The Ultimate Summer Grilling Guide

Find out how to become a BBQ Grill Master with these 7 helpful grilling tips.

Grilling season is here, but it’s not too late to master the art of the backyard BBQ. We talked to grilling expert Roy Slicker, owner of Slick’s Que Co. in Bend, Oregon to get a few helpful BBQ tips on how to grill correctly. As president of the National Barbecue Association (NBBQA), he knows a thing or two about grilling techniques. Here’s what Slicker had to say about becoming a grill master, while keeping your grill operating at peak performance.

1. Start With a Sear

“Cooking too hot is the biggest mistake grillers make,” Slicker says. Instead of cooking your meat all at one temp, sear it over high heat, then move it to the side, over indirect heat, to finish. “You’ll still get that amazing grill taste, but it will be tender and juicy — not tough and dry.”

2. Always Use Clean Platters

Never put cooked meat on the same surface where raw meat has been, or you risk contaminating your cooked food with bacteria.

3. Parse Your Grill Top

Organize your barbecue grill into sections — for fish, meat, veggies and warming — to make sure flavors don’t mingle (and to accommodate special diets).

4. Use Foil to Disperse the Heat

Before you start using your gas grill, take off the grate, pop out the burn units and line the bottom with foil. The reflective surface provides a more even temperature and eliminates hot and cold spots.

5. Don’t Forget the Veggies

One of Slicker’s favorite barbecue recipes is barbecued asparagus. Put some in a plastic bag with olive oil and chopped garlic. Squeeze in a half lemon, then shake. Take it out of the bag and throw it on a hot gas or charcoal grill — crosswise, so the stalks don’t fall through.

6. Let Your Meat Sit Before You Slice

If you cut meat too soon after grilling, a lot of the juice will run out, and you’ll lose most of the tenderness and flavor. For thick cuts of beef and pork, let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes, Slicker suggests.

7. Clean Your Grill

When you’re done grilling, turn the heat up to cook off leftover bits of food. Follow up with a wire brush scrub after every use. If you don’t, the remaining food particles can foul the taste of your next meal, clog your burners with fat and potentially make you sick.

Follow these barbecue tips and you’ll soon be known as “the Grill Master!”