steak and vegetables on the grill

The 7 Best Grilling Tips for Warmer Weather

Learn 7 essential grilling tips to keep your guests impressed and save big on steaks & grilling accessories with coupons from Omaha Steaks and Sur La Table!

by Joe Graceffa, on April 21st, 2017

At long last spring is here and that means one thing: time to break out the grill! Nothing says warm weather has arrived more than the smell of a meal cooking on a barbecue. And with the days getting longer, the great aromas of outdoor cooking are just around the corner.


There is no denying the popularity of barbecuing. From the backyards of wealthy Beverly Hills homes to the patios of New York high-rise buildings to the infields of NASCAR speedways, everyone enjoys grilling. According to a recent poll, in the US, 75% of adults own a grill or smoker and 63% use it all year around. In fact, retail sales of grills amounted to about 2.31 billion U.S. dollars from 2013 - 2015.


Outdoor Grilling Tips
Here are seven helpful tips for beginners to take some of the guesswork out of outdoor grilling. These ideas are guaranteed to help you serve up the tastiest, juiciest dishes and assure every grilling experience is a success.


Chicken kabobs on the grill 1


Chicken kabobs on the grill 1

1. Preheat. Just like your oven, a preheated grill will benefit the cooking process and enhance the taste of your food.


About 15 to 25 minutes before you’re ready to start grilling, make sure the grill reaches the right temperature. A properly heated grill sears foods on contact and keeps the insides moist. Using the ideal grill temperature will create amazing flavors through caramelization. Professionals suggest that you season your food before grilling and then allow your foods to "rest" for five minutes between cooking and eating.


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2. Oil Up. Even on a perfectly clean grill, lean foods may stick when placed directly on the rack. Reduce sticking by oiling the hot grill rack. Take a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel and use tongs to wipe it across your grill. Remember never to use cooking spray on a hot berbeque.


3. Avoid Flare Ups. When grilling a fatty piece of meat or fish, there may be drippings that cause flare-ups. Avoid using a water bottle to put out any flames that may occur. The quickest way to extinguish flare-ups is to put the lid on the grill. The lid will reduce the amount of oxygen that feeds the fire, snuffing out the flare-ups.


4. Is It Done Yet? The best way to know if any protein is fully cooked is to check its internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. These days, finding the temperature of your meat, chicken, pork or fish is simple with a state-of-the-art thermometer that will take the guesswork out of grilling. This handy tool provides quick, accurate readings and many are available with a vivid LED readout that can be easily seen from almost any angle.


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5. Anything is Possible. Although a recent survey found that hot dogs are the most popular grilling item, these days you can barbecue just about everything, and we mean everything. Even small items like shrimp and chopped vegetables can be put on the grill with accessories like a grill basket so they don’t fall through the grate.


Use specially designed grill mesh pans to cook foods that are just too cumbersome to turn over one by one. Be inspired to try new items on the barbecue this season like grilling romaine lettuce for a caesar salad or cook an actual grilled cheese on the grill.


And here’s a handy tip when you want to grill shish kabobs… soak the bamboo skewers in water and they will never burn. You can even soak a big batch of sticks all at once for an hour or so. Then drain and freeze them in a plastic bag. Simply pull out as many skewers as you need when it’s time to cook dinner in your outdoor kitchen.


6. Flip Your Food. The number one reason by far that people grill is to improve the flavor of the meal. Experts warn not to pierce your meat with a fork or prongs. If you do, the juices will escape, making the meat drier and less flavorful. Use a spatula or tongs to move and flip your food. Brighten up your outdoor cooking space by choosing fun colored tongs that feature heat-resistant silicone tips, available at Sur La Table.


7. Separation Anxiety. Remember to stop cross contamination to avoid any potential of sickness, especially from salmonella. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, salmonella is estimated to cause one million foodborne illnesses in the United States. Use fresh plates, utensils, and cutting boards to prevent raw meat, poultry, and fish from contaminating cooked food.


Get Out and Grill!
Now that the sunshine is plentiful, it’s time for a new type of comfort food.  Burgers, corn on the cob, and fresh vegetables are all ready for outdoor grilling. Gather together with friends and family and enjoy some new flavors for spring.