How to Grill

How to Grill: A Beginner’s Guide

Ready to start grilling? Whether you prefer steaks or veggies, we’ve got you covered. Explore electric, propane, gas, and charcoal grills for delicious flame-cooked food. Get expert guidance on selecting the best grill, mastering essentials, and ensuring safety. From seasoning to grill management, our beginner-friendly guide has you covered. Let’s fire up the grill and elevate your BBQ game!

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Selecting the Right BBQ Grill

When you’re ready to dive into the world of grilling, selecting the right BBQ grill is your first step to becoming a backyard hero. Let’s break down the options and considerations to ensure you find the best grill for beginners. From the best beginner grill to the best barbecue grills, we’ll help you find the perfect match for your grilling style. ensuring you purchase the best grills for beginners.

Types of Grills

Char-Broil GrillGas Grills

These are fantastic for beginners because of their convenience and even cooking. They heat up fast, letting you get grilling in no time. Look for features like a reliable igniter, fuel gauge, and side burner for added versatility.

For beginners we recommend the Char-Broil Performance Series Stainless Steel Grill.

Weber Kettle Charcoal GrillCharcoal Grills

For those who crave that authentic, smoky flavor, nothing beats charcoal. A high-quality kettle grill, like a Weber, is a great starting point to master the art of charcoal grilling, offering excellent heat control and the option to experiment with wood smoke.

For beginners we recommend the Weber Charcoal Grill

Z Grills Pellet GrillPellet Grills

These grills provide the ease of gas with the flavor of charcoal. Key features to consider are the hopper size for pellet storage and a broad temperature range for different cooking styles.

For the beginners we recommend the Z GRILLS Pellet Grill.

Kamado Joe Kamado GrillKamado Grills

These egg-shaped grills concentrate heat and offer versatility for both high-temp searing and low-and-slow cooking. Airflow control is crucial for temperature management.

For beginners we recommend the Kamado Joe Kamado Grill.

Blackstone Flat-Top GrillFlat-Top Grills

Ideal for more than just grilling, these provide a smooth surface suited for cooking breakfast foods and more. Consider the number and design of burners and whether side burners are included for additional cooking space.

For beginners we recommend the Blackstone Flat-Top Grill.

Grill Size & Features

Portable Weber GrillSize Matters

Choose a grill size based on your typical crowd. Small grills are great for intimate gatherings, while larger grills cater to big families or parties, allowing for a range of grilling techniques (Simply Recipes).

Features to Look For

Heavy-duty grates, easy-to-clean ashpans, and multiple vents for temperature control are just a few features that can enhance your grilling experience. Don’t forget about mobility; wheels on all legs can make your grill easy to move.

Gas Grill BBQ CoverAccessorize

Tailor your grill with accessories like racks and thermometers to elevate your grilling game. A cover is also a wise investment to protect your grill from the elements.

Safety First

Ensure your grill is placed in a well-ventilated area, away from flammable materials, and consider grills with safety features like LED-lit controls and easy-open grates. Remember, the best grill for you is one that fits your lifestyle, space, and budget. Consult reviews, and ratings, and don’t hesitate to ask fellow grilling enthusiasts for advice. With these tips, you’re well on your way to making an informed decision on how to grill with the best of them.

Understanding your Grill Tools

As we delve into the world of grilling, having the right grill accessories and tools at your side is just as crucial as the grill itself. Let’s explore some essentials that will transform your grilling from good to great.

Mercer Culinary Hell's Handle Large Fish Turner/SpatulaFlip with Finesse

A sturdy spatula is non-negotiable for any griller. I recommend the Mercer Hell’s Handle Large Fish Turner for its durability and the Char-Broil Comfort Grip Spatula for its ergonomic design, ensuring you can flip burgers and other items with ease and precision.

Winco Stainless Steel, Coiled Spring Utility Tong HeavyweightTongs are King

When it’s about precision and control, a pair of high-quality tongs like the Winco UT-16HT Extra Heavyweight Utility Tongs or the versatile OXO Tongs are indispensable. They’re your best friends when it comes to turning sausages or moving coals around.

