Barbecuing? It’s really more an art and personal expression than anything else. Every grill master has his (or her) approach, techniques, and theories on how to get the most wonderfully flaky halibut steak or juiciest burger over flame or coals. Though there are some requisite musts, of course. Without stepping on any toes, here are some tried and true tips for garden BBQers that will help yield a fantastic result every time. Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills!

Room temp is key.

Did you know that starting with a chilled piece of meat often results in a steak that’s cold in the center but burned on the outside? Probably one of the most important things you can do to ensure success is to take that salmon fillet or sirloin out of the fridge, set it on the counter and allow it to get up to room temp for about 20 minutes. Then salt it before you set it on the barbecue. Preheat the grill for 15 to 25 minutes, and begin when it’s nice and hot.

Let it rest.

Have you ever cut into a pork tenderloin and seen a big puddle of jus on the plate afterwards? That means you didn’t allow the meat to rest. Doing so seals the tasty juices in evenly versus allowing them to dribble away. Set your grill item uncovered on top of the stove on a warm plate and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting or serving. The flavorful, juicy reward is well worth the wait.

Grease that grill!

If you barbecue a delicate Rainbow trout to perfection, but then the skin sticks and rips off as you lift it off to serve to your hungry guests, all is lost. A quick oiling of the grate before you start with take care of that. Did you know you can grease the grill to no-stick perfection with a Little Potato? Here’s how.

Don’t rush it.

In general, low and slow is where you want to be. That’s what seals in flavor and juices. Also, don’t lift that lid—resist! When you think it’s about done, use an instant read temperature to be sure. Remove it when it’s five degrees from the target temp and—that’s right—let it rest.

Buy fresh.

When you can, choose fresh versus frozen. A fresh steak or fish fillet will always taste far superior to the frozen version.

Clean it.

You wouldn’t want to eat off the dirty floor. Ditto for your BBQ grate. Even worse, you might just taste last week’s fish on this week’s pork chops if you don’t tidy up properly. Just scrape and brush it clean with a metal bristle grill brush while hot after every use.

Make easy on yourself.

Who needs more work nowadays? Not us. Barbecuing makes for a fast and no-fuss dinner entrée. Enhance that by making quick side dishes that you can BBQ, too. Easy Steak and Creamer Potato Kabobs, for example, takes five minutes to prep and the whole meal is ready in 20. Plus, hardly any clean up. BBQ Potatoes and Vegetable Medley cooks in a grill pan along side your favorite protein—swordfish or snapper, tofu or ribeye—and you can swap out the ingredients with any veggies you have on hand. Another option: any Oven|Grill Ready Creamers, which come in a BBQ-safe roasting dish with the seasonings included, that you can cook on the grill.

Invest in the essentials.

Get good quality grill mitts, a long-handled spatula and fork, metal bristle BBQ brush and scraper, grill basket and, if you like fish, fish basket. Get a cover to protect your grill from rain and snow when not in use.

Keener? Read more top grilling tips from the pros. And, here’s how to make the Perfect steak & Creamer potatoes.


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