Outdoor Grilling Tips

By / Magazine / May 25th, 2009 / 1

With summer fast approaching, Canadians are getting out and firing up the backyard grill. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re barbecuing beef, chicken, pork and fish.

• Salt just before the meat is put on the bbq, but only on the side that will be placed on the heat. Just before you’re ready to flip it, apply salt to the other side. Salt pulls some of the moisture to the surface, and that surface has natural sugars that will caramelize – leaving a wonderful flavour.

• Use high heat to cook steak and shrimp because they require little cooking time. High heat locks in the juices. For a steak that’s rare to medium rare, the total cooking time should be about 12 minutes.

• If you prefer the meat to be medium to well done, or if you’re cooking chicken, turn the temperature down to medium low.

• Make friends with your bbq. Knowing where the hot and cold spots are is crucial. You can sear the steak first on the hottest section of the grill, then move it to a cooler section to finish cooking.

• Piercing the cut of meat while it’s on the grill will just allow the juices to drip away. Don’t do it! Use tongs to gently flip the meat or fish.

• Flip only once. When raw meat is placed on the bbq, moisture is forced to the other side of the meat. When you see the juices pool on the uncooked side of the protein, you know the bottom is searing. Flipping drives some of the juices back into the meat, towards the centre, keeping it moist. This is a case of less is more. Multiple flips allow too much moisture to drip away into the dark recesses of your bbq than into the meat.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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