Need advice on grilling

This afternoon I used my new gas grill for the first time.

Conclusion: I suck at grilling.

Does one put the meat on the grill before the grilling surface is hot? Or do you get the grill hot first?

Any other general advice for a grilling beginner?

Get your grill hot first… when you put your meat on, make sure you dont turn it up on high or you will get charcoal as a result. The best part of grilling is that if you cook it on a lower heat, you keep all the juices in. If you marinade your meat, brush some of the marinade on during grilling too… mmmmmm mmmmm what time is dinner?

We are, each of us angels with only one wing;
and we can only fly by
embracing one another

Thanks Sue!

Another question, do you do anything to keep the meat from sticking to the grill, like spraying PAM or something?

You can spray your grill or even brush some olive oil on it… but if you cook your meat slowly and dont flip it too often, it shouldnt stick. Most grills are made with that non stick surface these days. Hope I helped a bit.

We are, each of us angels with only one wing;
and we can only fly by
embracing one another

I was a grill newbie myself not long ago…You have much to learn, grasshopper- but I’m happy to impart my new knowledge. :slight_smile:
OK, enough BS.
For steak/burgers:

  1. Start grill and pre-heat it for about 7 minutes (I do this on high with the lid closed. I’m sure someone around here will say it will explode or something…it won’t)

  2. Turn heat down to low or medium. You are cooking with the heat of the coals, not the flame of the grill. Put on steaks or burgers.

  3. Open a beer, drink it. By the time you’re done with it, your steak or burgers will be ready to turn (about 5 minutes). Flip 'em!

  4. Open another beer, drink it. When done, check your meat (use a meat thermometer to be safe) when it is cooked to your liking, it’s done!

Chicken- Soooo easy and GOOD!!
You can marinate the chicken first if you want- don’t have to

1.- wrap chicken breasts (bone in) tightly in foil.

2.- preheat grill as mentioned above.

3.- This time, put the chicken on the top rack of your grill (if it has one). If not, make sure the grill is on low and put it on the regular rack.

4- drink a six pack- these need to cook about 25 minutes.

5- unwrap your chicken and cook about 8-10 minutes more on the grill (on low). This will brown the skin- Yummy! Baste with Bar-B-Q sauce or chicken marinade sauce if you wish. If you marinaded your chicken before cooking, be sure to use FRESH marinade when basting. If you use the same marinade as before, you could have problems with salmonella.

I have become a grill pro, so e-mail me if you want any more advice. Remember, times here are approximate. Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer, or (for chicken) wait until the juices run clear when pierced. (I usually cut the biggest piece right through the thickest part to check- makes me feel better)

A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat full of assholes.

Rules for grilling.

  1. preheat grill. Putting meat on too early is what is causing it to stick.

  2. never cook at a low temperature for longer. it doens’t make up the difference. you need a certain temperature to kill all the diseases.

  3. ONLY FLIP ONCE! If you flip alot, the center of the meat never has time to heat up and cook properly.

  4. Don’t cut the meat to see if it’s done inside. If you cut early, it give time for all the juice to leak out. However, you can do this if you want to get rid of the fat, but in meat (like it or not) the flavor is in the fat. to check to see if it’s done, only after you’ve given plenty of time to cook, poke with fork. if the juice is too red, it isn’t done.

All this science, I don’t understand. It’s just my job 5 days a week-- Rocketman

One more thing…I usually cook my steaks and burgers with the lid open to prevent burning. Chicken I cook with the lid closed. :slight_smile:

PS- you can also do veggies on the grill- buy a pack of Reynolds Aluminum Foil Pouches and there are recipes on the box :slight_smile:

A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat full of assholes.

And keep in mind that most barbeque sauces are not intended as marinades or to go on at the start of the grilling. If you use a tomato based sauce (which includes most commercial brands) the sauce will burn during the cooking. Try using an oil marinade or a dry spice rub. If you want to add a sauce, do it when the cooking is mostly done.

Read the instruction booklet that came with the grill.

I bought a new gas grill last summer, myself. Read the book, and realized that I’d been doing a LOT of things wrong over the last 15 years of grilling. The food always tasted good, but now it tastes good, is easier to cook, and the grill’s easier to clean afterwards.

