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5 Grilling Tips to Wow Your Friends at the Next Barbecue

A selection of grilled meats is one of the 5 grilling tips to wow your friends at the next barbecue.

The Summer is winding down, and the last big holiday before autumn arrives is Labor Day.  Many of us will host one more summer barbecue for friends and family.  That means it’s your last shot at summer grilling success.  Cooking over an open fire can be tricky.  There are lots of things that can go wrong, and the next thing you know, you’re gnawing on a piece of dry chicken or burger.  But when you get it right, there is nothing more delicious than a perfectly grilled piece of meat.  So, if you want to master the grill, keep reading.  Here are five grilling tips to wow your friends at the next barbecue.

1. Build Your Fire Right

You can’t just dump your charcoal onto your grill and hope for the best. You gotta have a plan.  Start by using natural wood charcoal and fire starters.  Most grocery stores stock these items, and they make a big difference over the processed charcoal briquettes.  To add some extra flavor, add some hickory wood chips to the fire just before cooking.  Here’s the process:

1. Arrange the coals

Mound your charcoal in a pyramid shape in the center or off to one side of your grill. It’s important to allow airflow around at least three sides of the pile.  That way, the fire will stay lit and spread quickly into the center.

2. Light the Fire

Liquid lighter fluid can be dangerous and leave a nasty taste on your food.  Instead, grab a couple of fire starter tiles and shove them into the sides of your charcoal pile.  Try not to dislodge the pile and rebuild it if needed. Use a long match or grill lighter with a long nose to keep your fingers out of harm’s way.

3. Keep the Air Flowing

Close the cover of your grill, but open all the ventilation valves.  This will protect your fire from the wind but give it enough oxygen to grow. 

4. Spread them Out

Once the coals are 75% white, you are ready to spread them into an even layer, drop on your wood chips, and drop the cooking grate in place.  Then lower the lid to let the temperature rise to around 500 degrees.  If your grill gets too hot, close down the vents a little until the temperature comes down.  You never want to cook meat with a grill temperature over 500 degrees.

Natural lump charcoal, isolated on a black background.
Natural Lump Charcoal is our favorite fire material

2. Tips for Grilling Steaks

  1. Never trim the fat off the steak before grilling.
  2. Let the meat come to room temperature before grilling, then freeze it for 20 minutes just before grilling.
  3. Season the meat just before you place it on the grill.
  4. If you want pronounced grill marks, only turn steaks once.
  5. When finished grilling, remove steaks to a platter and cover with foil wrap.
  6. Let steaks rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Check out more tips for grilling steaks here!

3. Tips for Grilling Chicken

  1. To keep chicken moist, use a brine or marinade up to 24 hours before grilling. 
  2. Always use fresh marinade to baste chicken during the grilling process.
  3. Grease your grill grates with salad oil or non-stick spray to help prevent sticking. 
  4. When finished grilling, remove chicken to a platter and cover with foil wrap.
  5. Let chicken rest 10 minutes before serving.

Check out more tips for grilling chicken here!

4. Tips for Grilling Burgers

  1. Use beef that is no leaner than 85 percent. Meat with a higher fat content will be juicier and more flavorful.
  2. Form patties to ¾ inch thickness. 
  3. Season the meat just before grilling.
  4. If you are making cheeseburgers, top with cheese slices and close the grill lid 1 minute before done.
  5. When finished grilling, remove burgers to a platter and cover with foil wrap.
  6. Let burgers rest 10 minutes before serving.

Check out more tips for grilling burgers here!

5. How to Tell When it’s Done

Judging meat doneness only by its color is one of the most common mistakes home cooks make. Use a meat thermometer for the most accurate way to determine if your meat is ready for the table. Here is a chart to help you grill the perfect steak.

Desired TemperatureDescriptionMinutes Per SideInternal Temp
RareCool Red Center3 to 5125 degrees
Medium RareWarm Red Center4 to 5130 degrees
MediumWarm Pink Center5 to 6145 degrees
Medium WellWarm Hint of Pink Center6 to 8160 degrees
Well DoneWarm No Pink Center 8 to 10170 degrees
Source: The Spruce

Using these grilling tips at your next barbecue can help ensure success and wow your friends.  Cooking over an open fire can be intimidating, but you can master the art of grilling with proper planning.  Game Changer Products is all about planning for success.  We offer a complete line of performance enhancement products that will light your fire, build your confidence, and make your partner happy.  If you are looking to get started or try something new, check out our sampler packs.  If you know what your want, head straight to our shop to see our pills, shooters, honey, and candy products.  Plus, we offer free and priority shipping options to keep you in stock and always ready to perform your best!