Best Grilling Tips: The Dos & Don’ts for Grilling Success

When it came time to assemble our list of Do’s & Don’ts for grilling success, we knew that we had to go straight to the pros at DLM for the best grilling tips: Our very own chefs and grillmasters. Bryan Paterchak, Scott Hailey, and Michael Schubert have decades of experience and pride themselves on sharing their vast knowledge with DLM customers who visit Jack’s Grill or the Meat department. When it comes to grilling, these are some of their tried and true tips that’ll help you make the most of your grilling endeavors.

best grilling tips

Best Grilling Tips: When Grilling, Do … 

  1. BE PREPARED. That means having your soon-to-be grilled food, accompaniments, and grilling tools all ready. Make sure you have enough gas in the grill, charcoal, or whatever materials you may need. And don’t forget your clean plate for when you’re done.
  2. KEEP YOUR GRILL SURFACE CLEAN, OILED, AND HOT! Dip a rag in olive oil and wipe down the grill top, using tongs so you don’t burn yourself. The best thing you can do for your grill is to clean it well and oil the grate.
  3. LINE YOUR MEAT ON THE GRILL IN ROWS. This will help you know what went on first and what will need turned first.
  4. KNOW YOUR HOT SPOTS. Then, if you want one steak well done, that’s where you place it. If everything is super consistent, heat one side of the grill to a lower heat to create your own hot spots.
  5. GET YOUR GRILL MARKS. For those perfect grill marks, turn the meat 90 degrees halfway through cooking the first side (think 10 o’clock and 1 o’clock).
  6. KNOW WHEN YOUR MEAT IS READY TO COME OFF. Use a meat thermometer and also the finger test. Poke the meat with your finger and if it feels squishy, it’s rare. The firmer, the more done it is. Only if you must, use a small knife and cut into the side of the meat.
  7. PULL YOUR MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND LET IT REST. The fibers of the meat will reabsorb its natural juices giving you a more tender and succulent bite.
  8. TIMING IS EVERYTHING. If you go inside to get something, your perfectly cooked item will be overcooked in a matter of seconds. (Read No. 1 again.)
  9. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Scared to go straight to filet mignon or a tuna steak? Talk to the pros in our Meat department and start with something in a price range you’re more comfortable with until you work up your confidence.

Best Grilling Tips: When Grilling, Don’t …

  1. DON’T SHOCK YOUR MEAT. Although you don’t want to take your meat out of the fridge too soon (food safety is a must), let it sit at room temperature for about 10-20 minutes before grilling, depending on inches of thickness. When the meat goes from a cold state to the hot surface, it will contract, like a muscle.
  2. DON’T TOUCH IT. Let it cook. Turning your meat over and over again complicates the grilling process. Only flip the meat one time.
  3. SKIP THE FORK AND USE TONGS! When you pierce the meat, it releases its juices and flavors.
  4. DON’T USE BUTTER. Butter burns. If you do use butter, use it at the end. A compound butter, like truffle butter, is wonderful on a steak.
  5. DON’T OVER-SATURATE YOUR MEAT WITH OIL. Lightly coat instead. Get a good oil (olive, grapeseed, or canola) that retains heat.
  6. DON’T RUSH IT. So many people crank up the grill to high, and then turn it down. Start your grill at the right temp and let it heat up on its own, for about 10 minutes.
  7. GO EASY ON THE SAUCE. If you are using a marinade, pat the meat dry before placing it on the grill. Check out some of our favorite ways to drizzle your grilled grub.