How to Be a Grill Master – 4 Frank Tips for Better Grilling

At our house we believe that anything cooked inside can be mastered outside on the grill. There is nothing like the flavor of food cooked on an outdoor grill. Also, being the domestic goddess I am, food cooked outside means less mess inside! I love cooking out! My husband is the “Grill Master” in our home. Whenever I get near the grill, I am shoo-ed away. Recently, he was detained at work and it was my turn to work the grill. Finally, the “coach” put me in and it was my turn to show my stuff! There are some basic things I’ve learned when it comes to grilling. Although I prefer when my husband works the grill, I can get by with these 4 simple steps.

Always, Always pre-heat your grill! Gas grills take less time to heat up than traditional charcoal grills, but in either case, pre-heating is essential. Not only does this get the temperature consistent, but it also helps clean and sterilize the grill from previous use. For gas grills, simply put all burners on high and wait about 10 minutes. After that 10 minutes is up, reduce the heat to your desired cooking level and you’re all set!

Don’t Poke It! I remember my grandfather telling me that the only thing that should make a hole in meat is your teeth! When turning meat on the grill, use a spatula or tongs. Every hole you put in your grilling meat lets moisture escape. Now who wants a dried out steak?

Wood Chips are often way under-rated. I never thought much of adding wood chips to our grill. Honestly, I thought it was a “gimmick”. That was my thinking until one night when my husband cooked me a wonderful piece of beef that had such an incredible flavor to it. I asked him what he did different. He added some Jack Daniels Wood Smoking Chips to his grilling routine and what a difference it made! For best results, soak the wood chips (or chunks) in water for at least 20 minutes, then drain and place in a smoker box. No smoker box? Go ahead and use a foil pan with holes poked in the bottom. Place the box (or pan) below the grid before you pre-heat the grill. Trust me, you will love it!

Grilling doesn’t always have to be “Fast Food”. Yes, grilling out can be a quick way to cook meat and vegetables, but have you ever tried slow cooking on your grill? This is called “indirect cooking” and it is an excellent way to cook large cuts of meat. For indirect cooking, turn one burner on and all the rest off. Place your food over the burners that are off. For a large roast, try searing the roast over a burner first and then moving it to an unheated side of the grill. If you put a drip pan under the meat and fill it with wine and herbs, you will fall in love with the flavor it creates! Absolutely delicious and well worth the extra time it takes!

I may not be a Grill Master like my husband is, but I am slowly learning the secrets and have become an acceptable “back-up” Grill Master.

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