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Grilling Tips

Grilling is meant to be simple: Obtain meat, build fire, enjoy cheerful grunting all around. But if you want to advance your grilling game beyond My first response is always practice, practice, practice. Professional chefs working the grill station on any given night may cook dozens of steaks. That adds up to hundreds a steaks each week cooked to desired temperatures rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well.

Every meat lover dreams of cutting into a perfectly grilled steak and sharing the experience with friends and family, but they probably don't dream of paying restaurant prices.Nothing beats experience or the opportunity to cook one thing many times over and over but that doesn’t mean you can improve your grilling technique. Here are easy barbecue grilling tips that I think will make you a better home griller and improve your chances of putting perfectly cooked steaks on the table every time. Combine this with experience and you’ll be grilling like a pro.

We asked grilling gurus to take the guesswork out of barbecue and share techniques that separate the pros from the rank amateurs.

Gas Grill or Charcoal BBQ

The most common asked question since "Chicken or Egg? In my opinion, grilling over charcoal and grilling over gas are two entirely different experiences.The one simple thing you need to know is that it is a matter of taste and convenience.. Grilling over gas is like cooking in the house on a gas stove except you are outside. It’s easier and faster to cook on a gas grill but No one can tell the difference between the charcoal or gas when it came to the hamburgers, but they could tell the difference with the steak. The charcoal grilled steak had a distinct smoky flavor.Grilling over charcoal takes a little bit longer to get the fire started and get the grill hot but once it’s ready to go, you control the heat by adding more coals or moving them into a confined area. Not everything you cook needs such intense heat but it’s nice to have when you need it. You also get the added benefit of smoke flavor produced when using real charcoal.Most charcoal grills can usually easily outsear gas grills because they simply produce more direct infrared heat. A few gas grills, usually expensive ones, come with special sear burners that can do a good job of searing.Another thing to consider is how you plan to grill. If you want to come home from work and throw a couple of steaks or chicken breasts on the grill with virtually no hassle, then an electric or gas unit might be what you are looking for.

Grilling Accessories

Grilling Accessories are built to provide unparalleled cooking versatility when it comes to barbecuing. It makes grilling great, and right grill tools make all the difference. Grilling tools make barbecuing and grilling easy and more accurate. Some accessories give food better taste and make your project easy. There are many different types of grilling tools, from BBQ Wood Chips to DIGITAL thermometers. Barbecue Chefs should know about the best five grilling accessories available.

Five best grill accessories for all budgets

Weber 7516 Grill Light
12" 3 Sided Grill Brush
Weber 7536 Flavorizer Bars
Stainless Steel 3 Piece Barbeque Tool Set
Stainless Steel Vegetable Basket

Begin with a Clean Grill

Nothing makes grilling less fun than opening the cover and finding a grill full of residue. I’ve seen grills so thick with baked on gooey barbecue sauce that I’m surprised the heat can get through the cooking rack. And how about when in the middle of grilling, the grease stuck to the sides of the grill and the grease trap catch fire only to make your grilling experience even more challenging.

Keep your grill always clean! It allows the heat to flow better, prevents fires and just makes you feel like a better cook. The best way to start with a clean grill? Finish with a clean grill. When the grill is hot, it is a lot easier to clean so be sure to pull out your grill brush and give it a clean before you head inside to eat.

Preheating Your Grill Before You Start

Many of us wait to the last minute before starting the grill. I find myself rushing to get the grill started and before it has time to really get hot, slapping the burgers, steaks or salmon steaks onto the grill before the cooking grates have had time to get hot and then wonder why everything is sticking.Not everything you cook needs the grill to be super-hot but most of the time you’ll be starting on a really hot portion of a grill to sear what you are cooking and getting those beautiful grill marks and then moving the meat or fish over to the regular part to finish cooking with it. If you don’t start with a hot grill, you won’t get the sear marks you may be looking for. The best way to prevent this from happening is to start with a hot grill or a hot portion of it.

Direct vs. Indirect Grilling Methods

Doesn’t matter if you are using a charcoal grill or an stainless steel gas grill, most experts will tell you using a 2-Zone setup is the way to go when grilling. This means is you set up your grill to have a hot side for direct radiant heat and a less hot side for indirect convection heat. This is called " Direct vs. Indirect grilling Methods."

Depending on what you’re cooking, you may start on the direct heat side for a quick sear and then finish cooking on the indirect side, If you are cooking several things on the grill at the same time, some items may require a slow indirect heat but you may want to cook the vegetables on the direct heat to cook quickly.On a gas grill, start by turning all the burners up high to get the entire grill and and then turn one side off – left or right depending on your grill. If you are using charcoal, have all the coals on one side and one on the other side for indirect heat. If you charcoal grill is big enough, you can set up three zones for hot, medium and low heat and really get serious about your grilling.

Getting Your Ingredients Ready

Remember to take the steaks out of the refrigerator 15 to 25 minutes before you start grilling? Grilling meats, is much more efficient when they start out at room temperature.What about brines, marinades and rubs? The idea is to soak poultry and lean meats like pork in a salty solution to help them hold their moisture resulting in juicy, tender food. How long you brine your ingredients depend on what you are cooking but remember to rinse off the brine before cooking or you may end up with over salty results.Marinades are used for tougher cuts of meat so think of meats you will be grilling on indirect heat. Oil is another popular ingredient used in marinades. Depending on the cut of meat, marinades can work in as little as 30 minutes but most times you’ll do better if you marinate over night in the refrigerator.

Rubs are blends of spices and herbs that are applied to foods before grilling to give them more flavor. A good example of a popular rub is Cajun rub that might include pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Like a marinade, rubs can be added 30 minutes prior to cooking or the night before so the spices can permeate the meat.So depending on what you are cooking and what you are planning to use to add extra flavor, remember to plan ahead so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.

Seasoning the Grill

No one likes the meat sticking to the cooking grates when grilling. One way to help prevent this is by applying PURE vegetable oil before starting. Use a gathered paper towel dipped in some vegetable oil and applied to the grates on all sides or you can also use a spray oil. If your grill is clean, hot and greased before you start cooking, you have a much better chance of not having any sticking problems.What type of oil you use? As I said earlier, naturally use Pam or Canola, Grape Seed or Safflower Oil. There’s no reason to use an expensive olive oil to grease a grill. As soon as it hits the hot grates, it looses its expensive taste.

Don’t Add Too Many Items To The Grill

Common mistake made when grilling is adding too many items to the grill and expecting good results. If you add too much to the grill and have a flare up, there’s no place to move the food to. And if you are cooking a foods that start dripping fatty juices, you are going to have flare ups so you want to make sure you have a cooler part of the grill to move these foods over to.Another reason to not overcrowd the grill is similar to not overcrowding a fry pan when cooking inside. The more you add to the grill, the more heat your remove from the grates. If you remove too much heat, the meats will steam rather develop the desired grill marks and the end results will be terrible.

Don’t Fiddle With Your Food

when it comes to grilling and a mistake a lot of home cooks make. They are constantly fiddling with what they are cooking – moving food around, poke it, flipping it, pressing down on it. What gives most foods you grill so much flavor is the caramelization that takes place when the food is seared and left alone.Of course you have to flip what you are cooking at least once to cook both sides. Let it develop the wonderful flavors available from grilling.

Don’t Walk Away From The Grill

Don’t Walk Away From the Grill once you start cooking! Don’t Walk Away to get another beer or glass of wine, check out the score of your favorite sporting team or get something else done in the kitchen only to come back and find what you are cooking up in flames?

We all think we can do 10 things at once and most of the time we can, but there are going to be times when your multitasking turns into multi-disasters.
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