As tailgate season inches closer, make sure your grill is ready to take on all the brats and burgers.
You likely know how to whip up a tasty tailgate menu, but do you know how to ensure your grill is doing its part to make your party a success? From type of grill to temperature and cleaning tips, we have compiled everything you need to know to be a grill master.
Gas vs. Charcoal
The age-old debate. We don’t have a hard stance on a “superior” choice, but each type does have its advantages. Gas grills are quick and easy to use. If you are a grilling newbie, they’re a great option to make sure you cook to perfection on the first try. They’re consistent, so you don’t have to monitor them as closely (giving you extra time to try out that corn hole game).
Charcoal has it’s pluses as well; one of which being that it’s the authentic grilling experience. After the fuel igniter burns off, it infuses your meat with that quintessential smokey taste. It can be harder to control the heat of a charcoal grill though, so it requires more focus from you. If you do decide to use charcoal, note that lump charcoal burns faster and hotter than the briquettes.
Is it hot enough?
There is a quick and easy way to know if your grill is at the right temperature. Other than using a thermostat, you can check by holding your hand five to six inches from the grilling surface. You’ll know you’ve reach the right temp when it feels hot at the below times:
- Hot: 2 to 3 Seconds
- Medium: 4 to 5 Seconds
- Low: 6 Seconds or More
Should you put a lid on it?
If you are grilling, it’s going to be at a high heat so keep the lid open. However, when you are barbecuing, you are going to want a slow and low burn for that delicious fall-off-the-bone flavor, so keep that lid closed.
Choose your tools wisely.
Your grill is the mastermind behind the endeavor, but some key tools can always lend a helping hand. Instead of using a fork, which can pierce the surface of your product and release those flavorful juices, use tongs or a spatula to turn your grill items. It’s also a good idea to keep a spray bottle of water nearby to spritz flare-ups on the grill.
Cleaning How To:
Make sure your grill is ready for anything you throw at it by taking the time to properly clean it. You want to scrub the grates after every use and the burners on a fairly regular basis.
- Use a wire brush after each session while the grill is still warm.
- Then it depends on your grill type:
- Charcoal: Clean the ashes out using a wire brush to remove cooked-on grease.
- Gas: Clean the plate or lava rock four to five times during the grilling season.
- Smokers: Check to make sure all vents are operational. You’ll also want to clean out the grease trap as it will have collected grease from the smoking process.
- Then coat your clean grate with vegetable oil or rub it with a cut potato.
Be sure to stop by the store to pick up everything you need for your tailgate! Have grill care questions we didn’t answer? Place them in the comments, and we’ll make sure you get all the information you need to be a grill master!