BEST BBQ Grill Brush Stainless Steel 18" Barbecue Cleaning Brush w/Wire Bristles & Soft Comfortable Handle - Perfect Cleaner & Scraper for GrillGrill Maintenance

Post-cookout, a clean grill is a happy grill. Equip yourself with a reliable grill-grate brush such as the Best BBQ Grill Brush or the Grillart Grill Brush and Scraper to keep those grates ready for the next session of how to grill. In the heat of grilling, some accessories make the process smoother and safer:

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, SilverGrill Sheet Pans

The Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet is a multipurpose tool for carrying food to and from the grill. It’s a simple but essential piece of equipment for any grilling setup.

Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter, Standard, SilverGrill Fire Starters

For charcoal enthusiasts, the Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter is a game-changer. It’s the most efficient method to get your coals burning evenly and quickly, without the need for lighter fluid.

Lavatools PX1D Javelin PRO Duo Ultra Fast Professional Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer for Grill and Cooking, 4.5" Probe, Auto-Rotating BacklitTemperature is Key

Never second-guess the doneness of your meat again. An instant-read thermometer like the Javelin Pro Duo Ultra is a must-have for ensuring meats reach safe internal temperatures, while a probe thermometer such as the ThermoWorks Dot allows you to monitor the temperature without lifting the grill lid. And don’t forget the extras that elevate your grilling experience:

OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting Brush Black LargeSaucy Solutions

A high-heat resistant basting brush, like the OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Basting Brush, is perfect for slathering on your favorite barbecue sauces.

JENPOS BBQ Gloves - 1472°F Thicken Heat Resistant Gloves w/S-Hook 14 in Kitchen Oven Mitts Waterproof Grill Gloves Oil Resistant Grilling Gloves Cooking Gloves for Turkey Fryer/Baking/Oven/SmokerGrill Safely

Always have a pair of grilling gloves handy to protect your hands from the heat. Consider a vegetable basket for those delicate items, and for those who love a good sear, the Slow ’N Sear Deluxe is a fantastic addition for low-and-slow cooking and searing. Remember, after each grilling adventure, take care of your tools just as they take care of you. Clean them thoroughly, store them indoors to avoid the elements, and always give your grill a good scrub with your trusty grill brush. With these tools and tips, you’re well on your way to becoming a master of the grill. Keep practicing how to bbq, and you’ll be grilling like a pro in no time!

Prepping your Grill for Cooking

Alright, let’s get your grill ready to sizzle! Prepping your grill is a key step to ensure your food cooks perfectly and safely. Here’s how to grill with the best of them, starting with thorough grill cleaning.

Identify your Grill Type

Each grill type has its own prep routine. For gas grills, open the valve, turn on the knobs, and hit the ignitor button. With charcoal grills, pile up your charcoal, light it, and wait for it to ash over. And for those electric grills, plug them in and let them preheat. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the specifics (Kingsford).

Lavaxon Wire Brush Set-Heavy Duty Stainless & Carbon Steel Bristles with Wood Handle Grip for Rust, Wielding Slag, Dirt & Paint Scrubbing with Deep Cleaning – 14 Inches (Pack of 2)Grill Cleaning and Seasoning

No matter the BBQ, cleanliness is a must. Use a stiff-bristled steel brush for steel or cast iron grates, and a gentler nylon brush for porcelain-coated ones. Once clean, it’s time to season those grates. Spray them with a high-heat cooking spray and let the grill heat up for about 15 minutes. This process not only helps with non-stick grilling but also wards off rust (Greatist).

Heating Up

Preheat your grill for 5 to 10 minutes to kill any bacteria and get those grates ready for the main event. This is also the perfect time to scrub the grates once more and, if needed, oil them to prevent sticking. Remember, proper grill preparation is not just about great flavors; it’s also about safety, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses (CNET).

