keep the hamburger patties refrigerated until youre ready to throw them on the grill
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The first rule of charcoal grilling for beginners and seasoned enthusiasts alike is to be sure to have enough charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal on hand. Check your supply before making other preparations to avoid any inconvenience or disappointment when youre ready to build the fire.
Both types of charcoal have their advantages. Pillow-shaped charcoal briquettes burn longer and generally cost less than lumps. Irregularly shaped hardwood lump charcoal is quicker to light and creates a higher temperature.
Depending on which method you use for starting the fire, make sure that you have lighter fluid, charcoal starter and a lighter available. Use long-handled metal tongs to arrange the hot coals once theyre ready for grilling. You also need a sturdy grill brush to clean the grill grate before placing your food on to cook.
Getting set up to cook on charcoal grills can be a little dusty and messy. Use thick work gloves or grill mitts when removing the cooking grates and when handling charcoal.
Having enough time is another important part of how to charcoal grill. In addition to cooking time, plan on burning the coals for 15- to 20-minutes before they are ready.
For grilling on high heat using a typical charcoal grill, you’ll need about 100 briquettes the capacity of a standard charcoal chimney.
To use a chimney charcoal starter:
To use lighter fluid:
To use an electric starter:
To use instant lighting charcoal:
Recipes For Grilling Indoors
When the weather is too cold to enjoy grilling outdoors, dont let that stop you from having delicious food! Here are some recipes for indoor cooking with your electric grill.
Breakfast-time can be as simple as eggs benedict made in minutes on a preheated surface and lunch could include cajun crawfish boiled in water or cooked on an electric griddle before serving over corn kernels.
Dinner time brings burrito bowls filled with rice, beans, tortillas topped by red onion salsa, and avocado slices all served up hot off an electrically heated device of course! Give these dishes a try if they sound good to you.
I promise they will taste just like outdoor dining without worrying about getting rained out.
You can enjoy delicious food even if there is no grilling outside thanks to this electric stove that helps make life easier by bringing everything indoors using its handy features like cooking space anywhere and temperature control options.
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How To Grill Steak
Steaks are a master class in grilling. Its not that theyre difficult, but they do require some upfront investment and unwavering confidence in your personal grill. Steaks from the grill are even better when you know the areas of your grill that run hot or cold, when you trust the rules of time and temperature, and when you dont rest a grilled steak before slicing it.
Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn’s Skills content. She’s a master of everyday baking, family cooking, and harnessing good light. Meghan approaches food with an eye towards budgeting both time and money and having fun. Meghan has a baking and pastry degree, and spent the first 10 years of her career as part of Alton Brown’s culinary team. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about food and family called Didn’t I Just Feed You.
Very Practical: The Electric Barbecue
Electric barbecues can also be used inside the house so that barbecued dishes can be enjoyed at any time of the year, regardless of the weather or the season.
They work on the same principle as gas barbecues: the lava stones are heated and produce a constant, even heat after a short warming-up period.
Manufacturers have developed a wide range of electric barbecues, from simple table barbecues to combination barbecues with microwave and conventional ovens.
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Smoking Meat And Only Meat
When you think of a pellet smoker, you probably imagine things like rubs, brisket, and even salmon. But the word of pellet grills is much bigger than proteins. You can smoke anything, from vegetables to pastries.
Consider using your smoker for more creative meals, like soups, breads, and sides. We recommend trying a baked mac and cheese.
The Classic Charcoal Grill
The charcoal barbecue is the commonest type. Its chief advantage is its mobility, enabling it to be used easily wherever permitted. Both direct grilling and indirect barbecuing can be carried out on the charcoal barbecue. Indirect grilling, the charcoal is distributed evenly, and the food is placed on a grid above it.
For cooking large pieces such as joints of meat or a chicken, an electric spit is easier because it saves the need to turn the meat continuously by hand.
Strictly speaking, the term barbecuing specifically means cooking indirectly. In this case, the charcoal is stacked to one side, and the grid is covered with a lid or cover so that the air heated by the charcoal surrounds the food evenly.
A spit is not required with indirect heat. This method is used mainly for roasting larger pieces of meat. Recently charcoal barbecuing has been the cause of some concern regarding possible health risks.
When dripping fat burns on the open fire, benzopyrenes can be formed, and the food may absorb these carcinogenic substances. To prevent this from happening, the food can be put on aluminum foil trays on top of the grid instead of directly on the grid itself. These trays are widely available.
Some modern barbecues offer an alternative solution the charcoal can simply be tossed to the side in a container to prevent fumes from developing. The new types of bio-barbecues collect the dripping fat along specially designed rods, transferring it to another container.
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Cooking Times And First Position
Have everything at hand before you put the steaks on so that the grill has your full attention. Keep the grill closed as much as possible to hold in the heat. Before putting on the steaks, take a good look at them. Decide which side you are going to call the “top.”;You will cook the steaks in four positions, timing each change in position.
