Grilling Tips & Tools

Fire up the barbie! Here, get expert tips on how to throw the best outdoor parties ever.

elizabeth karmel

Hot Tip: For great grill marks, turn your meat just once, halfway through its cooking time. And never use a fork—it will let the natural juices escape.

Create mouthwatering meals—minus the mess and extra prep. Elizabeth Karmel, author of Taming the Flame, tells you how.

  1. Choose a gas grill; it’s easy to use. Gone are the days of fussing with messy charcoal, smelly lighter fluid and out-of-control flames. Most grills are equipped for the direct cooking method, with the heat source located directly beneath the food, but make certain yours is also configured to cook with an indirect heat source—best for cooking larger cuts of meat. And look for a larger model than you think you’ll need; once you master the BBQ basics, you’ll want to use your grill all the time.
  2. Fire ’er up. Preheat your grill for 15 to 20 minutes, using olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Grilling meats and veggies after coating them with a minute amount of oil will encourage carmelization, prevent sticking and keep in natural juices. Cook at a moderate temperature after preheating, and make sure not to oil the grates—the top of the grill will get sticky, causing the food to burn.
  3. To clean up (don’t worry, it’s a cinch), simply leave the heat on for 10 to 15 minutes after you finish cooking, and scrape the grates with a brass-bristle brush (a stainless brush can damage the finish). Don’t scrub down your grill with soap and water; similar to a cast-iron skillet, it will naturally absorb fats and juices and after a while become “seasoned.” This is what gives you that great BBQ flavor.

taming the flame by elizabeth karmel

tools by grill friends

Tools of the Trade

  • Two pairs of extra-long tongs to prevent cross-contamination: one for raw food and the other for cooked foods.
  • A brass-bristle cleaning brush to rub down the grates after grilling.
  • An instant-read meat thermometer to ensure food is done to perfection.
  • A long silicone oven mitt, which will withstand high heat and is easy to clean.
  • A basic spatula, either metal or silicone, for turning thinner cuts of meat and vegetables.

Photography: (Portrait) Eric Futran; (Tools) Grill Friends; (Book) John Wiley and Sons.