A gas grill will become your favorite cooking appliance during the warmer months. Gas is affordable and convenient, and it’s easy to maintain consistent cooking temperatures for your favorite ingredients.
It helps to know the basics before you start cooking on a gas grill. Here are all the best tips so you can get the most out of your upcoming investment.
Read the User Manual
When your new grill arrives, you’ll be excited to get started with your favorite ingredients. There’s plenty of information in the user manual that will help you to get the best results.
Every grill is different in terms of features and performance. The user manual will include important tips for both cooking and setup. There will also be key safety information so that you can grill safely at any time of the year.
Don’t skip the user manual. This is the most important document for every grill owner.
Keep the Grill Clean
The grill should be cleaned before you use it and after every cooking session. This means scraping off the cooking grates, wiping down the exterior, and removing debris from the firebox if necessary. Every grill has slightly different cleaning steps, which will be outlined in the user manual.
A clean grill will offer more consistent heat and food that is free of bitter flavors and contaminants.
Understand the Relationship Between Heat and Your Ingredients
Heat is key to great cooking, so you’ll need to get comfortable with your grill controls if you want great tasting food. Many first time grillers cook just like they would in a pan on top of the kitchen stove. This is not the best way to approach things.
Grills provide direct heat for most cooking styles, and the outside of food will burn if the gas burners are set too high. Start with a moderate temperature and work from there. Most people cook at around 260 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sauces can burn easily, especially if they contain sugar. BBQ sauce and marinade can burn quickly, making food taste bitter. Turn food often and avoid charring ingredients until they are black. Food should be browned but never burned.
Invest in a cooking thermometer so that you will know when poultry and larger cuts of meat are ready to serve.
- Poultry should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit at the deepest part of the meat and next to the bone.
- Fish should be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Beef, pork, lamb, and veal should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit at the deepest part of the meat.
- Steak can be cooked as low as 125 degrees Fahrenheit for rare as long as it is fresh or dry-aged.
The more time you spend with your grill, the more confident you will become with temperatures and cooking times. This Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer is an excellent tool to have on hand, no matter how experienced you are.
Cook with the Hood Down
Cooking with the hood down will create radiant heat to ensure food is cooked thoroughly. This will also infuse food with extra flavor, thanks to the drippings that are vaporized and reintegrated with your ingredients. If you want a smoky flavor similar to a charcoal grilling, cooking with the top down will be essential.
Sear Your Meats First
Steaks, chops, skin-on chicken pieces, fish, burgers, and even hotdogs will benefit from a sear. Sear the food by turning your grill to its maximum temperature, and then cooking meat on all sides for one minute. This will create a delicious crust on the outside of the food.
After searing, go back to the ideal temperature for your recipe or ingredients and finish the cooking process.
Longer Cooking Times Work Better off the Heat
If you’re cooking a whole chicken, turkey, or large BBQ cuts, you’ll get better results when you cook off the heat. This is only possible on multi-burner grills, so it’s best to aim for a model with at least two.
Turn on the first burner, close the hood, and wait for the grill to get up to temperature. Place your ingredients on the opposing side of the grill and cook them with the hood down. Some ingredients will benefit from searing before you cook with indirect heat. Follow a recipe, or experiment with your ingredients for best results.
Start Your Cooking Journey Today
Now you know the essentials of cooking on a gas grill, it’s time to take a look at a versatile option that will take care of all your cooking needs.
A great all-rounder is the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill. This multi-burner grill is great for direct and indirect cooking.
It has a large hood for top-down cooking, and the generous side shelves are perfect for prep and storing cooked ingredients before serving. Char-Broil is known for its quality and durability, making this a great choice for a first grill.
Whichever model you choose, you’ll get the best results when following our advice on how to grill on a gas grill.