BBQ Grilling Tips

Get Ready For Grilling

Before you even turn on the grill, there are some important tools you need to get the job done right. Here are the ones you’ll want to keep handy:

  • Meat thermometer to ensure the proper doneness of your food
  • Long-handled tongs and spatula so you don’t burn yourself
  • Oven mitts
  • Spray bottle of water to assist with flare-ups with your favorite wood chips
  • BBQ brush with a long handle to apply BBQ sauce
  • Timer to help keep you on track for following your recipe
  • BBQ cleaning brush or foil to clean the grates after the grill has cooled down.

Tip: Look for heatproof handles before buying long-handled brushes, tongs and spatulas and hold them first to feel if they are too heavy.

Preparing Your Grill

  • If you have the space, purchase an extra propane tank just in case you run out of gas during grilling.
  • Before grilling, get organized and place all your ingredients and a serving plate on a tray, side shelf or nearby table.
  • Make sure grill grids are cleaned off before starting the grill.
  • After cleaning the grids, brush them with vegetable oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray before you turn the grill on.

Barbecue Sauces

  • Apply any sauces containing sugar, brown sugar, honey or molasses during the last 10 minutes and reduce heat to low to prevent burning.
  • Ever hear of the term “a mop”? A mop is a sauce (usually a light one) that is brushed on during cooking over low heat for a long period of time. The mop sauce keeps the meat moist.
  • Barbeque sauce is more complex than you think! Here are four types that you may (or may not) have come across in your travels:
  1. White BBQ sauce comes from Alabama and is mayonnaise based.
  2. North Carolina BBQ sauce is vinegar based.
  3. South Carolina BBQ sauce is mustard based.
  4. Virginia BBQ sauce is tomato based.

Helpful Hints about Grilling
After the grill is hot, here are some tips to help you grill a masterpiece:

  • Leave room around each piece of food for even cooking and smoking.
  • Turn meat just once. When steak juices run clear, your meat is well done.
  • To add different flavors, put a drip pan filled with vegetables and liquid such as beer, wine or water under the meat. The drippings will drip onto the vegetables to heighten their flavor.
  • Dry rubs add wonderful flavor to your meat or poultry and they also help break down the meat’s connective tissue to tenderize the meat.
  • It’s a good idea to leave one burner off to have an area to move your food to if it starts overcooking or burning.
  • To make the perfect grill marks, preheat your grill to 300° then place all your steaks on the grill going in the same direction. Cook 2 minutes and rotate steaks 90 degrees to create a crisscross pattern. Finish cooking the steaks to desired doneness.
  • Always let large pieces of meat, thick chops or steaks “rest” or “sit” for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Smoking Foods

  • Use hardwoods like apple, cherry, hickory, maple, mesquite or pecan for smoking. Hardwoods burn longer and add more flavor.
  • Combine hardwood chips for a different smoke flavor. Write down the type of wood chips and the amounts used, so if you like the smoke flavor you can produce it again.
  • Smoking foods adds flavor and a crust to meat. It also helps to break down the connective tissue to tenderize tougher cuts of meat.
  • Completely grilled smoked foods can have a pink or red color. Make sure to check your food with a meat thermometer to ensure the correct cooked temperature of your food.
  • Remember to add 15 minutes of grilling time every time you look under the cover of the grill when using the SmokeStation™ wood-chip drawer.
  • Smoked foods make great leftovers, since the smoke flavor is still developing one to two days in the refrigerator after grilling.

Grilling and Food Safety

  • Grills should be placed a distance from your house and trees. Always stay by the grill whenever something is cooking.
  • When lighting your grill, always have the cover or hood in the up position to let air circulate.
  • Do not reuse any plate that has held raw meat, fish or poultry. Bacteria from the raw food will contaminate the cooked food and may cause food poisoning.
  • Never save and reuse a marinade that you used on raw meat or poultry because it is contaminated. If you want to reuse it after cooking the meat, you must bring the leftover marinade to a boil and boil for at least 5 minutes.
  • Always marinate meat, poultry or seafood in a zipper-closed plastic bag or on a glass dish. When marinating, turn foods over in the plastic bag or dish for even flavoring.
  • Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to help prevent the skewers from burning when making kabobs or foods that require wooden skewers.

After You’re Finished Grilling

  • After you are finished grilling, leave the gas on for five minutes to “cook” the stuck-on food particles. This helps release the particles, making the grids much easier to clean.
  • Wait to clean your grill grids after the grill has cooled down completely. The grids need to be cleaned well so your next grilling doesn’t taste like the marinade you used last time.
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