We’re entering the marathon y’all! The summer grill challenge. You know what I’m talking about? You, your neighbors, your brother all trying to one-up one another with your mad grill skillz.
The grill has for many, always been the province of the men, but ladies, I’m here to tell you that we were the food gatherers and the food preparers in prehistoric times. The man may have slayed the mastodon, be we cooked them!
Yet, now many women fear the grill. There is really nothing to fear. Making sure your grill is ready for the season, you have right fuel (propane or charcoal) depending on your choice of grill, and making sure your grill is clean and ready to use. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be grilling all summer!
Tips to grilling happily outdoors all summer!
- Repeat after me, “A clean grate is great!” Did you leave your grill out all winter and now the insides of it resemble a black hole of despair? Despair not! Remove the grates and either clean with oven cleaner of your choice (following all directions) or put your grates in the self-cleaning oven, and let it do the work. Once your grate is clean, each time before you cook, lightly oil your grate before cooking, you’ll thank yourself.
- If you’re using a gas grill girl, make sure your propane bottle is filled. Not sure? Follow your grill manufacturer’s instructions and disconnect the tank (be sure the valve is closed!) and carefully transport to your local hardware store where they can refill it for you at a much lower cost than the cylinder exchange that many do. Although there is much to be said for cylinder exchange!
- Do you use a charcoal grill? Then lay in a supply of natural charcoal, made from hardwoods, without any additives. Your grilled veggies and steaks will thank you for it. Flavors are purer and cleaner without all the excess scents petroleum products contribute.
- Use a chimney starter for your charcoal fire. With just a bit of newspaper or twigs and dry grasses, you can get your charcoal lit, and to the right temperature quickly, which means you don’t have to use charcoal starters.
- Check your pantry. What are your favorite rubs and grilling sauces (you’d better say Slatherin’ Sauce!) Go ahead and stock up now so you can be grilling on demand all summer.
- Pick up a new grilling cookbook. It’s easy to fall into a rut of grilling the same things all the time. There are so many ways to use your grill. Did you know you can cook your homemade pizza on the grill? And it’s delish.
- Get a new butane stick lighter. Don’t try to light your grill with matches or a cigarette lighter. A stick lighter is so much easier. I like to get mine in the bundled packs so I have one to leave with the grill and one to leave on the deck with the candles.
- Get some grill cookware to make your job easier. I love my porcelain enamel coated grill holders for veggies and fish. You might even get a fish basket. It makes grilling a whole fish so much easier. (And when you bring home that whole fish you spent all day catching, you can stuff the cavity with onions, garlic and lemons, and grill whole—the flavors are so wonderful).
- Have some silicone oven and grill mitts to allow you to safely move items without burning your arms.
- Make sure to have working digital grill thermometer. Prevent undercooked chicken and pork! Most if not all your recipes will call for cooking your proteins to a specific temperature.
Now that you’re ready, start grilling! Oh, and call me, I’ll be right over!
Photo credit: flickr user woodleywonderworks