Get ready to start firing up the grill this summer. Set yourself (and your grill) up to save time by following these five steps to become a grillmaster.
A CLEAN STARTPreheat your grill to high or light charcoal and wait for the coals to be covered with white ash. Once grate is hot, scrub with a grill brush until clean. No grill brush? No problem! A ball of aluminum foil pinched between tongs will do the trick! After cleaning, set up your grill for two-zone cooking (see below).
PREP YOUR PROTEINRemove meat from refrigerator and allow to reach room temperature while grill is preheating (timing will vary depending on the thickness of the cut). Before cooking, pat meat dry with a paper towel and season as desired.
LID ON OR OFF?The grill’s lid will allow food to be heated from all sides (like an oven). You can grill uncovered while preparing quick-cooking foods—but for thicker cuts of meat, sear with the lid off, then cover to bring food to temp. What about the vents? Leave the bottom vents fully open and use the top vents to adjust the temperature.
PREVENT FLARE-UPSWhile leaping flames in the grill may look cool, they are not ideal for your food. Reduce flare-ups by trimming meat of excess fat, keeping the grate clean and avoiding windy areas. If you do experience a burst of flames, move your food to indirect heat and wait for them to die down.
LET IT BEResist the urge to press down on food while it’s cooking. All that will do is cause juices—and flavor—to escape. If you are making a smash burger, you can press down as soon as the beef touches the surface—but that’s it! Finally, let all meat rest 5-10 minutes after taking it off the grill to ensure it’s as juicy as possible.