Tips for Grilling Outdoors 101

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Summer is here and it’s time to get outdoors and start grilling. Weather you grill indoors, on a portable grill, or in your favorite cast iron pan you can get the same results by having a few tips to help with your final results. Of course grilling outside can be exciting by adding hardwood flavor chips, basting sauces or dry rubs that can add wonderful additional flavors. But, there are common steps to take to insure you get the perfect results. Learning to grill takes time to learn. So, if it is your first time grilling, pick something easy as burgers and hot dogs. When you have mastered the skill of grilling, have fun selecting new flavors, fish, meats, and vegetables to add to your BBQ menu.

Basic Grilling Tips

  • Thoroughly  clean and preheat grill or broiler.
  • Season the grill with a light coating of oil.
  • Season the main item and marinate or brush it with oil if necessary to prevent it from sticking.
  • Place the main item on  the grill or broiler; use a hand grill for delicate foods such as fish.
  • Turn the item to 90 degrees to get cross hatch marks.
  • Turn your food to complete cooking to the desired doneness.


  • They include salt, pepper, or marinades.
  • You can add a rub, glaze or BBQ sauce.
  • Adding compound butter, brown sauces, vegetable coulis or salsas are a good choice for toppings after cooking.
  • Excess marinades should be wiped off before grilling to prevent flare ups.
  • Spice Rubs /presalting  should be massaged or rub into the food.
  • Allow it to set overnight and then rinsed thoroughly and dry before grilling.

Additional Flavors

  • Add items to the grill fire to create an aromatic smoke.
  • For example: hardwood chips, herb stems such as rosemary, grapevine trimmings.

Steps to Begin Grilling

  • Turn on the grill or broiler ahead of time to burn away old pieces from the BBQ rods.
  • Clean the grill with a cloth dipped in  oil.
  • Soak wooden skewers in water to prevent burning. Clean and oil metal skewers before use.
  • Keep all utensils near-by such as tongs, brushes along with platters, glazes, marinades and BBQ sauce.
  • A grill brush is necessary for  clean up.

How to Grill Foods

  • Always place the better looking side of your food down for a better presentation.
  • Place the seasoned  food on the preheated grill to start cooking.
  • Let the food cook undisturbed. (no turning until it can easily be lifted.)
  • Once ready to lift, turn 90 degrees if marks are desired.
  • Add sauce when meat is partially cooked, the sauce can burn easily.
  • Turn the food over and cook, to desired doneness. Most food are done with only one turn. Thicker cuts made more. Thicker cuts can also be finished in the oven.


  • When preparing food all meat, fish, they should be cut in the same thickness.
  • Butterflying thicker pieces can help with a shorter cooking time.
  • Meats should be trimmed of all extra fats, silverskin and gristle.
  • The food itself should be seasoned and in some cases lightly oiled.
  • Divide you grill in three zones of heat. A high-heat area for fast searing and cooking foods to rare. Moderate heat for cooking foods to medium-well or well. A low heat can also be used for keeping foods warm.

Ideas for Grilling

Meat: Grilled Steak with Mushrooms, Beef Teriyaki, BBQ Steak with Herb Crust, Skewered Beef Kabobs with Scallions, Grilled Lamb Chops with wilted Greens,
Pork: Pork Chops with Sherry Vinegar, Pork Kabobs with Peppers
Chicken : Chicken Breasts with Fennel, Grilled Pallards with Tarragon, BBQ Chicken with Beans
Fish: Fillet of Mahi Mahi with Jicama Salad, Shrimp Kabobs with Rice, Fish Kabobs with Mint Sauce.

You may enjoy my grilling recipes:

Greek Grilled Whole Fish with Greens and Lemons

Grilled Lamb Ribs with Greens and Beets


Grilled Halloumi Cheese with Strawberries


Start Grilling for Summer!



© 2024, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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