- 1-inch thick steak:;1;minute per position
- Between 1 and 2-inch steak: 1 1/2 minutes per position
- Less than 3/4-inch steak: 45 seconds per position
Medium Well or Well Done :
- 1-inch thick steak: 2 minutes per position
- Between 1 and 2-inch steak: 3 minutes per position
- Less than 3/4-inch steak: 1 minute per position
For the best results, it’s important to know your grill. Some grills comfortably hit temperatures over 700 F, while others have trouble mustering 500 F. If your grill runs at a lower temperature, you might need to increase these times by as much as double.
To start, open the grill and position the steaks on the grate farthest from youmeaning;the top of the steak is to the back of the grill or at the 12 o’clock position.
With the steaks on the grill, close the lid and start counting the time as indicated above.
Why Grilling Is A Great Way To Cook
Easy, Convenient and Fun
Grilling is one of the easiest, most convenient, and enjoyable ways of cooking. For sure there are complicated recipes and grilling techniques, but many grilled foods are very easy to prepare.
It is an excellent way to prepare food for a large group of people if your grill is big enough. You can also grill many different types of foods at the same time. Beef, chicken, sausage, and various vegetables can very well be grilled simultaneously.
Lets admit it, the taste of perfectly grilled food is heavenly good!
What to do when you get home from work and a bunch of hungry family members are screaming for food? Light up the grill, of course. The high temperature and heat radiation of a grill will cook your hamburgers, chicken breasts or steaks in no time.
Grilling gives you that tasty and crusty surface texture while keeping the inside nice and juicy.
If you are trying to avoid fatty and oily foods, grilling is a perfect option. While a bit of oil can help to avoid the meat from sticking to the grill, you can use much less than what is typical for fried foods.
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Fourth Position And Testing For Doneness
As you prepare to turn the steak for the last time, it’s time to start checking for doneness. The steak should show no red around the side and the top side should have a rich brown color. As you pick the steak up to rotate it 45 degrees , feel the density of the steak. A medium-rare steak should be firm but still have a good amount of give. Close the lid of the barbecue and continue grilling.
After this last position, turn down the heat on your grill and, if needed, test the temperature of the steak. The internal temperatures for different levels of doneness are:
- Rare: 120 to 130 F
- Medium Rare: 130 to 135 F
- Medium: 140 to 150 F
- Medium Well: 155 to 165 F
- Well: 170 F or higher
If your steak needs more cook;time, leave it where it is and continue grilling on medium heat until done.
How To Grill For Beginners A 2021 Throughout Guide
Grilling has ingrained itself into our culture so much that nowadays it is very hard for one not to attend at least one or two grilling parties. However, most of us, quite certainly great at tasting grilling, do not at all understand how the meat is made. Thus, there are times where we hope so much that we get to know exactly how things work and start grilling.
However, many people just starting out on their grilling journey may overlook some fundamentals and mess things up. Hence, we put together this article on how to grill for beginners in the hope of saving you from having to waste lots of time and effort.;
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Not Drying Meat Before Grilling
When cooking skin-on chicken or any meat that hasnt been left in any kind of delicious classic or unusual meat marinade, you want to make sure the meat is dry before you grill it. If youd been brining your meat or if its simply a bit damp, make sure to pat it dry with paper towels before adding spices.
Two: Decide On Direct Or Indirect Heat
What you plan to cook will ultimately determine what style of cooking zone you will require.
First, lets define what both direct and indirect means when it comes to charcoal grilling.
Direct heat is what you get when you are grilling your food directly over top of a bed of lit charcoal.
To set up your charcoal grill for direct cooking simply spread the lit charcoal in a single layer all the way across the charcoal grate. This creates a wide zone of heat to grill your food over. If youre concerned about the potential of a flare up, its helpful to keep a small part of the charcoal free from other charcoal as an area of indirect heat.
When the fire is off to the side of the food, or the food is somehow shielded from direct heat, you are using the power of indirect heat.
When you are using a charcoal grill for indirect cooking it is important to spread the lit charcoal apart on opposite sides of the food. This creates one zone of indirect heat in the middle. You can always use some charcoal baskets to hold your lit charcoal as this makes moving your heat source from direct to indirect so easy and safe!
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Cooking The Perfect Fillet
Fish will cook rapidly and is done once the flesh flakes easily with a fork and appears opaque. If any part of the fish appears translucent, then it should be immediately returned to the grill to cook for another one to two minutes.
Cooking a fish fillet, even when its on the best outdoor electric grill, can be a hassle. Why? Because its more than likely that the fish will end up sticking to the grate and when it does, its can be almost impossible to remove it cleanly from the cooking surface. The delicate texture of the fish when its cooked makes it difficult to remove it neatly from the grate. Most of the time, youll have found that you end up with large chunks and pieces of the fillet, which is definitely not presentation-worthy.
But grilling the perfect fillet is possible. The following steps will allow you to perfectly grill your fish so it will easily be released from the grates surface.
Start by heating up the grate. Next, youll dip a wad of paper towels in oil and hold the wad with a pair of grill tongs, then wipe the grate. You can continue to wipe down the grate with the paper towels and re-dip them in the oil between each application until the grate is nice and glossy. This should be about five times total.
- Next, brush both sides of the fillet with a thin coating of oil
- Season each side of the fish with salt and pepper
- Place the fish on the grate skin side down
Using a couple of spatulas, flip the fish to the other side.