1- Grilling Methods

direct vs indirect grilling
Image Credit: GrillersSpot

There are many, diverse methods of grilling depending upon the type of heat source you are using. 

Furthermore, it also depends upon the food that needs to be prepared such as poultry or steaks. The most commonly use methods of grilling are as follows:

Direct Heat:

Direct heat grilling is perhaps the most common of all grilling methods. In this method, food items are directly placed over the heat to ensure quick cooking. Charcoal is the preferred heat source for this method but gas and wood are also commonly used heat sources. 

Direct heat is mostly preferred for searing and considered an ideal method to sear foods for sealing flavors. Steaks, sausages, hamburgers, and kebabs can also be cooked on direct heating as these require less than 30 minutes time to be fully done.

Indirect Heat:

Indirect grilling, as the name suggest, is where food is not directly placed over the heat source but is cooked indirectly such as wrapped in a foil. The food is covered in a lid most of the time and temperature is kept low to ensure that it is cooked through. 

This is the same method that most ovens use to roast or bake. This method is most suitable to cook whole chicken or turkey, lamb leg and other full roasts. Sometimes a combination of direct and indirect heating is used in which food items are firstly seared over direct heat and then cooked on low heat indirectly.

Smoking:

It is a grilling technique that needs expertise to be performed and can only be done outdoors. Smoking can be done on gas grilling or charcoal grilling. The method involves cooking foods at low heat in a covered chamber for long time and then especial wood chips, pellets or chunks are used for smoking. Smoked foods get a distinct smoky flavor, which is why the technique is dubbed as smoking.

Rotisserie Grilling:

Also known as split roasting, it is a popular method of grilling in which food is placed in a special chamber that has a rotating skewer or a motorized turn spit. Special infrared burners or ceramic burners are used to create indirect heat for cooking food but a basic charcoal fire may also be helpful for rotisserie grilling.

Nowadays, grills come with a built-in motor for rotating the food but if your grill doesn’t have one, you easily buy after-market motors. Rotisserie grilling is best suited to cook whole chicken or birds and ribs.

Infrared Grilling:

Believe it or not but infrared grill is a technique shrouded in mystery because nobody knows a thing about it. It is the preferred method of industry experts for producing heat at bonfires while on the go as blowing wind doesn’t affect the heat generated from infrared like it does with wood planks. 

Modern day ceramic burners commonly use infrared burners and can create very high heat to melt all the fat from the meat.

Grilling Ways Explained:

There are many ways to grill but the most common ones are charcoal, gas and wood.

Charcoal Grilling:

It would be safe to say that charcoal grilling is the oldest way of grilling, and probably the most popular one even today. It ensures that food can be grilled in a variety of ways. You may use lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes for grilling with charcoal while both indirect and direct methods can be used to prepare food on charcoal. 

It is also the most inexpensive way to grill food in large quantities and charcoal is readily available at almost every hardware and departmental store.

Gas Grilling:

If you are looking for utmost convenience in grilling then gas grilling is the perfect option for you as it is most convenient and a less messy way to grill food. 

However, the cost of grilling would be a little bit higher than charcoal but given the efficient control that it gives you on temperature, the extra price is simply worth it. 

Moreover, it is relatively easier to start a gas grill and there is no disturbing smoke. After assembling the gas grill, you will need a natural gas or liquid propane gas tank to generate the heat.

Wood Grilling:

Wood can be used as a fuel source to grill food as well and nowadays there are portable wood burning grills available to help you cook with wood at home. Compared to charcoal, wood burns quickly and you can get diverse flavors through using various types of wood such as fruit woods like cherry or maple wood. Use aged wood if you want it to produce less smoke.

Grilling without a Grill

It doesn’t really matter if you don’t have a grill. You can always enjoy grilling without a grill. Here are our top three methods to do so.

Use the Good Old Broiler:

You can think of your broiler as an upside grill where heat comes from the top instead of the bottom. Although grilling in  a broiler won’t give you those gorgeous grill marks and the trademark smoky flavor that you get from charcoal; but you can expect maximum char. 

Moreover, a majority of the quick-cooking recipes can be used when you are grilling in a broiler. All you need to do is arrange the food directly onto the broiler pan that came with the oven. 

Alternately, you can use a rimmed baking sheet. Ideally you should use a foil to line the pan otherwise you might have to spend a lot of time scrubbing. When broiling/grilling, do keep the oven door slightly open to keep checking the food so it doesn’t burn. Also, do flip the food after you feel that one side is half cooked.

Use the grill pan:

We all have a grill pan at home. It is a cast-iron pan that has built-in ridges that allow the fat to drip off and the best part is that it leaves pretty decent grill marks. Grill pans are quite inexpensive so if you don’t have a grill and you don’t intend to buy one as well, then you should invest in a grill pan to satisfy you grilling cravings. 

However, please note that grill pan is ideal for quick-cooking recipes only and like broiler it won’t give that distinct smoky flavor.

Add Smoky Ingredients:

So you don’t have a grill, and also not an oven and a grill pan, now what to do? Well, your best bet in this situation would be the smoky ingredients. It is probably the easiest way to grill without a grill because you can get some grilled flavor without much ado. 

