9 Grilling Tips

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                                                         9 Grilling Tips
                                                         By Tim Sousa

   Well, you now have your shiny new grill sitting out on the patio, and you're looking forward to
cooking some plump, juicy burgers or steaks. You want your food to turn out well, but grilling, like
anything else, does take some practice. These grilling tips will help you to get a good start, and create
a great meal.

 Always be sure to oil your grill first. Either spray the grill with a nonstick cooking spray before you turn
the grill on, or you can wipe it down with a wad of paper towels dipped in cooking oil. If the grill is hot,
be sure to hold the paper towels in a pair of tongs. Proper lubrication will keep the meat from sticking to
the grill. If it sticks, it will tear when you turn it, and it will lose its juices and become dry, as well as
looking unattractive, so be sure to properly oil the grill.

 Let the grill preheat before you put any food on it. You want the grill to be a constant temperature. If
you put on the meat while the grill is still heating, you may end up with dry meat. If you are using
charcoal, check the coals before you put the meat on the grill. The coals should be completely gray.
This allows the temperature to level off, and the lighter fluid to burn away.

 If you don't like the taste of lighter fluid on your food, try using a chimney starter. Place the coals in the
top, and then wad a couple of sheets of newspaper in the bottom. Light the paper, and wait for the
coals to ignite, then dump them into the grill. Just be sure not to place the chimney starter on any
flammable surface.

 Make sure your meat is completely thawed before cooking. Thaw it in the refrigerator for a couple of
days before you need it, and let it thaw. Remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room
temperature before cooking. You can also thaw the meat in the microwave, but it will need to be
cooked immediately after you remove it from the microwave.

Avoid foodborne illness, don't place the cooked meat on the same plate that you used to carry the raw
meat to the grill. Use a different cutting board for meats and vegetables to avoid cross contamination.

 Never use a fork to turn the meat. A fork will poke holes in the meat, allowing the juices to drain away,
giving you dry meat, and a difficult buildup of grease and burned on juices to clean out of your grill. Use
a pair of tongs to turn the meat, and keep the juices where then belong, inside the meat.

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 You'll need to open the lid from time to time to turn the meat, and to check for doneness. You want to
leave the lid closed as much as possible, though. The changing temperatures from constantly opening
and closing the lid will cause the meat to dry out. So, keep the lid closed unless you're turning or
checking the meat.

 Not everything needs to be cooked over the highest temperature that your grill can attain. If the heat is
too high, the outside of the meat will burn, while the insides are barely cooked. Turn the temperature
down a bit on the gas grill, or let the coals burn down a bit more on a charcoal grill. There certainly are
some foods that need to be cooked on high, but not all.

 If you want to brush a sugary barbecue sauce on your meat, wait until the last few minutes of cooking
time. If you put the sauce on too soon, the sugar in the sauce will burn.

 So, fire up the grill, and practice your grilling techniques. Apply these simple tips, and you'll be grilling
like a pro in no time.

Visit for more grilling tips and grilling recipes.

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                                                           6 Seafood Grilling Tips
                                                                  By Tim Sousa

Grilling season is here. You've got your grill full of gas, you've stocked up on hamburgers, hot dogs,
and steaks, and you're ready to go. But those hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks are getting old fast.
You'd like to try something else for a change. If you're looking to change up your usual grilling menu,
why not try seafood? Fish makes a healthy meal, and grills up quite easily. Seafood does present
some grilling challenges, however. These tips should help you on your way to grilling great seafood.

 1) Make sure your grill is clean and oiled. Fish sticks to the grill very easily, so proper lubrication is
essential. If you don't oil your grill, the fish will stick, and break apart when you try to remove it. Grab a
wad of paper towels, or a rolled up kitchen towel in a pair of tongs. Dip the paper towels or kitchen
towel into some vegetable oil, and rub the oil onto the grill. You can also spray the grill with cooking
spray, just be sure the grill is off when you do this, or the spray could ignite, injuring you.

 2) Use fresh fish if possible, since it is easier to work with than frozen fish. Each serving should be
about 6-8 ounces for fillets or steaks, and 8-12 ounces for whole fish.

 3) You can place fish directly on the grill, but if you do this, you should use a firm fleshed fish, like
grouper, tuna, swordfish, or salmon. You can also buy grill baskets made for grilling seafood. These
will help small pieces of fish from falling through the grill, and will help in grilling delicate fillets.

 4) Cook the fish over medium-hot to hot heat. If your grill doesn't have a thermometer, then hold your
hand about 5 inches above the heat. If you can hold your hand there for 2 seconds, the temperature is
hot. If you can hold your hand 5 inches from the heat for 3-4 seconds, it is medium hot. If you're
cooking whole fish, you'll need to have the temperature a bit lower, so the fish won't burn. You should
plan on cooking the fish for about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. The fish is done cooking
when it is opaque, and begins to flake. It is better to undercook the fish a bit than overcooking it. You
can always cook it some more if it is undercooked, but you can't uncook it if it is overcooked.

 5) Marinades are a good way to add flavor and moisture to the fish before cooking. You only need to
marinate fish for 30-60 minutes. If you marinate the fish for too long, the acids in the marinade will start
to cook and break down the flesh. Lean fish should also be basted during cooking to keep the fish from
drying out. Fattier fish, like tuna and salmon don't need basting, but you can baste them to add more

 6) Shrimp, Scallops, and chunks of firm fleshed fish work well on skewers. Alternate chunks of
seafood with chunks of vegetables on a skewer for great seafood kebobs. If you're using wooden
skewers, be sure to soak them for 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning on the grill.

 It isn't hard to grill seafood, but it does take some practice. Follow these tips for grilling seafood, and
expand your grilling repertoire. It's a great break from hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks.

For more grilling tips and resources, visit

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