10 Essential Grilling Tips

grilling tips, grilling avocado

Our friends over at Weber-Stephen Products (Weber Grills) put together this handy list of 10 Essential Grilling Tips for Memorial Day, 4th of July and other grilling occasions this summer.


By following a few simple grilling tips you will become a backyard hero with all of your summer grilling recipes grilled to perfection.

10 Essential Grilling Tips

1. Lighter Fluid: No Way!

There is no reason you should use lighter fluid anymore. It's a liquid product that evaporates, and who wants that and its foul chemical fumes under their healthy grilling recipes? Chimney starters and paraffin cubes are much cleaner and much more effective

grilling tips - chimney starters and paraffin cubes

2. Preheat the Grill

Preheating your grill with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes prepares the cooking grate. With all the coals glowing red, or all the gas burners on high, the temperature under the lid should reach 500 degrees F. The heat loosens any bits and pieces of food hanging onto the grate, making it easy to brush them off. Preheating your grill also helps prevent food from sticking to the grate and get the grate hot enough to sear properly

3. Keep it Clean

When bits of food have stuck to your stainless steel, cast-iron, or porcelain-enameled cooking grate, and the grate is hot, clean it with a stainless steel brush. This step is not only for cleanliness. It also prevents your food from sticking

4. Oil the Food, Not the Grate

Oil prevents food from sticking. It adds flavor and moisture, too. Lightly brushing or spraying the food with oil works better than brushing the grate. You won't waste oil and you will avoid a potentially dangerous situation

5. Know When to Be Direct

Direct heat (when the fire is directly below the food) is best for relatively small, tender pieces of food that cook in 20 minutes or less. Indirect heat (when the fire is on either side of the food) is best for larger, tougher foods that require more than 20 minutes of cooking

6. Keep the Air Flowing

A charcoal fire needs air. The lid should be closed as much as possible, but keep the vents on the lid and below the charcoal grate open. Remove the ashes on the bottom of the grill regularly to prevent them from blocking the vents. A gas fire needs air, too, which it gets from openings below the grill

7. Put a Lid on It

For four important reasons, the lid should be closed as much as possible:

1. It keeps the grates hot enough to sear the food

2. It speeds up the cooking time and prevents the food from drying out

3. It traps the smokiness that develops when fat and juices vaporize in the grill

4. It prevents flare-ups by limiting oxygen

8. Caramelization is Key

One of biggest reasons for the popularity of grilled food is its seared taste. To develop this taste for maximum effect, use the right level of heat and resist the temptation to turn food often. Your patience will allow for caramelization, or browning. That creates literally hundreds of flavors and aromas for your grilling recipes. As a general rule, turn food only once

9. Tame the Flame

Flare-ups happen, which is good because they sear the surface of what you are grilling. But too many flare-ups can burn your food. Keep the lid on as much as possible. This limits the amount of oxygen inside the grill, which will help extinguish any flare-ups. If the flames are getting out of control, move the food over indirect heat temporarily, until they die down. Then move the food back

10. Watch the Time and Temperature

If you are grilling in a colder climate or in a higher altitude, the cooking times will be longer. If the wind is blowing hard, it will lower a gas grill's temperature and raise a charcoal grill's temperature. Grilling is an art and a science. Pay attention to both.

And finally, add some California Avocados to your grilling recipes for a summery taste.

We love this recipe for Haute Grilled Avocados, shown above grilling on a Weber Q series grill.

Check out other avocado grilling recipes on the Weber website. Do you have any summer recipes or grilling tips for summer? Let us know in the comments below!