There are two methods of using smoky ingredients: one is to sprinkle smoked paprika and salt on the meat, fish or veggies with smoked olive oil, or, add chipotle chili either in canned form or powdered.

How to add Charcoal to Grill?

You can use the snake method for adding charcoal to grill. It is the easiest and cheapest method to get those amazing smoked meats. 

To use this method, you need to use unlit charcoal briquettes and place them in a long ring like shape at the outer side of the grill. It is like building a stacked wall of charcoal briquettes placed against each other to form a semicircle. 

Then using a few lit briquettes at the end of the ring, which by now would resemble a snake, you can easily create consistent low heat as the unlit briquettes will lit gradually. 

Snake method is best suited for circular shaped charcoal grills and you can expect steady temperature throughout the day to help you cook foods like ribs and whole turkeys.

How to get Charcoal Fire/Red Hot?

how to get charcoal fire
Image Credit: Visually

To get the charcoal reach the red hot stage you need constant air flow. This can be done by opening all the vents and also the top. Coals can get exceedingly hot if there is a chimney or fan around.

2- Types of BBQ grills/smokers and the best ones you can choose from

There are four main types of grills and each of them has its fair share of pros and cons.  Let’s check out the four types of grills:

  1. Charcoal Grills

charcoal grill
Charcoal grills are the preferred choice of home-based grillers given their upfront cost but do remember that the supplies you need to buy every time you grill will be more expensive than gas grilling. However, if you want the perfect look and taste of BBQ then go for charcoal grill.

These grills are excellent for searing meat and smoking to get the extra flavor but also are suitable for slow cooked meats such as turkey and chicken. Another benefit of charcoal grills is that these get heat up very quickly so there is minimal wastage of time in getting the grill ready to cook.

  1. Gas Grills

Masterbuilt GS40 20050211 Black Propane Smoker, 40-Inch, 40 Inch,
Gas grills are the most expensive of all types of grills available in the market; however, the cost per BBQ is relatively low than charcoal or other alternatives.

There are many more benefits of gas grills such as these tend to be an environment-friendly option, are pretty easy to assemble and use and require minimal time to get started. 

You would be surprised to know that the best steakhouses in the world all use gas grill to cook steaks. This means, gas grills are also perfect to give that distinct grilling flavor to your food.

  1. Electric Grills

Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker (Electric Smoker with App)
If you don’t have large space outdoor or indoor then go for an electric grill as electric grills are comparatively smaller than gas grills and far more portable too. 

These are safe to be used indoors and outdoors and can be taken along anywhere given the compact size and portability but getting a power outlet to use the grills can be a problem at times. 

Both upfront and per-use costs of electric grills is also lower than gas and charcoal grills. One issue with electric grills is that the flavor isn’t as per the requirement of avid grillers. However, for those living in apartments, electric grills are the best bet.

Smokers

Technically, smokers are a completely different category and not exactly a grill. Smokers usually cook food slowly to produce their trademark smoky flavor, which is why these are named smokers. 

Smokers are available in both charcoal and gas heat sources and vary in price greatly so you may find one that suits your budget pretty easily.

Different Brands of Grills and their Best Models

Before buying a grill it is a better idea to research a bit about the companies that produces them in order to make the right choice. It is very important if you are concerned about after sales services and future support.

There are many generic brands that may leave you in the middle of nowhere if something malfunctions in the grill. That’s why you need to pay attention to the brand that produces the grill to understand the quality of the product and what to expect. Here are the top brands and a review of their best grill models.

Camp Chef

Camp Chef is one of the most coveted brands in grills and smokers. It is headquartered in Cache Valley, Utah. For over two decades, Camp Chef is producing quality cooking products from stoves to high-end grills and innovative cooking systems. Camp Chef is particularly popular for producing some of the most reliable outdoor grills.

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill 

Camp Chef's PG24DLX Deluxe Pellet Grill

This award winning grill from Camp Chef is our top pick because of the wide range of features that it offers to make grilling a convenient and worthwhile experience for you. It is equipped with a built-in meat probe, contains expansive side shelves, and comes with a complimentary recipe book.

The grill can easily sustain up to 400 degrees of heat, which is exemplary indeed. SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill has an impeccably chic design while the product is sturdy enough to last for years.

The LED display helps you read temperature easily and the whopping 429 sq/in cooking surface leaves little to complain about with this grill. It is the perfect grill to BBQ, smoke, bake, and roast.

Want to explore more on the best camp chef smokers? Read our guide right here!

Master Forge

This brand is owned by Lowes and happens to be the expert at delivering excellent grills and smoke ovens. Their products tend to be durable and reliable for long time. Master Forge is most popular for smoke ovens. Their smokers yield the best tasting and most flavorful smoked meat.

Hence, if you are a smoked meat lover, Master Forge is the brand you need to check out.

Brinkmann Design: Master Forge Vertical Charcoal Smoker.

Master Forge Vertical Charcoal Smoker.

Master Forge has mastered the art of making excellent vertical smokers and this one is our top pick from the brand because it gives you many exclusive features at a fairly low price.

