How to Grill Like a Pro

Nothing says summer like grilling in the backyard. Follow these simple steps to become the grilling guru in your neighborhood.


Use the Right Tools
Make sure you have these tools before you fire up the grill.

  • Grill brush
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Grilling mitts
  • Grill cover

Preheat Properly
To clean any bacteria, preheat your grill 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. The grill should be 400-450°F for high, 350-400°F for medium-high, 300-350°F for medium and 250-300°F for low heat. Make sure you cook the meat on the proper level.

Use Clean Coal
If you opt for charcoal grilling, then choose charcoal without additives. Other briquettes may contain wood scraps and sawdust, sodium nitrate, borax and additives like paraffin or lighter fluid. Choosing clean coal will help prevent these harmful additives.

Keep It Separate
Use different cutting boards, plates, and utensils to avoid cross-contamination, especially when dealing with rare meat.

Watch for Flames
Be careful for excess fat that could cause flames. To reduce the risk of large flames, choose leaner meats with less fat. Keep a squirt bottle by the grill to douse any flames.

Keep It Clean
Before cleaning your grill, make sure all of the dials are turned off.
Use work gloves and loosely cover the heating elements with a big piece of foil to protect them.
Use a grill brush to scrub it.
Empty the drip pan and clean it with a hose.
Clean the exterior of the grill with stainless steel wipes.

For a complete cleaning checklist, see Real Simple’s guide.


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