Grilling Refresher Course

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Today kicks off the unofficial start of summer. Before you head into the long weekend, arm yourself with a few grilling tips and tricks that will make you “Master of the Backyard.”

Prepare the grill. Before turning on the grill, grab a paper towel with a pair of heat-resistant tongs and dip it into some canola oil, avocado oil (or another oil with a high smoke point) and run over the grill. This will help prevent your meat, fish or veggies from sticking to the grill.

Keep it covered. Although it’s tempting to continually check on your food, keep the lid of your grill down as long as necessary. When you keep opening the grill the heat escapes, leading to dried-out meat and veggies.

The heat is on. Set up a few heat zones on the grill so you can cook your food in stages without overcooking it. Start out directly over the coals on the hottest spot to sear it, then move to an indirect head spot to finish cooking without overcooking.

No poking. One way to guarantee dry meat and disappointed picnic guests is to poke your protein while cooking it. Switching to a spatula or tongs instead of a fork will help the juices from running out of the meat.

Use a basket. Don’t risk having your asparagus or cherry tomatoes dropping through the grate. A grilling basket will help to keep your veggies or fruit in one place instead of rolling around.

Grill out. The grill is a wondrous cooking utensil and good for so much more than BBQ chicken. You can make everything from shrimp and veggie kabobs to classic s’mores and even pizza on the grill. Start experimenting — you never know what you may come up with!  

Let it rest. As tempting as it is to dig in right away, let the meat rest before eating it so the juices have a chance to redistribute. You can use this time to put the finishing touches on the rest of the meal.

Grilling Must-haves: From an apron that hides all the stains to our pick for the best charcoal grill, we’ve got you covered so you can upgrade your grill game.