This smoker is comparatively small, compact and easy to assemble than many other high-end smokers. It is very lightweight and comes with an engraved thermostat located right on the lid.

This vertical smoker uses charcoal to give you that distinct smoky flavor in your foods. Interestingly, you can also grill on it as it is a convertible unit, which means you can grill, smoke, and steam the food.

The only downside is that the thermostat is installed at the top rack and this is why it just gives reading for that rack and not for the bottom racks. However, it is an affordable product and lets you cook food quickly without compromising on the flavor.

Vertical Smokers

A vertical smoker is one that has the heat/smoke source located directly beneath the cooking surface or in the same chamber where the food is being cooked. Vertical smokers are currently a rage among grilling enthusiasts but it is worth noting that these aren’t an appropriate option for all kinds of foods.

Vertical smokers can cook certain foods excellently and may ruin the taste of some. Gas and electric smokers are fairly easy to use in terms of regulating the temperature than charcoal vertical smokers.

Explore more on veritcal smokers right here!

Backwoods Chubby 3400 Charcoal Smokers

Backwoods Chubby 3400 Charcoal Smokers

When it comes to vertical smokers, it is better to look for the classic, old-school unit as it would yield the best results. Backwoods Chubby 3400 Charcoal Smoker is your best bet as it is made for pro-level grilling.

This durable unit is all that you need to get the authentic smoked meat. Don’t be deceived by its bulk appearance, it is very lightweight and can be easily carried anywhere on your camping trips or family picnics.

Its large capacity lets you cook food in large quantity for plenty of people. If you want to use it as a grill for cooking impressive barbecue, simply remove to convert it into a BBQ pit.

Propane Smoker

Smokers that are fueled with propane are called propane smokers. These are also called box smokers. Propane smoker is more like a smoker grill that is easy to use for both grilling and making smoked meat.

Quick Read: Best Propane Smokers

Masterbuilt 20050614 Propane Smoker, 44-Inch, Black

Masterbuilt GS40 20050211 Black Propane Smoker, 40-Inch, 40 Inch,

Masterbuilt is a trusted name in the smoker industry. This amazing 44” Propane Smoker has a distinct, black powder coated outer shell and is equipped with dual door technology.

The unit comes with a viewing window, which is important to check the meat without uncovering the lid. Masterbuilt propane smoker has a front controller too along with two stainless steel burners each of 8250BTU that get quickly heat up and you can immediately start grilling. It’s easy to read thermostat is located on the top of the door so that you can set and regulate smoking temperature without any difficulty.

This unit also has a gas control valve powered by a hose and Type 1 regulator. The two stainless steel burners can be ignited using two push buttons. In short, it is the perfect propane smoker for avid grillers.

Pellet Smokers

Almost 90% of the consumers choose pellet smokers mainly because of the versatility that these offer. A pellet grill is immensely versatile as you can bake, smoke, bbq, sear, and braise.

Searing, however, requires you to remove the heat diffuser plate. Do remember that pellet smokers require specially made cylindrical wood pellets as a heat source. These pellets are placed inside a hopper mounted on any of the side of the unit.

Check out our full coverage on pellet smokers right here!

Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe Pellet Grill and Smoker

Camp Chef's PG24DLX Deluxe Pellet Grill

After inspecting all the latest models in pellet grills, we have come to the conclusion that this deluxe pellet grill and smoker is the best. It is equipped with many advanced features and boasts of outstanding functionality.

The unit has an advanced digital control that helps user in operating the unit easily. Even a beginner griller can learn to use this unit pretty easily. With its amazing temperature stability and a 429 sq/in cooking surface and 144 sq/in warming rack, this deluxe pellet grill is ideal for regular grilling and smoked food.

Assembling this pellet smoker is very easy as it comes with detailed instructions manual while the handy ash cleanout makes cleaning the unit fairly easy. This pellet smoker from Camp Chef has a built-in probe as well so you don’t need to constantly open the lid to check the food.

How important is the side burner option on a Grill?

Side burner option is important only if the unit is used for tailgating or if it is taken to a place where there isn’t any stove available. Other than these uses, you can also use it for cooking sidelines such as onions, mushrooms, or sauces.

Benefits of Gas Grilling Over Pan/Stove?

Image Credit: GrillsExpert.com

Gas grilling has several advantages, which are as follows:

  • Gas grilling allows you to use a variety of marinades to rub on the meat and sugar can be used to build crusts without creating a lot of mess, as it happens on a stove.
  • Grilling doesn’t require use of many utensils and pots. Therefore, cleaning up is very easy on a gas grill in comparison to charcoal and wood grills.
  • You can grill on a gas grill even indoors as there isn’t any issue of smoke.

3- Grilling Temperatures

The taste of your food depends greatly on the heat as some foods taste good when cooked on high temperature whereas some require slow cooking. 

There are varying levels of heat that you need to have knowledge about before starting your grilling journey in order to cook with perfection. 

For instance quick cooking foods like steaks and kebabs require high heat and direct grilling. Let’s check out the different levels of heat and the grilling temperatures for your favorite foods.

