Updated: Mar 19
1. Oil the Food Not the Grills
A lot of times before people throw their food on the grill they’ll oil up the grill and then throw on the food. Please stop doing that! Oil your food not the grill. This will help reduce flare ups from oil running off your grills and down onto the heat plates and flavourizing bars, as well as reduce the amount of oil you go through. A couple other things since we are talking about oil; when searing your food avoid olive oil and try and use canola, mizzola, peanut, or grape seed oil. Canola oil once it exceeds 350 Degrees turns into a trans fat which is quite unhealthy to consume, whereas those other oils I mentioned have a much higher boiling point which is more suitable when it comes to searing your food.
2. Start Switching Off Your Middle Burner
This is not a technique you need to use consistently but roughly around 60-70% of the time you should be switching off your middle burner. Let us give an example of what we mean so that you have some context behind this technique. Say you’re cooking some chicken or steak and you can see that it’s cooked on the outside and it has a nice sear on it but you can tell by the time that it hasn’t fully cooked through on the inside. What you do is once the meat has a nice sear, take it and move it more to the middle of the grill. Then turn off your middle burner while also turning your two outside burners to a low/medium heat. This will start the process of convection cooking or indirect cooking, and similarly to how an oven would cook your food the same happens on your grill. Turning off your middle burner and moving your food to the middle of the grill allows your food to cook at a lower temperature and retain its flavour as well as not drying it on because it’s no longer being cooked with direct heat but rather through convection.
3. Clean your BBQ!!!
This may seem like a simple solution, but you would be surprised how many people don’t do it and how it can really affect your overall grilling experience. You don’t need to clean your BBQ every time you use it, but every 3 to 4 cookings take your flavorizing bars or heat plates out along with your drip tray and let them soak in hot water overnight. The next morning take a sponge or some paper towel and most of the grease build up should just wipe right off. The benefit of cleaning those flavorizing bars and heat plates is that it will reduce flare ups from occurring because there’s no grease build up which allows for a more even cook across your grill without hot spots. The biggest added benefit of cleaning those flavorizing bars and heat plates is that those bars and plates is where the flavour comes from. What I mean by that is when cooking, our marinades drop down onto the bars and plates, and vapourize back up into our meats and that just enhances the taste of everything we cook. You will truly realize the difference if you just take the time to do this every few cooks.
4. Trust Yourself!
Trust yourself at times and keep your lid closed. As long as you’ve been cleaning your BBQ there should not be too many jumps in temperature when you cook. Keeping your lid closed allows for a more even cook across the board without significant drops in temperature every time you lift the lid to check your food. You’ll realize the more you grill the less you’ll be checking your food because you’ll start to understand the timing it takes to cook your food. If you can start that process sooner though you’ll start to see a more consistent cook throughout the grilling process.
5. Let Your Meat Rest
It’s almost second nature to cut into your meat once you pull it off the grill; either because you can’t wait to dig in or because you aren’t too sure about the cook on the inside. I can’t really help with the first issue, but if the latter is your biggest issue I’d suggest investing in a meat thermometer because every time you cut into that meat regardless if it’s cooked perfectly or not, the juices that are in there all get released and pour out onto the plate. If you can use the meat thermometer to check your temperatures it will give you the ability to allow your meat to rest for 5-10 minutes while also allowing your food to stay juicy and moist.