Grilling is a popular way to cook food, and for good reason – it can produce some of the most delicious meals around. If you’re looking to up your grilling game, look no further than these seven tips from professional grillers. From using the right tools to avoiding common mistakes, these tips will have you cooking like a pro in no time.

1. Use the right tools

If you want to grill like a pro, you need to use the right tools. That means investing in a good quality grill and stocking up on essential accessories like tongs, a spatula, and a brush for cleaning the grill grates. You might also want to invest in a grill cover to protect your investment. For example, boat grills are designed for use on the water, so they’re perfect for those who love to cook outdoors. Similarly, kamado grills are perfect for those who want to smoke meats or vegetables. Keep in mind that you’ll also need charcoal or propane, as well as wood chips or pellets if you’re planning on smoking.

2. Preheat your grill

Whether you’re using charcoal or gas, it’s important to preheat your grill before cooking. This will help ensure that your food cooks evenly and prevents it from sticking to the grates. To preheat a charcoal grill, simply light the coals and let them burn until they’re covered in gray ash. For a gas grill, turn on all the burners and let the grill heat up for 10-15 minutes.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure that your grill is hot enough before adding food. The best way to test the temperature is to hold your hand about an inch above the grates – if you can only keep it there for a second or two, the grill is ready to go.

3. Clean your grill

You should always clean your grill before cooking, even if it’s just been used. This will help remove any built-up residue from previous cookouts and prevent your food from sticking. To clean your grill, start by removing the grates and brushing them with a wire brush. Then, use a putty knife or scraper to remove any stubborn bits of food. Next, clean the inside of the grill with soapy water and a sponge. Finally, rinse everything off with clean water and dry it with a paper towel.

4. Don’t be afraid to experiment

One of the best things about grilling is that there are endless possibilities when it comes to flavor. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings, marinades, and wood chips. You might be surprised at what you come up with!

5. Be careful with marinades

If you’re using a marinade, be sure to apply it to your food early so that it has time to work its magic. However, you should never reuse a marinade that has been used on raw meat, as this could lead to food poisoning.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that marinades can cause your food to stick to the grill, so be sure to apply them sparingly. Keep in mind that thicker marinades will take longer to penetrate the meat, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Plus, sweeter marinades can cause your food to burn more easily, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

6. Don’t overdo it

One of the most common mistakes people make when grilling is overcooking their food. This not only dries out the meat but can also cause it to develop a burnt flavor. To avoid this, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food. For steak, you’ll want to aim for around 145 degrees Fahrenheit. For chicken, look for an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Let it rest

Once your food is cooked, it’s important to let it rest before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful steak. For best results, let your meat rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting it. Plus, it’ll give you time to tend to any other food that might be cooking on the grill. Not to mention, it’ll give you something to do while your food is resting!

Grilling can be a fun and easy way to cook outdoors, but it’s important to follow a few basic tips for best results. By using a grill cover, preheating your grill, cleaning your grill regularly, and experimenting with different flavors, you’ll be able to create delicious grilled meals that your friends and family will love. Remember to let your food rest after cooking for the juiciest results!