Medium-High:

If you want to cook a medium-rare burger but with a nicely browned crust or a crunchy kebab with soft interior then this is the heat you would want to cook the food on. Set the temperature at 375-450°F to cook the food from inside without burning it on the outside.

Medium:

This is the heat level that you would need to set the grill on if the food will take longer time to cook thoroughly, such as a big piece of bone-in chicken. Set the temperature at a moderate 350°F to help the food cook through from the interior side and don’t get burnt from the exterior.

Medium-:

This is the heat mode that you need to set up the grill temperature on for gentler cooking of foods, which is also known as slow cooking. It is ideal heat level for cooking brats and sausages without getting them explode. To set the heat level at medium-low, set the thermostat at 325°F.

Let’s check out the favorable temperatures for different foods:

Whole turkey/chicken, Boneless turkey/chicken, Ground turkey/chicken and hotdogs– 165F

Ground beef and hamburgers– 160F

Steaks and roasts (beef)– 145F for Medium Rare, 160F for medium, and 170F for well done

Roasts, Chops, and Tenderloins (pork)– 145F

Organ meats and ground pork– 160F

Grilled Fish– 145F

4- How to Clean your Grill/Smoker?

how to clean your grill
Image Credit: AltonBrown.com/

If you want your grill to last for years without malfunctioning or giving you a tough time at grilling, it is better to clean it appropriately on a regular basis. Here is a list of handy tools that you would need.

  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Wired brush
  • BBQ scraper

For cleaning the unit, you will also need a good quality dish washing soap, apple cider vinegar and water.

Smoker Cleaning:

The first step of cleaning the smoker is to clean the firebox. If the smoker has a heat sensor, disconnect it first. Now take out the charcoal grate from the firebox and gently wipe away all the debris and ash that accumulated in the detachable drawer.

Cooking Compartment Cleaning:

It is a vital component of every grill and therefore, must be cleaned thoroughly. The cooking compartment is the one that receives maximum amount of grease and soot. However, you should not indulge into abrasive cleaning methods or use harsh chemicals because it will damage the cooking compartment chambers and may affect the unit’s longevity.

The Exterior:

Use wet paper towels to clean the shiny exterior of the unit. If weather changes are frequent at your end, do keep the unit covered with waterproof covers that are easily available at cheap rates in the market.

5- BBQ Tools/Accessories

BBQ tools and accessories
Image Credit: BuzzFeed

Grilling Comb Barbecue Skewers:

This is the ultimate tool that you would need to grill delicious BBQ and serve it as well. The tool has a comb shape that prevents uneven cooking and helps you flip the meat without getting it to slip. Moreover, removing the meat is also much easier with grilling comb BBQ skewers.

Stainless Steel Smoker Box:

You should invest into a small sized, cast-iron smoker box as it would add flavor to your grilled menu and will be suitable for all types of grills whether you use charcoal or a gas grill.

Extra-Long Suede Grill Gloves:

When you are grilling food, grill gloves are a must have item. However, you should buy suede grill gloves, the extra-long variety as it will prevent your wrist from the heat and unexpected spills. Furthermore, suede grill gloves offer the best grip around a hot fire as these fit perfectly no matter what is the size of your hand. It is easy to clean them and look stylish as well.

Digital Folding Thermometer:

You can take a digital folding thermometer anywhere from the deck grill to a campsite, or a tailgate party because of its ultimate portability. With a digital folding thermometer it becomes relatively easy to get accurate reading of the internal temperature of your meat no matter where you are.

Silicone-tipped Tongs:

Tongs are generally used for lifting food items but with these silicone-tipped tongs you can even oil the grill if you soak a rag in cooking oil and grab it with these tongs. The silicone tips will firmly hold the rag because of their no-slip property and prevent the food you are lifting from dropping into hot coals.

How to store your Grilling/BBQ Tools?

Keep the scrapers by the grill and the spatula, tong and fork with other kitchen utensils. You can also use a waterproof deck box to keep everything from temperature probes to tongs and spatulas. You may also keep them on the grates of the gas grill if you keep it covered throughout the year. This way, whenever you want to grill, all your tools will be lying there and you would only need to raise the lid to start using them.

How to Grill Vegetables

how to grill vegetables
Image Credit: Fix

There are two methods to grill vegetables perfectly. You can use the direct heat method to get that tender interiors and crisp exteriors. Or else, if you want to cook your veggies through without getting them burnt, use the indirect grilling method in which the veggies will be cooked in a grill pan.

Direct Grilling:

Cut the large veggies such as eggplants or squash into small pieces and grill them. The veggies must touch the grill surface so that you get a caramelized grill flavor. Make sure that the vegetables aren’t cut too small otherwise these will keep falling off the grates.

To direct grill smaller vegetables such as cherry tomatoes or vegetable slices, use a skewer to thread them. Ideally, you should marinate the vegetables before grilling to prevent sticking or else, you can lightly brush them with some cooking oil. Simply put all the cut veggies in a zip-lock bag and add salt, pepper, and olive oil. Shake well to coat the veggies evenly and grill them over medium heat.

