I was confused by this even as a teen, when I would grill for my mom. I started grilling at around 15, now, granted, I was "the boy" of my family. With just two girls, someone had to take those tasks, like mowing the lawn and hanging up the Christmas lights. I didn't even realize that these were strange things for me to do until I became an adult and discovered that I was unusual.
I can still remember a conversation I had with a friend, in the second year of my marriage. She had been married for 25 years longer than myself and she was amazed that I BBQ'd. I asked, why, don't you? She laughed and said that her husband handled the grill and she did the cooking inside, and then said she didn't even know how to use her grill.
So, if you are in her shoes, and view the grill as a "man's tool", let me remind you that it is an outdoor stove, and during the warmer months, is the most ideal place to cook! You don't heat up your kitchen, you can be outside with your kids while they play and grilled food tastes SO GOOD!
So here are a few tips on how to grill like a pro!
Like my fancy grill? A little duct tape on the handle shows that my grill is well loved!
Tip One: Learn to control the heatIf you have a gas grill, you have NO excuse to not know how to make it work! Turn the gas on, light the burners and heat it up! With a Charcoal Grill, it is a little more challenging. I never really cared for the flavor of lighters fluid in my chicken. So, I discovered starters like this:
Both allow you to light your briquettes without any extra chemicals. Both can be found at your nearest home improvement store during the summer months. (Near the Charcoal and BBQs). To use them and a charcoal grill here are some tips:
- Allow 20 minutes for the briquettes to get hot.
- Spread them out to form one layer.
- Place your grill above them and close the lid to the BBQ for 5 minutes before quickly scraping the grill with a grill brush.
- Check the temperature of the briquettes with the hand test. Hold your hand above the grill (don't touch it, it will be hot enough to burn you) and count "one one thousand", "two one thousand", "three one thousand", until 5. If you can reach five before your hand becomes too hot to leave there, move the grill closer to the briquettes. Ideally, between 4 and 5 is the perfect temperature. If you have to snatch your hand away after 3, close the lid and vents to cool the briquettes down for a few minutes.
Tip 2: You might need more seasoningI am not sure why it seems this way, but I always feel like I need more seasoning when I cook on a grill. I would guess because the food doesn't really cook in the seasoning, it's just there, on the skin.
Tip 3: Use a timerIf you are anything like me, you will not stand beside a hot grill while you are waiting for the food to finish, you will be off watering plants or inside the kitchen getting the rest of the food prepped. Be sure to use a timer so you don't forget to turn or remove your meat (or veggies - mmmm grilled veggies!)
The amount of time completely depends on the thickness of the meat and what you are cooking. Chicken with the bone in, for example, takes two times longer on the grill than a boneless chicken breast. A tri-tip might take 30 minutes, while steak should only take 12-15 minutes. Look for and follow the recipes!
- You also must learn about indirect cooking on a grill! Put the briquettes in a ring around the edge, but not in the middle, and put your meat there. This works for turkeys, whole chickens, ribs and other similar meats. You keep the briquettes hot by adding cold briquettes to the hot, and they will keep heating new ones!