10 Tips for Grilling Outside

It’s finally cookout season! Time to fire up the grill and pile on the meat & veggies. Even though the 4th of July ranks as the most popular day to BBQ in the United States, we’re sure you’ll find plenty of opportunities to cook alfresco this summer. Have a look at our top 10 grilling tips and techniques.

1. Keep it Clean!

Make a habit out of cleaning your grill before and after every use. A clean cooking surface means food won't stick as easily and makes certain that this week's teriyaki chicken won't taste like last week's short ribs. A metal scraper or brush will knock off the big bits. Finish with a paper towel dipped in olive oil.

2. Prep Everything Beforehand

Grilling outside isn’t the same as cooking in the kitchen. There’s nothing worse than leaving food on the grill for too long because you got distracted by preparing sides and setting the table. Prep everything ahead of time to minimize distractions when the grill gets going.

3. Marinate the Meat

When preparing meat, setting time aside to marinate it before grilling it will enhance the flavor. Citrus, wine and vinegar all add flavor while tenderizing meat. When cooking fish, seafood, or small pieces of chicken, leave them to marinate about 15-30 minutes in the fridge. For medium chunks of red meat or chicken breast, let them marinate for 1 to 2 hours or even overnight.

4. Direct vs. Indirect Grilling

The most common grilling method is over direct heat. Direct grilling over gas or charcoal grill works fine for most meats. When preparing thicker cuts of meat, using the indirect grilling technique is best. Move the charcoal to one side of the grill and put the meat over the charcoal-free area. If using a gas grill, just reduce the flame and don’t cook the food right over it.

5. Less is More

Every piece of meat packs juice and flavor within it. It’s your job to avoid a dry piece of meat by limiting the number of times you flip the meat over. Every time you flip it, a bit of juice escapes the meat.

6. Be Careful with Your Veggies

Grilling fruits and vegetables require less heat since they’re much more delicate than meats. Make sure you regulate the flame when cooking them and cut them into similar sized pieces for them to finish cooking at around the same time.

7. Don’t Press Your Meat!

It’s super tempting to try to press down on the meat while it’s on the grill. Just like flipping it excessively, it causes the meat’s juice to escape, leaving a drier piece of grilled meat.

8. Use Some Salt

In the absence of marinades or other fancy seasonings, you can never go wrong with salt. Not only does it enhance the flavor, but it also tenderizes the meat and helps retain moisture. Sprinkle a little on all sides of your meat.

9. Know the Numbers

If you’re concerned about grilling your food with precision, you could use a thermometer to gauge when it’s ready. When it comes to steak, 115-120 degrees is rare, 125-130 degrees is medium rare, and 135-140 degrees is medium.

10. Take it Slow

"You can't rush perfection."--Words any grill meister worth his or her salt lives by. If the meat is frozen, allow it plenty of time to thaw. Higher temperatures don't make your food cook faster. They just increase your odds of serving steak that's charred beyond recognition and raw in the center.

Whether you’re busy grilling in your backyard or occupied with spring cleaning activities, your home is the center of all your family activities, and Infinity Insurance understands that. So why not find the right coverage for your home? Call one of our agents today at 1-800-INFINITY or visit us online for a free quote.

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