Indirect Grilling:

If you want to indirectly grill the vegetables, use a grill pan. Alternately, you can use a disposable aluminum foil pan. Cut the vegetables evenly with the same thickness and marinate them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Now, divide them as per their size and density; that is, put denser veggies such as potatoes and carrots in one pan and soft veggies such as asparagus in another pan. 

That’s because denser veggies take longer than soft veggies to cook. Now grill them on medium heat and keep shaking the pan occasionally to prevent veggies from sticking.

6- Types of Meats

types of meats
Image Credit: RachaelrayMag

Meat preferences for grilling vary greatly from region to region. Typically, beef and pork are common choices for grilling but poultry including turkey and chicken are also prepared widely. Moreover, lamb and goat are also becoming popular gradually.

It is, therefore, important to understand all your meat options for barbecuing if you are an avid griller and want to create ravishing, delectable grilled meals. Here is a brief overview of some of the type of meats you can use for grilling.

Beef

Beef happens to be the most popular grilling option among the masses because of the fact that there is wide range of cuts to choose from. If you want a very juicy and moist burger then choose a patty with equal parts sirloin and chuck. Similarly, for steaks, porterhouse cuts, T-bones, and New York Strip would be better. Larger cuts of beef are ideal for indirect cooking or roasting.

Pork

Pork needs to be cooked thoroughly to avoid health issues. The best cut for grilling is marinated pork chops and if you want to cook tenderloin then use the rotisseries grilling method to get best results as it would help keeping the moisture in. Use indirect heat method to cook large cuts of pork.

Chicken

You should opt for chicken breasts and thighs and cook them directly. Marinate them before grilling to keep the meat moist and flavorful. Remember, you should cook chicken thoroughly and there shouldn’t be any pink color left after cooking. Use rotisserie grilling method to cook whole chicken.

How much fat should there be in the Meat?

Remember that fat has higher number of calories than protein. Therefore, it is better to opt for cuts that have lower amount of fat. A 4oz 80/20 beef patty will contain 285 calories in comparison to a 90/10 patty as it will have 200 calories. 

Moreover, the 90/10 patty will contain 12.9 grams less of total fat. Prefer to choose round cuts and loin if you want to avoid eating too much fat. Also, don’t pick prime grades but choice and select grades of beef as these have lesser amount of fat. 

As far as chicken is concerned, go for breasts and remove the skin before cooking. Legs and thighs are fattier portions of meat, so avoid them. You should trim the fat from the meat before marinating to further cut down the calories.

Best Meat Thermometer

For grilling meat at home you should invest into a good meat thermometer. In this regard, ThermoWorks produces the best meat thermometers but its products are on the expensive side. 

You can get a reliable and efficient meat thermometer at a fraction of the prices of ThermoWorks products. We have chosen one such great product for you- the Lavatools Javelin Digital Meat Thermometer

It is an efficient meat thermometer that offers fast and accurate readings. It is not only easy to read but contains a magnet on the back side to let you store it on your refrigerator.

7- Best Meat Cuts

best meat cuts
Image Credit: eCrater

There are plenty of different cuts available in every meat type. You need to understand which cut suits for which dish otherwise your dish will not be as appealing to the crowd. There are some cuts that take longer to cook while some get done in a jiffy. Here’s a brief overview of some of the best meat cuts for you to choose from.

Crowd Pleasers:

If you want to hold a BBQ party, it is better to get these crowd pleaser cuts and opt for beef rather than poultry or pork. Go for the thick rib-eye and the steak. Steaks can be cooked quickly and your best bets are sirloin, fillet and of course, the rib-eye. 

Basically, you need to choose cuts from those areas of the cow that do less work because hard-working muscles would need longer to cook.

Roasting:

To get that tender, utterly flavorsome roast, choose the lamb shoulder oyster cut. You can buy one kilogram piece with a bone in. Despite it being smaller than other cuts, lamb shoulder cut is a great choice in summers. 

But, don’t cook it woo quickly and only roast it at 180degrees until the interior temperature reaches 55C-60C. Alternately, you can opt for a standing beef roast, which is a great choice to celebrate special occasions.

For slow cooking:

Casseroles are usually dishes that need longer to cook, which is why you need to choose fattier cuts like diced pork, lamb or veal shoulder or beef brisket for slow cooking. 

You may also try a long braise with beef cheeks or beef short ribs. Simply cover the meat in aluminum foil and place it in a pot or a baking tray and allow to slowly cook at 100C for at least 12 hours.

How many times to flip the Meat?

You shouldn’t flip the meat more than once. Leave it to cook in the hot pan until it gets caramelized and then flip it once. Don’t keep flipping the meat every 2 minutes as it won’t cook evenly because you will be removing it from the hot surface.

Does Grilling Meat Reduce Calories?

It definitely does. Let the fat drip out of the meat as you grill and you will see that there is no fat left in the meat. The lesser the fat, the lower will be the number of calories.

How do you get black grill marks on your Meat?

Marinate the meat at room temperature for at least one hour and make sure that the grill is very hot when you have to start grilling. Now, pat the meat dry using a paper towel and pick one side of the meat that you think is most presentable. 