Grill Safety Checks

Always have a fire extinguisher within reach, clear the area around your grill, and ensure the grease tray isn’t full to prevent flare-ups. These steps are crucial since US fire departments respond to thousands of grill-induced fires annually. Also, prepping isn’t just about the grill; get your food ready by marinating that chicken or forming those burger patties in advance, and always use clean utensils and plates (National Fire Protection Association).

Post-Grilling Care

After you’ve enjoyed your barbecue feast, crank up the heat to burn off any leftover bits. Once the grill cools, give it another clean, season the grates, and cover it up. This not only helps maintain your grill but also makes your next grilling experience smoother and more enjoyable. Remember, grilling is an art and a science. Follow these steps, refer to your grill’s manual for specific instructions, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true grill master.

Choosing your Meats & Ingredients

Embarking on the grilling journey, the choice of meats and ingredients is crucial to the success of your barbecue. Here’s how to cook up a storm with the right selection, including the ever-popular burgers.

Beef Selection

For a rich, indulgent BBQ, beef is king. Opt for cuts like:

Brisket: Known for its rich flavor and juicy fat content that keeps it moist. When selecting, look for a well-marbled surface on the flat and flexibility in the cut.

Ribs: Beef back ribs and short ribs offer a classic BBQ experience. Remember, the quality of beef matters, so consider the grading.

Tri-Tips and Clods: These cuts are perfect for showcasing your marinating prowess or experimenting with a dry rub.

Pork Picks

Pork is incredibly versatile and often more forgiving for beginners. Aim for:

Pork Chops: Perfect for a quick BBQ, ensure they’re pink and not white or brown.

Shoulder Roast: For pulled pork, look for all-natural meat with a reddish-pink hue and a good amount of internal fat, which indicates a well-fed pig and translates to better taste.

Ribs: Choose ribs that are red to pink in color and cook them slowly to develop deep flavors.

Poultry Pointers

Chicken is excellent for those just learning how to BBQ. Here’s how to BBQ chicken to perfection:

Whole Chicken: Ideal for a longer cook on medium heat. Look for poultry that’s pink, indicating freshness.

Wings & Drumsticks: These smaller cuts are great for grilling on medium heat and absorbing flavors.

Boneless Breasts: To ensure even cooking, consider butterflying or pounding the chicken breast flat.

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BBQ Chicken Recipes

Chicken Recipes

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Marinating Mastery

Marinate your meats for at least 12 hours for full flavor development. Bring meat to room temperature before grilling to ensure even cooking. And don’t forget, marinating isn’t just for meats; vegetables and fruits can also benefit from a flavor boost before hitting the BBQ. For fruits, using a skewer can prevent them from falling through the grates.

71k2gotLpVL. SL1500Side Selection

Pair your BBQ with classic sides like coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread to complete the meal. These sides complement the smoky flavors and provide a balanced dining experience. For those looking to buy the perfect seasoning to accompany their meat selection, Dizzy Pig offers a variety of seasonings. This can be a great way to enhance the flavors of your BBQ with expertly crafted blends. By considering these factors and choices, you’ll be well-equipped to select the right meats and ingredients for your BBQ. Whether you’re grilling for flavor, health, or to impress, there’s a meat that’s just right for your next cookout. Keep practicing how to grill, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different cuts and seasonings to find your signature BBQ style.

Mastering the Art of Seasoning

When we talk about grilling with flair, seasoning is your secret weapon. It’s the difference between a good meal and a great one. With a plethora of seasoning options at your fingertips, from flavored charcoal to intricate rubs and marinades, the possibilities are endless. Here’s how to navigate the art of seasoning for your nest grilling session, whether you’re using a smoker or perfecting your style.

Jack Daniel's Whiskey Barrel Smoking ChipsFlavored Charcoal

Begin by setting the stage with a foundation of flavor. Flavored charcoals, such as the Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrel Charcoal, infuse a distinct smoky and sweet nuance to your dishes that’s hard to replicate with any other method. It’s a simple way to impart a gourmet twist to your grilling endeavors.

