1. Ensure your grill is clean before using by preheating it so that any leftover food or sauce will burn and brush off easily.
2. Trim excess fat from meat before grilling to help reduce flare-ups.
3. Always brush barbecue sauce on food towards the end of cooking to prevent sugars from burning.
4. If using leftover marinade to baste food on the grill, make sure to boil it first to destroy harmful bacteria.
5. When moving or flipping meat on the grill use long-handled tongs or spatulas to increase the distance between the heat source and your skin.
6. Never pierce meat with a fork to flip it on the grill. This releases juices making it less moist.
7. While food is cooking on the grill, resist the urge to move it around or flip it too soon. Leave it alone until grill marks form to prevent sticking. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes.
8. To check for grill marks while food is grilling, use a pair of tongs to gently lift one corner. If the corner sticks to the grill, leave it a bit longer.
9. The easiest fish to cook on the grill are firm, meaty ones like tuna, swordfish or salmon.
10. Avoid opening the lid of the grill needlessly allowing heat to escape.
11. Standard temperatures for grilled red meats are: 125°F – rare; 130°F – medium-rare; 140°F – medium; 150°F – medium-well; 160°F – well done. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temperatures.
12. Always allow grilled meat to rest, loosely covered in foil for 5 to 10 minutes. This helps to retain juices keeping the meat moist.
13. To grill veggies, cut into large lengthwise pieces and place on the grill perpendicular to the grill grates to prevent them from falling through. For small vegetables like pearl onions and grape tomatoes, place them in a grill basket. For layered or leafy vegetables like onion or fennel, cut into quarters lengthwise through the core, keeping the core intact to prevent them from falling apart during grilling.
14. If using wooden skewers, toothpicks, or cedar planks while barbecuing, soak in water for about twenty minutes before using them to prevent charring.
More recipes and barbecue tips can be found online at www.pc.ca.
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