Top 5 Summer Grilling Tips

To make you a star in your backyard, try these barbecue cooking tips!

The weather won’t be the only thing heating up this summer, it’s time to fire up the grill! These are our top 5 summer grilling tips that will be sure to make this grilling season a tasty one. 


1. The Hot Seat

Every grill has hotspots.  Some people regard this as a negative.  Depending on the grill you can even set it up where you have “two-zone” cooking where you have a hotter side for searing and a cooler side for smoking.  This is very much like you would do if you had a wok! In fact, it provides an excellent advantage, especially if you are barbecuing a meal and need a cooler area.Instead of fighting your grill, embrace the hotspots and learn where they are and use them to your advantage.  Not everything needs to be cooked over the hottest part of your grill the entire time, but just about everything benefits from just a little time over the hot spot to create just that extra little bit of seared perfection.

2. Probing to Perfection

There is only one gadget, cooking utensil, tool, whatever you want to call it that makes everyone from a baker to a pitmaster better at what they do.  That tool is an instant-read thermometer.  Don’t go cheap here, do yourself a favor and invest in a good one that will last a lifetime.  Instant-read thermometers register the temperature of the food typically in about 2 seconds.  When you have a hundred chicken wings to check, the 2 second read time matters.  Having a great thermometer that you can trust and rely on makes you a better cook because you are no longer guessing at the temperature of your steaks, burgers, chicken, cakes, bread, etc.  Once you invest in a good one you will never cook without it again.

Remember, though, that many items continue to cook after they have been removed from the grill. Take that into consideration, but still test like crazy before serving. Never “eyeball” doneness.

3. Seriously Simple Seasonings

Don’t overlook the simple seasonings in your pantry for great results.  Something as simple as a little salt, pepper and rosemary can make one of the best steaks you have ever eaten.  Everyone has associated barbecue with ultra-complex rubs and sauces, but the best barbecue often has nothing but salt, pepper, smoke and skill as the primary ingredients.  A fine example of this is James Beard Foundation Award winner Aaron Franklin who only uses salt and pepper on his award-winning briskets.  There is a place for these rubs and sauces but learn to make great food with simple ingredients first before complicating the process too much. Of course, as you become more interested in experimenting with seasonings, you may want to take it to the next level. Shane, our Grilla Grills’ own Pitmaster, recommends that you explore our variety of rubs. From the All-Purpose rub that goes great on meats, seafood and poultry, to the Beef Rub that is totally meant for the red meat grilling fanatic, you can easily add depth and flavor.

Remember, too, that seasonings are not just for meats and proteins. They are for veggies and fruits, plus all those wonderful smoked dishes and casseroles like mac and cheese. 

4. Burning Questions

Once upon a time if you wanted to learn all the pitmasters secrets you had to swear an oath of allegiance and then start an apprenticeship that required countless hours of stoking fires before you were even allowed to touch the meat.  The world is a different place now and the resources to make you a star in your backyard are plentiful.  Just about all the great grilling tips and tricks have been written down in amazing books, but that’s only the start.  YouTube and other social media sites provide you direct and free access to thousands of hours of content that is all high quality and built for you to consume right from your phone next your grill.  So, take the time to do some research and follow your favorite cooking personalities, more times than not they have given you all the info you need for free and its right there for you to enjoy. 

Who knows? You might become our next Pitmaster influencer on social media who provides unique barbecue cooking tips to the grilling family! 

5. The Grate Debate

 There is a lot of confusion when it comes to grill grates.  Should they be perfectly clean?  Should you oil them every cook?  What should you clean them with?  There are lots of heated debates on the internet concerning grill grates and I’m here to tell you the right answer is…somewhere in the middle.  If you cook often, then using a high-quality brush at the beginning and end of your cooking is just about all you need to do.  Once every couple of months if you notice more build up happening then take the time to do a complete clean of the grates and then re-oil.  The reality is that unless you have cooked something exceptionally messy the trusty grill brush used on a hot grill takes care of most of the mess, then follow that up with the brush on the cold grill before you light it the next time.  If you do this you will have a grill that is pretty nonstick and doesn’t require hours and hours of cleaning every time you use it. 

Excited to put these barbecue cooking tips to action? Fire up the Grilla: Every meal can use some smoky goodness.


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Grilla Grills
558 E. 64th Street
Holland, MI 49423
Phone: 616-392-7410