Grilling is not as much of an art as most people seem to think. While there are things that you can do by feel and experience if you can cook in an oven you can cook on a grill. Below are some simple rules I go by when grilling.
- Don't play with your meat! Unless you have to touch it don't. Don't open the lid to check it, don't do anything unless you have to.
- Food should be mostly dry when it goes on the grill. While I douse my hamburgers with Worcestershire sauce I do it after they hit the grill. Sop up any extra marinade or juices before you throw it on the grill.
- Apply any sauce after the food is about 80% done. Any sugar in your sauce will burn before your meat cooks giving you a nightmare of burnt sauce on top of raw meat.
- Drink something while grilling, I prefer a nice adult beverage, but anything will do. This will keep you from fiddling with the food.
- Make as many items as you can either ahead of time or on the grill. Nothing worse than one of you inside making things while the other one is outside making something else. Grilling should be a social event. Even if you don't have a side burner you can put a cast iron skillet on the grill and make cornbread or beans.
- Let it stand after cooking. While your food is cooking all the juices run to the outside of the meat, if you cut it right away you end up with a bloody mess on your plate. Make a tin foil tent and let it sit for at least five minutes. This will also allow the temperature on the inside to rise up to another 5 degrees.
- Seriously, you may feel like Joe Cool flipping your burgers every thirty seconds, but don't do it. When you keep flipping your meat you keep heat from entering the center of the food, which causes the outsides to burn while the inside stays nice and raw...
- Try grilling vegetables. And fruits. Asparagus and corn on the cob on the grill is heaven on earth. And peaches on the grill are the bomb.
- Don't spend nine million dollars on grilling tools. The same stuff you use in your kitchen will work on your grill, just be prepared to lose some hair on your arms now and then.