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End-of-Summer Grilling Tips

Johnsonville brats grill

Photo courtesy ©Blue Moon Studio, Inc.

We know it’s nearly the official end of the grilling season, but, hey, for some of us, grilling is a year-round sport. If you’re relatively new to the world of grilling, you probably have lots of questions. Fear not because we’ve got some grilling tips to make the job nearly effortless.

We adapted these five easy secrets for grilling success from our friends who are  grill experts at Napoleon Grills. With these fool-proof tips, you will be cooking up juicy burgers and delicious steaks in no time.

  1. Clean Your Grill

Grill maintenance can be easy and it is crucial to keep your favorite outdoor appliance in fantastic working order for best results. It is imperative that you begin each session with a clean grill. When you are done cooking, turn your grill up to high and then use a grill brush to clear away any debris on the cooking grids. If you forgot to clean your grill after your last barbecued meal, you can still do this before you cook.

BBQ meats

Proper grilling can result in delectable foods.


Use the right grilling tools like grill thermometers.

Also, be sure to check on the grease tray and drip pan every two to four cooks to make sure there is nothing nasty building up. Excess grease and debris is dangerous and can lead to a fire.

  1. Use the Correct Tools

Having the right tools for the job is a huge part of being a better griller. Put together a barbecue kit that includes: tongs, salt and pepper, oil, paper towel, and heat resistant gloves.

  1. Don’t Crowd the Grill

Sometimes this is hard, even for seasoned barbecue chefs. But adding too much to the grill can make things difficult. If there’s a flare up, you won’t have any space to move the food to avoid burning it. Additionally, the more food on the grill, the more heat is removed from the cooking grids. This means your food will not sear properly, but instead, will bake or roast even if you are using direct heat.

Instead, cook in stages. For instance, if you’re grilling vegetables and meats, grill the veggies first. Then remove them from the grill and loosely wrap them in aluminum foil and continue onto cooking the meats. When you’re ready to serve, simply unwrap the veggies. They’ll still be warm and delicious.

  1. Grilled pork chops

    Meats should be rested after grilling.

    Pay Attention to the Finished Temperature of Meat

Know when your food is ready. It is easy to accidentally under cook or overcook your meal. That’s where a wireless digital barbecue thermometer comes in handy. This will allow you to know exactly when your food has reached the perfect temperature. Remember – under cooked food can be returned to the grill but once overcooked, it cannot be undone.

And, keep in mind that foods like meat continue to cook after you remove them from the grill. In order to remain juicy, grilled meats should be allowed to “rest” off the grill for 5-15 minutes (depending on the meat). It enables the juices to reabsorb into the muscles so that when you cut into the meat, all the juice doesn’t end up on the plate. However, during resting, the meat will continue to cook. The best bet is to undercook the meat and allow it to cook a little after removing from the grill.

  1. Get Creative

    cocoa exchange BBQ

    How about shrimp or fish on the grill?

You can cook just about anything imaginable on the grill –roasts and holiday dinners, breakfast, even baked goods and desserts! It is all about knowing how to utilize your grill for each meal.

Whether you’re an experienced grill master or a barbecue novice, these five secrets will ensure that you are well on your way to mastering and perfecting the fine art of cooking over fire.

wood fired pizza

Ever tried pizza on the grill? It’s great.

For even more secrets and other great tips, be sure to visit:

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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at