Zette, does your grill call for a lot of “indirect” cooking? I used to grill steaks and chops with the lid open all the time, but now I keep it closed…the heat isn’t right under the meat, but swirls around it.


I cook with the lid open sometimes but I recommend it for new users who don’t realize that the combination of greasy meat and a closed lid can be quite flammable.
My grill directions didn’t say either way- it’s just the way I do it :slight_smile:
(and I have a popular grill in the summer. Lots of good food and better company :slight_smile: )

A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat full of assholes.

Zette, that’s where the indirect cooking thing comes into it.

I can lay a nice, greasy butterflied leg of lamb (marinated overnight in olive oil, lemon juice, onions, garlic, oregano, bay leaves, and parsley) in the middle of that grill, with the front and back burners going but no actual fire UNDER the meat, and it can drip to its little heart’s content…the fat just hits the bars beneath, sizzles and flavors the lamb even more.

I got a Weber. I want to get a Weber kettle charcoal grill as a back-up, but the gas one is so nice during the winter…I can keep grilling even when the temperature drops to zero!


BTW, the RECIPES that come with the grill are usually useless, but the “Directions for Cooking” that came with my Weber, itemized for different cuts of beef, pork, poultry, lamb, sausages, fish, and veggies, were important. Kept me away from flare-ups, carbonized steak, overdone chops and such.

For actual recipes for dry rubs, marinades, sauces, mops, etc., plus good info on grilling techniques, allow me to recommend the cookbook COOKING WITH FIRE AND SMOKE by Phillip Stephen Schulz.

Gas grills are for wimps. I always use charcoal – and never lighter fluid. That’s grilling. Gas grills are merely broiling. Not the same.

and rub two sticks together to get it going!

All this science, I don’t understand. It’s just my job 5 days a week-- Rocketman

I like your ideas a lot Zette. Frankly after enough beer I’m not to interested with how the meat tastes. :smiley:

My cousin lends out a smoker/grill that is propane fired and built out of a large fuel holding drums. Throw yourself on a huge roast, every 20 minutes or so dump on Worcester Sauce and sprinkle with Onion salt (or is it powder?) it keeps the juices in. Then after it’s done (best to use a meat thermometer) use a meat slicer to slice it thin for loose meat sandwiches. Damn good for the Fourth of July.

I always put wood chips on my grill. Straight charcoal give it THAT TASTE, though I suspect that the fluid is more responsible than the charcoal. Still, wood rules!

Yer pal,

Revtim: Another question, do you do anything to keep the meat from sticking to the grill, like spraying PAM or something?

Very important point here. DON’T spray Pam on a hot grill! You will have a flame thrower in your hand.

I admit it, I did the PAM flame thrower thing…

Looked cool, though.

Dunno about gas grills, because I don’t have one. (Though it’s tempting now that winter is coming on…)

If you’re using the standard charcoal grill, Satan is right: soak some wood chips and pop them on top of the coals. Hickory, mesquite, whatever…or applewood! yum, yum.

It also helps to mound the charcoal a little to the side so you have a “slow” side. Just use a long pair of tongs; it works even in my itty, bitty Weber “Smokey Joe”. That way you can sear and then slower cook to finish.

And two hints: when grilling veggies, cut 'em big so they don’t drop through. (Yeah, so I’m not the brightest candle in the chandelier.)
And when you’re grilling fish, it really helps to have one of the nifty little cage gizmos w/ a handle. You put the fish in the rack and then turn the whole thing. Maybe I’m just a real klutz, but fish is so delicate I always had trouble w/ it sticking to the grill or falling apart.

A gas grill, huh? Temptation, temptation.


Gotta agree with Ike here… the Weber gas grill is the greatest thing in the world of cooking. A quick searing and then indirect heat makes almost anything a masterpiece.

Wood chips aren’t just for charcoal either. I put a small foil pan (poke a few holes in the bottom) filled with soaked chips under the grates (on top of the flavorizor bars) and get some great smoke flavor.

RealityChuck… although I admire your purity… possibly you should realize that sometimes technology advances are a good thing. You know, we even have electric lights now (but I’m sure it can’t match the warm glow of those oil lamps you use).

Aside to Ike… grill a whole turkey… follow the directions they supply… It is as good as it gets IMHO.