Kingsford Flavor Boosters with Cumin and Chili, 2 Pounds Signature Spices

Next, let’s talk about the spice of life—or in this case, the spice of grilling. Kingsford Signature Flavors line, for instance, offers a variety of spices and seasonings that can dramatically enhance your grilled dishes. Imagine the fiery kick of Cumin Chili or the aromatic blend of Garlic Onion Paprika dancing on your taste buds. And for a touch of sophistication, Basil Sage Thyme can add herbaceous notes that elevate your culinary creations to new heights.

Marinades and Rubs

Now, onto the marinades and dry rubs—the dynamic duo of depth and complexity. Marinades work their magic by tenderizing the meat and locking in moisture, thanks to the acidity from ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice. On the flip side, dry rubs create a delectable crust that’s bursting with flavor, making them perfect for meats that you want to sear with gusto.

Meat Seasoning

When you’re ready to grill meats, reach for robust spices like smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano can also add a fragrant touch to your hearty cuts.

Vegetable Seasoning

For grilling vegetables, fresh herbs like basil, parsley, and cilantro can add a burst of freshness, while spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked sea salt create layers of savory flavor.

Temperature & Timing

As you master grilling seasonings, keep a watchful eye on the temperature and cooking time. This ensures that your spices and herbs don’t lose their potency, allowing the natural flavors to shine without overpowering.

Use an instant-read meat thermometer, like a Thermapen, to ensure your meat reaches a safe internal temperature, such as 165°F for poultry.

Marinating Times

And remember, timing is everything. To avoid over-marinating, follow specific marinating times based on the type and size of the meat. This attention to detail will ensure that every bite is tender, juicy, and just right.

Seasoning your Grill

Lastly, don’t forget to season your grill itself! Proper seasoning of a charcoal grill creates non-stick surface and smoky flavor over time. Plus, regular maintenance is key—it protects your grill from rust and corrosion, extends its lifespan, and promotes even heat absorption and retention, which is essential for how to bbq like a pro. By embracing seasoning strategies, you’re crafting a symphony of flavors that will make your BBQing unforgettable. So go ahead, experiment with these tips, and watch as your grilling game goes from strength to strength.

Grilling Techniques for Perfect Cook

Mastering grilling techniques is key to your journey. Here’s a breakdown of grilling techniques that will ensure a perfect cook every time on your grilling surface.

Grill Heat Management

Creating heat-zones on your grill allows for the ability to cook different foods requiring various temperatures (Barbecue Bible). To avoid flare-ups, move the food from the hot zone to a cooler part of the grill to prevent charring.

The Grilling Process

  1. Ensure your grill is hot before adding food; a preheated grill sears meats on contact, stops sticking and cooks evenly.
  2. Flip your food once during cooking to ensure a proper sear and prevent texture breakdown from over-handling.
  3. After grilling, let your meat rest; this allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and juicy dish.

Grill Maintenance

Clean your grill before, during, and after use with halved onion or lemon to prevent buildup, ensuring longevity and performance.

Oiling the grates after cleaning also helps create a non-stick surface and protects against rust.

Weber Apple Wood Chips, for Grilling and Smoking, 2 lb.Flavor Enhancements

Enhance your dishes by adding a smoker pouch with wet wood chips wrapped in foil, pierced with holes.

Grill vegetables and fruits with oil until tender with a slight crunch for added variety and flavor to your meal.

Safety Tips While Grilling

It’s easy to get swept up in the thrill of creating delicious meals. However, grill safety tips should always be the forefront of your minds, particularly when you’re literally playing with fire. Here are some essential safety tips to ensure your BBQ sessions are not just fun, but also safe:

Placement is Key

Keep your grill stationed at least 10 feet away from your home or any structures. This is a safe distance to prevent potential fires from spreading to buildings or overhead combustible surfaces. High traffic areas should also be avoided to reduce the risk of accidents (U.S. Fire Administration).

Grill Maintenance Matters

A clean grill is a safer grill. Post-BBQ, take the time to clean out the grease and food particles. This maintains grill condition and lowers grease fire risk (National Fire Protection Association).

