How to Barbecue: 5 Tips for Beginners

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Grilling is a rite of passage for at-home cooks of all ages, allowing you to prepare delicious burgers, steaks, vegetables, and plenty more. That smoky flavor is to die for, but the question of how to barbecue can be daunting at first.

Let’s go over five tried and true methods that will convince your friends and family that you’re a grilling pro.

1. Clean the Grates

Cleaning the grates in your grill is imperative for multiple reasons. It prevents rust build-up and old residue from getting on your food, and it ensures a more even cooking temperature.

Cleaning your grill takes on a few different meanings.

You should always clean your grill right before you grill. Make sure the grates are warm enough to loosen up residue, but not get hot enough to burn you, and then get started. While a grill brush is typical, many have taken to using half an onion, claiming that it cleans better and seasons the grates at the same time.

2. Let It Get Hot Enough

A common mistake that new barbecuers make is to put their meat on the grill too soon. If you don’t let it get hot enough by waiting 20-30 minutes, your food will cook unevenly and will likely result in an unpleasantly chewy texture.

If cooking with direct heat, the meat should sizzle as soon as it hits the grill. Try to monitor the temperature by letting your hand hover about an inch above the grates of the grill.

3. Experiment With Your Grilling

Traditional burgers, hot dogs, and steaks are hallmarks of barbecuing, but there are many more potential meals to prepare on a grill. Try wrapping seasoned veggies – such as sweet potatoes, onions, and mushrooms – in foil, letting it cook through and absorb the smoky flavor while you tend your steak.

Cast iron is also a great addition to your grilling tools. Buying a skillet or griddle allows you to make smash patties, small vegetables, and much more!

Another way to experiment in your grilling journey is with new kinds of grills. While people usually only think in terms of charcoal and gas, ceramic grills like the Kamado Joe Bundle are some of the best options in the market today.

4. Flip It Once

Whether you’re learning how to barbecue chicken, how to barbecue ribs, or how to barbecue steak or burgers, you lose flavor with every flip of the meat. The juices that cause the flame to go up are that wonderful flavor that you don’t want to lose.

Instead, find the optimal time per side through personal experimentation, flipping only once in the middle of cooking it through.

5. Let Your Meat Rest

You’ve probably heard this one, but it needs to be emphasized again. Let the meat rest for a little while! Resting your meat allows it to cook all the way through and lock in the flavor that would be lost if you cut into it too soon.

Now You Know How to Barbecue Like a Pro

These steps are a great start when learning how to barbecue. Whether you’re learning for fun, have a cookout in the near future, or are looking to spice up the dinner menu, you’ll soon have the best barbecues your family could ask for.

For more barbecue tips and information feel free to stay up to date with the rest of our blog!

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