Put that presentable side on the grill first and let it stay there, without touching it. You can turn it 90 degrees after 90 seconds to get those trademark X marks. 

You should let each side of the meat cook for 90 seconds before changing the side and there is no need to keep turning the meat because when the grill is very hot, it will instantly produce the grill marks.

Should you season meat again before grilling after it has been marinated

It is better to season the meat before grilling, after it has been marinated. If you don’t want to season it using many spices, only use salt just before grilling. It will increase the saltiness of the meat from the exterior side without affecting the overall saltiness. This way, the meat will turn out crisp and tasty when you will serve it.

8- Spices To Choose

spices to choose
Image Credit: Grillidea

If you are a beginner griller, you should pay attention to the spices you are using to season and marinate your meat to get yourself acquainted on how each spice adds taste and flavor to the food. 

You shouldn’t rely more on bottled spice mixes as not only these are expensive but lack that necessary flavor and contain unnecessary preservatives.

You can control the flavor when you make your own spice mix, which isn’t very difficult to create. The standard marinades for grilling meat require basic spices like salt, black and red peppers and garlic salt or onion powder. 

To add to the flavor, you can use dried herbs, warmer spices like cloves, cinnamon, and cumin and chili powder would be a great addition to turn up the heat.

Here are a few suggestions from expert grillers to add spice to your favorite meat cut:

Beef:

Use those herbs and spices that have their own, strong, savory flavor such as onion and garlic. Avoid cinnamon as it is sweet and doesn’t really compliment beef. On the other hand, chili and coriander are your best bet.

Lamb:

The best choice would be traditional herbs like rosemary or sage but you may get experimental and add cumin and cinnamon for stronger flavor.

Poultry:

Poultry tends to be extremely versatile when it comes to mixing spices and herbs. You can create an all-sweet spice mix or a tangy one using lemon and herbs. Give the meat a distinct spicy touch with peri-peri sauces or curry marinades. There isn’t exactly any particular herb or spice that won’t suit poultry given its versatility.

Pork:

To get the best flavor, marinade pork with sweet spices and BBQ sauce. You may also like the taste of juniper berries as it compliments pork meat a lot.

Fish:

You need not to worry about the type of fish because fishes can be cook really flavorful with almost all types of herbs and spices. Dill and lemon are traditionally the top picks for marinating fish though.

9- How To Store Meat

how to store meat
Image Credit: Mukeshbalani

Just like other foods, when BBQ is taken off the grill and its temperature drops below 140F, it must be consumed immediately. Leftover BBQ must be stored in the fridge within two hours. If the temperature of the BBQ further drops to 90F, then you should refrigerate it within one hour. 

For refrigerating brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken and other BBQ cuts, transfer the meat into shallow containers so that it gets chilled quickly and reaches 40F or below.

10- Best sauce with BBQ

Bone Suckin’ Sauce

More than a sauce, it is a delicious BBQ rub, and it is so tasty that you will be sucking the bones when the meat is finished. This rub was originally created to complement the ribs but it goes with almost every meat from beef and fish to shrimps. It is also great for seasoning pastas and dressing salads.

11- Health Benefits of Grilling and how often should you Grill?

There are many health benefits of grilling food, some of which are as follows:

Less Fat Consumption:

Meat loses most of its fat content while it is being grilled in comparison to the meat being cooked on a stove. The fat keeps dripping off the grates so the longer you grill the lesser quantity of fat will be left in the meat whereas on the stove the fat gets reabsorbed back in the meat.

More Nutritional:

Whether you are grilling meat or vegetables, it is a fact that the nutritional content of both would be far higher than those cooked on a stove. The reason is that when being grilled the food manages to retain most of their healthy nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and protein. Especially meat can preserve most of its thiamine and riboflavin when grilled. These nutrients are vital for a healthy and balanced diet.

Minimal Use of Butter/Oil:

Grilling not only provides your utterly ravishing, moist, and juicy meat and tasteful veggies, but offers an exclusive opportunity to cook with minimal butter/oil. Since grill can lock in moisture in the meat, the need to use a moistening agent like butter or oil is reduced considerably. The lesser the butter, the lower will be the calorie count in your food.

Healthy Socializing Activity:

Believe it or not, grilling can help you socialize especially if you are new in the area. It is a healthy socializing activity that lets you stay in touch with your friends and folks while your kids can befriend other kids.

Energy Saving:

Cooking outdoors is more beneficial from the perspective of conserving energy. When you are cooking inside the kitchen, your home’s overall indoor temperature is increased by four degrees. This is why you need to turn on the air conditioner to make your guests feel comfortable. This doesn’t happen when you are grilling outdoors.

12- BBQ/Grilling Experts And Their Famous Quotes

Executive Chef Sahil Arora from Jaipur Marriott swears by the healthy benefits of grilling and claims that cooking style can make a huge difference in your overall appearance and waistline. Chef Arora prefers grilling over stove cooking:

 “Grilling food is a healthier option compared to our regular cooking methods.”

Iron Chef America’s judge and chef Donatella Arpaia also believes in the many benefits of grilling and requests grillers to not touch the food a lot.

