Grill masters know that the process is much more than simply putting a piece of meat over some charcoal – it’s an art. And once you’ve perfected it, you can transform any backyard BBQ into a memorable experience. Take your grilling game up a notch by incorporating these seven tried-and-true tips into your cookout repertoire:
1 CLEAN THE KETTLE.
Bacteria on the outside of your grill can eventually affect the taste of things inside your grill. Every few weeks, sprinkle baking soda on a wet sponge or brush and give the outside of your grill a thorough clean.
2 ALWAYS USE PROTECTION.
After every use, protect your grill with a cover. This is especially important if you store your grill outside – it will help prevent hardware failures, rusting and dirt buildup.
3 EMBRACE COOKING SPRAY.
Before placing any burger patties, coat the cooking grid with oil or cooking spray. This minimizes stuck-on food and helps your meal stay moist as it cooks.
4 CLEAN WITH HEAT.
For the best tasting grilled treats, clean your grate before and after each use. Heat the grill for 5 to 10 minutes, then use the back end of a wire brush to scrape off any remains.
5 MAKE A PYRAMID.
For optimal airflow, stack your coals in a pyramid shape in the middle of the grill. This shape creates maximum heat efficiency and the least amount of smoke.
6 COVER THE GROUND.
To make clean up easier, place a tarp or grill mat underneath the grill. It will catch debris, grease and any fallen food.
7 DUMP IT OUT.
To prevent excess smoke and bad flavors, dump your charcoal and ash after each use (don’t forget about the ash catcher!). Once the grill is empty, clean it out thoroughly with a wire brush.