Firing up the grill is easy, but grilling to juicy, tender perfection requires attention to detail. Read on for 10 of our favorite summer grilling tips, a pro trick to tell just how hot your grill is, and our take on direct vs. indirect heat.
10 Simple Tips for Great Grilling
  1. Always start with a clean grill, and grease the grilling surface before heating.
  2. Grill veggies separate from meats when doing kabobs. Veggies do well over indirect heat, while meats are usually best grilled over direct heat.
  3. Marinate meats in the refrigerator and never at room temp. And, beware of meats that are partially frozen as the outside will be over-cooked by the time the inside is safe to eat. 
  4. Use an instant read thermometer to grill perfectly every time.  Safe internal temps are shown below. 
  5. Keep the grill lid down as much as possible.
  6. Maximize juiciness by minimizing poking and flipping. Use tongs or large spatulas instead of forks.
  7. Let meats rest 10 minutes before slicing. 
  8. When making burgers, mix the beef gently to keep it tender. 
  9. Grilled proteins are a fabulous contrast to cool salad greens. Slice thinly and toss with a simple vinaigrette. Add crisp corn, heart of palm, artichoke or grilled veggies for an amazing salad.
  10. Pineapple isn't the only fruit that's great on the grill. Try bananas, peaches, pears and apricots... halve and grill over indirect heat for about 8 minutes and serve over ice cream.

No Guess Grilling 

Take the guesswork out of grilling! Use an instant read thermometer for perfectly cooked meats every time.

  • Burgers: 165F
  • Beef: 145F (medium-rare); 160F (medium); 170F (well-done)
  • Chicken: 165F
  • Pork: 155F
  • Seafood: 145F

How Hot Is It?

Estimate the temperature of your grill by holding your hand, palm side down, about six inches above the coals. If you can hold your hand comfortably there for:

  • 2 seconds - it's hot, about 375F or more
  • 3 seconds - it's medium-hot, about 350-375F
  • 4 seconds - it's medium, about 300-350F
  • 5 seconds - it's low, about 200-300F

Direct or Indirect?

There are two general methods of grilling... direct and indirect. As you probably guessed, direct is when items are placed directly over the flames to cook. Indirect grilling is when foods are placed away from the flames.

Most items, including steaks, burgers, hot dogs, seafood and pork chops are grilled directly over the flames. Use the indirect method for larger cuts like roasts and bone-in  meats and poultry.

Be on the lookout for shooting flames when grilling things like chicken thighs that tend to drip a lot of fat (called rendering) as they cook. A mix of direct vs indirect cooking may work best when it's hard to keep flames in check. 


Need some grilling inspiration? We've always got great-for-the-grill entrees available in our online store! Feel free to pop in and pick up from our ready-made dishes, order online or give us a call. We're always happy to help!

Happy Grilling!

~ Audra