“The biggest mistake grillers make is touching and flipping their food too much. The food needs to develop a nice char and crust and while waiting by a hot grill, people grow impatient and touch and move the food too much.”

13- Important Grilling Tips/Secrets

important grilling tips
Image Credit: Visually

Steak:

Use half cup of red wine and one-fourth cup or Worcestershire sauce with half cup soy sauce to marinate beef steak. Also add minced garlic and black pepper to enhance the flavor along with dried herbs of your choice.

Chicken:

Take a gallon of water and mix ¾ cup brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ clove of garlic (smashed) to make brine. You may add a few sprigs if you want. Bring them to a boil and then chill in the fridge at 40 degrees or below. Take small pieces of chicken and soak them in the brine for four hours or if using whole chicken soak for eight hours. Grill the chicken after brushing it lightly with canola oil.

Especial BBQ Rub for Chicken:

You need to mix it in oil before brushing the chicken, after it has been marinated for the allotted time in brine.

Take ¼ cup brown sugar, 1.5 tablespoon kosher salt, ½ tablespoon smoked paprika, ½ tablespoon chili powder, ½ tablespoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic (granulated or powdered). Mix everything in oil and rub on the chicken right before grilling.

Delicious Homemade BBQ Sauce:

Sweet onion – 1 (minced and sautéed)

Garlic cloves- 3 (minced and sautéed with onion)

Dark beer (porter or stout)-  one bottle

Note: If don’t like beer, add 12oz orange juice and use ½ cup brown sugar

Ketchup- 2 cups

Brown sugar- 1 cup

Whole grain mustard- 3 tablespoons

Apple cider vinegar- ¼ cup

Paprika- 1 tablespoon

Black pepper- 1 teaspoon

Salt- to taste

Method:

Mix everything and simmer for a while.

14- Best Selling Grilling Books

There are probably thousands of barbecue and grilling cookbooks, but the following are our top picks:

SERIOUS BARBECUE

SERIOUS BARBECUE

Authored by Adam Perry Lang, this book presented the most popular culinary techniques of Lang with many easy-to-follow recipes.

PEACE, LOVE, AND BARBECUE

PEACE, LOVE, AND BARBECUE

It is a combo of a cookbook, travelogue and memoir of Mike Mills, the undoubted king of barbecue.

BIG BOB GIBSON’S BBQ BOOK

BIG BOB GIBSON'S BBQ BOOK

Who doesn’t know Big Bob Gibson, the four time winner of the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest. This book presents all of the culinary and grilling secrets that took Gibson to stardom.

15- Must Try Grilling Recipes

Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki

Thinly sliced beef brushed with an exquisite homemade teriyaki sauce is all that you need to enjoy a good grilling experience. The teriyaki sauce is extremely good; so much that you will be using it for all kinds of meat once you try it with beef.

Tip: To make most flavorful, moist and juicy beef, keep brushing the teriyaki sauce from beginning to the end.

Ingredients

Pineapple can (chunks with juice)- one whole can or 15oz

Soy Sauce- 1 cup

Brown sugar- ¾ cup

Minced garlic- 2 cloves

Minced ginger- 1 teaspoon

Skirt steak thinly sliced- 1lb

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients except for the beef and take out ½ cup of the sauce to marinate the beef and refrigerate the rest. Keep the beef marinated in a sealed Ziploc bag for at least six hours or overnight. After preparing the grill on medium-high heat, start grilling the beef slices and brush with the refrigerated teriyaki sauce after every two minutes or when changing the sides. Place the beef in a bowl and pour some of the sauce over. You can serve it with grilled pineapple or boiled rice.

Orange Grilled Salmon

The citrusy fresh oranges used in this recipe give the salmon a distinct tangy yet sweet flavor. Wrap the fish in foil and grill it to keep its texture tender and hold in all the juices.

Ingredients

Salmon- 1

Oranges- 2

Brown sugar- ½ cup

Kosher Salt- to taste

Instructions

Take a large piece of aluminum foil and place salmon (skin side down) on it. squeeze juice of one orange and drizzle it all over the salmon. If you cannot find oranges, simply use ¾ cup orange juice. Now generously sprinkle brown sugar and kosher salt. Cut the remaining orange into thin sliced and place them on top of the fish. Wrap the fish carefully in foil, seal the edges, and grill on medium heat until done.

Grilled Chicken With Tomato-Avocado Salad

Ingredients

No-fat Buttermilk- ¼ cup

Canola Mayonnaise- 3 tablespoons

Fresh parsley- 2 tablespoons

Minced shallots- 1 tablespoon

Minced fresh thyme- 1 teaspoon

Apple cider vinegar- 1 teaspoon

Black pepper- ¼ teaspoon

Kosher salt- 1/8 teaspoon

Garlic- 1 clove (minced)

Boneless and skinless chicken breast halves- 6 ounce

Cooking spray- 1 ½ tablespoons

Olive oil- 1 teaspoon

Onion powder- ¾ teaspoon

Cumin (ground_- ¾ teaspoon

Chipotle chili powder- ¼ teaspoon

Corn- 2

Red onion (small)- 1(cut into ½ inch slices)

Yellow Tomatoes- 2 (cut into 4 inch slices)

Red tomatoes- 2 (cut into 4 inch slices)

Halved cherry tomatoes- 1 cup

Avocado- 1 (peeled and sliced)

Instructions

Preheat the grill, keep it on high heat. Take a small bowl and mix together the first nine ingredients on the list. Stir them well using a whisk and keep in the fridge until it is time to serve.

