9 Delicious BBQ Tips for Beginners

Are you a new homeowner, or did you just purchase your first family backyard grill? Are you eager to make a great grilling impression, but not sure where to start?

Barbequing can seem daunting at first. Yet the benefits of taming the outdoor fire machine make it worth the effort to a few new skills.

Barbequed meats have less fat and more nutrients. Grilling is also a great way to bring your family and friends together when the weather is nice.

Here are some of our favorite bbq tips.

1. The Gas Advantage

Gas barbeques use propane or methane tanks as their main source of heat. The heat from a gas barbeque is usually consistent and direct. These barbeques heat food quickly, making them a great option for weeknight cooking. 

Gas grills allow you to set temperatures precisely, and they’re easy to clean. You can also use wood chips to add a smoky flavor if that’s what you like.

Gas doesn’t, however, burn as hot as charcoal does, so your heat may not be as efficient. You also won’t have as much freedom when it comes to indirect cooking and smoking.

2. Choosing Charcoal

Charcoal barbeques allow you a little more versatility with heat. You can turn it way up or quite low.

Some foods, like briskets and ribs, can get seared hot and fast on charcoal before you indirectly heat them. Indirect grilling is also better due to the radiant heat available. This is great for foods like whole chickens and pork shoulders.

You can try different kinds of wood smoke with charcoal grills. You may, for example, want to use wood chips, hardwood, or chunks. 

Getting a fire started can be tricky with a charcoal grill, and they are a bit messier when it comes to clean up. Charcoal grills are, however, available in many inexpensive options. The grill you choose will depend upon your preferences and experience with barbeque. 

3. Don’t Press Down

It’s tempting to press down on your burgers and chops while you grill. It can, however, cause a number of problems for beginners.

Pressing down on your burgers can cause juices to escape, and you won’t be able to get them back! It’s also likely to make your patties stick, which will make them more difficult to turn over.

Pressing down will also send your juice into the coals, or onto the reflectors on a gas grill. This can make it more difficult to keep your flames under control while you’re cooking.

4. Use a Thermometer 

A thermometer can help you get your meat to the right temperature without overcooking it. It’s a great way to start when you’re a beginner.

You can place your thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, and make sure it isn’t touching the bone. 

Aim for a little over 150 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re cooking chicken or duck. Pork can be cooked to just under 150 degrees.

When you’re cooking beef, aim for around 140 degrees Fahrenheit for a rare finish, and around 170 degrees for a well-done finish. You’ll want to make sure you keep the thermometer in the meat long enough to get a good reading.

5. Get Organized

Food on the grill cooks quickly, so you’ll want to be sure you’re ready to organize your cooked and uncooked food around you. 

Make sure you have a serving platter at the ready for anything that comes right off the grill, and you’ll need to keep it separate from your uncooked meats and marinades. You’ll also want to have a spatula and tongs handy.

6. Marinate

Food off the grill tastes delicious no matter what, but marinated meats reveal a serious cook.

You won’t need tons of ingredients or time to prepare a marinade. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with a little lemon, garlic, and olive oil. 

Just make sure you think about flavoring up your meat a few hours before you start cooking.

7. Start Clean

A messy grill isn’t a good way to start your meal. Any flavors from previous dishes can really spoil the taste of your current masterpiece.

It’s easy to clean your grill with a strong metal brush, especially while the grill is still hot. If you’re using charcoal, you’ll also need to clean out the inside of the bowl with mild dish soap and wool pad.

8. Don’t Put Cold Food Right on the Grill

For a great cook, avoid taking your foods directly from the fridge to the grill.

Instead, let it sit out at room temperature for about a half-hour before you barbeque. This will help your meat to cook more evenly.

9. Offer Some Variety

If you’re cooking for a party, it can be stressful to research the cook times for different meats and veggies.

Keep it simple if you’re a beginner. You can add some options like hot dogs, hamburgers, or chicken patties, but make sure nothing too complicated is on the menu.

A few different options should keep your guests happy, and you can change it up with a variety of sauces and condiments. A little extra flavor is all you need to compliment some delicious smoky meat, no matter how simple it is!

The Best BBQ Tips

Your first summer on the grill doesn’t have to be a disaster. With a little grill advice, your home can be a one-stop-shop for flavor in no time. And your BBQ tips will keep guests coming back for more!

Don’t stop getting to be a wiz now. For more great barbeque tips, read our blog today.