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Lucy Waverman's grilling tips Add to ...

Tips to get the best from your grill:

- Season meat with salt and pepper before you grill. It improves the taste. You don't need marinades and rubs when you grill top-quality meat, unless you want to give it an international taste such as Indian or Asian. Lesser quality or tougher meats need something to help break down the fibres and it can be as simple as a salad dressing or an herbal mixture with a base of mustard or a citrus.

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- With a gas grill, generally grill with the lid down.

- With larger cuts of meat, turn off the middle or side burner (depending on the type of barbecue you have), and place the meat on the side that has been turned off.

- Chicken needs a medium to medium-low heat to prevent the skin from burning.

- Whenever you use wood, for planked salmon for example, soak it for 30 minutes to prevent the board going up in flames. Soak wooden skewers, too.

- Metal skewers will cook your kebabs or shrimp more quickly as the metal heats up and will also cook from the inside.

- That old faithful beer-can chicken is the best way to do a whole chicken. Otherwise, butterfly the chicken by removing the backbone and lay flat.

- Anything that can fall between the grates should be done in a basket. Fish baskets are generally too small to fit a whole fish, instead, you can oil the fish and place directly on the grill.

- Preheat grill for 10 minutes before cooking. Make sure racks are pristine to prevent food adhering to grill. Oil everything that will be cooked on the racks to stop sticking.

- Use a spray bottle with water to prevent flare-ups.

- Use a spray bottle with oil to oil grill and to spray ingredients before cooking.

- Don't pierce meat with a fork (the juices will run out). Instead, use tongs or a wide spatula.

Follow on Twitter: @lucywaverman

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