Coat the chicken with cooking spray. Mix together oil, onion powder, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and chipotle. Rub this mix evenly onto the chicken. 

Coat onion and corn with cooking spray and arrange them along with the chicken on the grill rack. Grill them for 8 minutes occasionally turning sides until done. 

Remove from the grill and after five minutes cut the corn kernels from cobs. Slice the chicken. 

To serve, place one breast on a plate, now arrange 2 yellow tomato slices and two red tomato slices. Top them with ¼ cup cherry tomatoes. 

Also place some avocado, onion, and corn and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt all over. In the end, drizzle some salad dressing, which you earlier refrigerated.

16- Drinks with BBQ

Drinks with BBQ

Citrus peach cooler

Ingredients

Lemons- 2 (squeeze the juice)

Limes- 2 (squeeze the juice)

Thinly sliced lemon- 1

Thinly sliced lime- 1

Peach nectar

Lemonade

Sparkling water

Mint Sprigs

Some slices of fresh strawberry

Method

Take a large jug and put the juices of lime and lemon in it. Now add the sliced lime and lemon along with peach nectar enough to fill the jug by one-third and a generous amount of ice cubes. Add lemonade until the jug is filled over half. Add the sparkling water, mint sprigs and strawberries.

Pomegranate mojito mocktail

Ingredients

Pomegranate seeds- 3 tablespoon

Mint- large bunch

Lime- 2 (slice one and cut into quarter the other)

Pomegranate juice- 1ltr

Lemonade- 500 ml

Method

Take an ice cube tray, divide the pomegranate seeds evenly between the holes, fill the tray with water and freeze overnight. The next day, take a jug and put half of the mint leaves and one lime cut into quarters. Use a rolling pin to bash the mint and lime so that they release their flavors. Fill the jug with lemonade and pomegranate juice. While service, put the ice cubes in each glass and using a small sieve strain the juice mixture. Use lime slices and mint leaves to garnish before serving.

Watermelon lemonade

Ingredients

Watermelon- 1 large or 2 small

Lemon juice- 250 ml (fresh or bottled your choice)

Golden caster sugar- 100 gm

Soda water- 1ltr

Lime- 1  thinly sliced

Few mint leaves

Crushed ice

Method

Hollow the watermelon after cutting it from the top. Mash the flesh of the watermelon and sieve it properly. Blend the flesh with sugar and lemon juice until it resembles puree. Lastly, mix in the soda. In the hollowed-out watermelon, add some crushed ice and fill it with the pureed watermelon/lemonade mixture. Garnish with sliced lime and mint leaves.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - FAQs

How to setup for Indirect Heat

Keep the coals on one side and rotate the meat to decide which side you want the closest to the heat. You may also switch pieces. Or, you can place the coals on left and right side of the grill and place the food in the center. To completely block direct heat, use aluminum foil to wrap the food before grilling.

How much overhead clearance should I have for a Charcoal Grill?

You should be at least 20 feet away from any combustible building material.

Is there a difference between Grilling Styles/Preferences in US and Europe?

Yes there is. In Britain grill is referred to as broiling, which basically means cooking something underneath a heating source. In America, grilling is called barbecuing. In Brazil, they grill beef over coals or wood in a tire ring or a 55 gallon drum and use a lot of salt. Brazilians prefer eating grilled meat with salad, potato, rice, and beans and usually like to grill chicken and shrimp hearts. Conversely, Jamaicans like to grill fish mostly. Filipinos marinate chicken or pork in chorizo and use ketchup, lumpia and pancit. They also love to grill guts. Hence, the styles and preferences of grilling is different all over the world.

How to Minimize Smoke on a Small BBQ

After you have started the grill, let the briquettes burn until they turn black, which is important to get rid of as at this stage the briquettes will create a lot of smoke. After burning for around ½ hour, they will turn white and red. Now is the time to start cooking. You can also control the smoke by limiting the amount of air around the grill such as using a wind barrier.

Is Gilled Food related to Cancer?

No it isn’t unless you eat it excessively. Excess of anything leads to cancer. Moreover, you should avoid cooking the food on very high heat as it creates a chemical that causes cancer. 

How do I Grill/Bake Goat Liver in my Gas Oven?

You don’t.

How can I prevent flare-ups when Grilling a Steak?

By putting potato peels on the coals you can prevent the flare-ups. Or else, flip the steak after 30 seconds until nicely grilled.

How close can you Grill to a Brick House Wall?

There is no harm in grilling close to a brick wall but it should be far enough to allow the grill’s hood to properly open. If the grill is of good quality, it won’t dispense heat towards the bricks causing them to crack but will send the heat upwards where the food is placed instead of backwards.

Best way to get a good sear

You can rub sugar on the meat or grill it on very hot charcoal to get a good sear.