Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated May 22, 2013)
If you've used a barbecue before, you probably have a good idea of what you like and what works for you. These tips can help you improve the awesome results you already get from grilling your meats at your next backyard gathering.
Don't try to grill anything that's too thick. A one-inch cut is the thickest you'll want to throw on the barbecue. Anything thicker will burn on the outside before it cooks in the middle.
Always allow your meat to come to room temperature before putting it on the grill. This will help your meat cook evenly. If you put it on the grill straight out of the refrigerator, the outside will cook quickly, and the inside will still be cold.
Don't use extra lean ground beef to make burger patties. The fat is what gives your burgers the flavor, so buy whatever is cheap, and then make the patties fresh yourself. You can combine some salt, pepper, and other seasonings while you're putting your patties together and you won't have to worry about seasoning them while you grill.
Pork sausages and hot dogs stay moist while you're grilling, and they don't need a lot of attention. You can do turkey sausage or dogs if you're going to stay right by the grill, but they're likely to get tough and dry if you don't pull them out of the heat right when they're done.
Chicken is best grilled with the skin on and the bone in (this keeps it moist). If you really want to grill boneless, skinless chicken, turn the heat down and don't leave it alone. Chicken dries out quickly if you grill it without the skin, so you will probably want to soak it in a marinade for at least 12 hours before grilling it. (Another great idea is to frequently baste the chicken with pesto sauce as it is grilling. This helps keep it moist and gives it a great flavor.)
Fish also dries quickly on the grill, so don't walk away from it. Watch it as it cooks. Fish is done when the pieces pull apart easily.
See the tips on barbecue recipes for awesome marinades, rubs, and glazes you can use the next time you're grilling.
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