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Grilling Tips for Your Best (Foodie) Summer

Using your grill this summer or year-round is one of life’s true pleasures: grilling a fine steak, roasting mushroom and shrimp, baking potatoes or salmon filets in a foil packet, your palate can enjoy so many great flavors thanks to your grill. (and remember, we do grille exchanges year-round!) There is one thing you can’t fake, and that is true grilling skill. Here are all the things you need to know to turn yourself into a barbecue master, from

1) Don’t overcrowd the grill. Don’t make the rookie mistake of favoring quantity over quality. Yes, everyone is hungry, but by crowding that meat you are compromising on the best part about cooking over open fire: the crust. Cooking in shifts might take a little bit longer, but no one will be complaining when they bite into the steak you just grilled perfectly.

2) Don’t jump the gun. The enemy of mess-free grilling is a cold grill. If you’ve just turned the fire on and are itching to get going, DISTRACT YOURSELF, because you’ll need at least 10 minutes to heat a gas grill and 20 to heat a charcoal grill. Heat the grill fully before you start cooking, or your food with stick. Be patient.

3) Skip the sauce. We know, it’s called barbecue sauce. You’re so great at grilling that you don’t need to hide your meat behind sweet, heavy sauces that coat your grates and cause ugly flare ups. Use spice rubs to flavor your meat, and if you MUST use a sauce, use it only at the very end.

4) Menu Plan. Do yourself a favor, and plan for some non-BBQ items on the menu. It’s a good idea to make sure you have some food that can be cooked indoors or prepared in advance, so you don’t overwhelm the grill, or the griller. If you’re entertaining, having food that’s ready to go right away will take a load of pressure off, so you can man the fire stress-free.

5) Start with a clean machine. Make sure your grill grates are clean before you get started will help you avoid any fiery accidents. You wash your pots and pans in between uses; same principle. Invest in a new grill brush if you see loose bristles.

6) Leave the lid alone. Have some confidence in yourself. You are well on your way to grill mastery, so don’t stop now! After searing your food on the hot section of your grill, move it to the cooler section and close the lid. Don’t peek, either.

7) Let your meat rest. You did it. You cooked a steak that is so beautiful! Fight all urges to slice into it for at least 10 minutes. It’s necessary for your meat or chicken to rest before you start cutting! The juices that got released during cooking need to redistribute to give you a juicy, flavorful protein. Skipping this step WILL result in dry meat.

8) Grill beef at room temperature. Ever been to a restaurant or cooked a steak that had a perfectly charred crust, cooked for the right amount of time, but when you cut into it, the interior was a hint away from still mooing? Firing a cold steak will result in meat that’s cooked unevenly. Allow your meat to come all the way to room temperature before cooking for best results every time.

9) Cut against the grain. Meat muscle fibers generally run in one direction, and you want to slice the meat across those lines of muscle fibers. Yes, it makes a difference! Even if you have one of those weird cuts of meat that has a grain that switches direction half way through, do it. The difference between shoe leather and melt in your mouth could literally be the angle that you are holding your knife.

10) Use the right tools.  You need tools that are formulated to keep you safe while grilling, primarily by keeping your hands away from fire. Use long-handled tongs and spatulas and use a thermometer with a non-contact infrared sensor for perfectly cooked meat.

These BBQ grilling tips were adapted from Michal Frischman by permission and brought to you by is the premier site for year-round kosher cooking and conversation, with a huge variety of kosher recipes from top cookbooks and community foodies, plus cutting-edge food videos to entertain you and take your cooking to the next level.