Outdoor Grilling Tips for This Summer

One of the best parts of the summer season is hosting cookouts and grilling outside.

beef steak on the grill with flames

Many can agree that one of the best things in life is driving through a neighborhood with your windows down, and smelling something delicious cooking on the grill. When this happens, you know that it’s officially summer. These tips will make sure that the food you grill comes out perfectly.

1. Make Sure the Grill is Hot

One mistake that many people make when it comes to grilling is not allowing the grill to get hot enough before they start cooking. Making sure your grill is hot will ensure that your meats and other delicious food will grill to perfection, without risking being under or overcooked.

However, it can be difficult to tell if your grill is the right temperature if it doesn’t have a temperature gauge. One way to check if the grill is hot enough is to hold your hand about 4 inches about the grate. Make sure that you are careful not to burn yourself! If after a few seconds, you feel your hand getting very hot, you know that the grill is ready for your food.

2. Clean and Lubricate the Grill

Never cook on a dirty grill. To clean the grill, it is recommended that you use a long handled, stiff wire brush. If you don’t have a grill brush, you can also use a ball of aluminum foil to clean the grill. It is best to clean the grill right after turning it on, as the heat makes it easier to clean but it isn’t so hot that you risk the chance of getting burned.

To make sure that none of the food sticks to the grate of the grill, it is recommended that you lubricate it before cooking. You can use a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil to moisten the grill grate. Then, use your tongs with the paper towel at the end to oil the grate before you put food on the grill. Do not let the oil drip, however, or it will cause flames and you could burn either yourself or the food. Slicing an onion in half and rubbing it on the grate is another way to lubricate while also adding great flavor.

3. Do Not Press Down on Your Meats

Pressing down on a burger while on the grill does make a nice sizzling sound, but it will result in a dry burger. If you press down on the meats, then you are draining all of the good juices out of the meat. To help keep the moisture in your burger, create a little crater in the middle of your burger before cooking so that it holds the juices even better than a regular patty.

4. Don’t Be Scared to Grill Vegetables

It might be hard to believe that grilled vegetables are just as delicious as grilled meat. If you have a grill that uses coal, you can even cook the vegetables directly on the coals. Remember, if you are indirectly cooking the vegetables (cooking the vegetables on your grill grate, not the coals) they will cook much better if you coat them with olive oil before grilling. A little bit of salt and pepper also goes a long way! Experiment with different types of vegetables on the grill.

If you love eating food on the grill, then these tips should be of great use to you! Here at Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, we have outdoor grilling every Wednesday night. We have all of your favorites including steak, salmon, chicken, and kabobs. Find out more information about our outdoor grilling in the Hexmark Tavern here.  We hope to see you soon, and wish you luck in all your grilling adventures this summer!