For gas grill aficionados, make it a habit to check for gas leaks. Apply soapy water to hose and connections; bubbles indicate gas leaks. And always remember to open the lid before igniting to prevent gas build-up.

Grill Stability & Usage

Before you start, ensure that all parts of your gas grill are firmly in place and that the grill is stable to prevent it from tipping over (Frankenmuth Insurance).

If you’re using charcoal, the proper starter fluid is a must. Keep it stored safely away from children and any heat sources to avoid unintended ignition (Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association).

Heavy Duty ApronDress for Success

Don a heavy apron and slip on some oven mitts to shield yourself from the heat. Closed-toe shoes are also a wise choice to protect your feet from any stray sparks or hot utensils.

After the Flame

Once you’ve finished grilling, patience is a virtue. Allow the grill to cool for up to an hour before attempting to move it. This waiting period helps prevent burns and gives the grill time to cool down safely.

Remember, charcoal grills retain heat long after the flames are gone, so handle with care and ensure coals are completely extinguished before disposal.

Storage & Proximity

Gas grills and propane tanks should always be stored outside, at a safe distance from your house to mitigate any risk in the event of a leak (Travelers). Establish a “kid-free zone” around the grill, maintaining at least a three-foot safe perimeter to keep both children and pets at a safe distance during and after use.

By keeping these safety measures in mind, you’re not just learning how to grill—you’re ensuring that every BBQ is a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Remember, a little caution goes a long way in making sure that the only thing on fire is the delicious food you’re cooking up.


After mastering grill selection, prep, meat choice, and seasoning, you’ve honed grilling into both an art and a skill. From grill type to heat management, each element contributes to perfect BBQ. This guide equips you with the fundamentals for success, whether you’re using a budget charcoal grill or a top-of-the-line model. As you grill, apply these tips confidently, prioritizing safety. Grilling isn’t just about food – it’s about the thrill of cooking over flames and creating sensory experiences. Here’s to flavorful dishes, beautiful sears, and shared moments with loved ones.


What can I cook on my grill?

One of the beauties of grilling is its versatility. You can grill a wide array of foods, from the classic steaks and hot dogs to more adventurous options like lamb chops, seafood, and even fruits and vegetables. For those embracing a plant-based lifestyle, tofu and plant-based burgers, such as the Beyond Meat Burger, offer a delightful grilling experience. Each food type brings its own unique flavor and grilling requirements, making the journey of learning how to grill an exciting one (Salon).

Best way to preheat my grill?

Whether you’re using a charcoal or a gas grill, preheating is a crucial step. A charcoal grill typically takes 30 to 40 minutes to reach the right temperature, while a gas grill will be ready to go in just 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re grilling in colder weather, factor in up to 50% more time for preheating and cooking to ensure your food cooks evenly (The Spruce Eats).

Best utensils to grill with?

To handle your grilling with finesse, arm yourself with essential tools such as long-handled tongs, a spatula, and a basting brush. A stiff wire brush is indispensable for keeping your grill grate clean, while metal skewers and a grill basket can help manage smaller or more delicate foods. And don’t forget the instant-read thermometer, which is crucial for checking the doneness of your meats (The Spruce Eats).

How do I prevent my grills from getting sticky?

To keep your food from sticking to the grill, it’s important to clean the grates thoroughly before and after preheating. Oiling the grate before lighting your grill and applying oil to your food can also help prevent sticking and ensure a smooth grilling process.

Is direct or indirect heat better for grilling?

Understanding when to use direct heat (cooking food directly over the flames) versus indirect heat (cooking over a hot but flame-free area) is key to grilling success. Thinner, leaner foods usually fare better over direct heat, while thicker or fatty foods benefit from the slower cooking of indirect heat. This technique ensures that every item on your menu is grilled to perfection.By incorporating these insights and techniques into your grilling routine, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a grill master. Remember to always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate clothing, never leaving your grill unattended, and keeping it away from flammable materials. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on a flavorful adventure and master the art of how to grill.