Chris-GrillingHey there everybody, it’s Chris your resident Sales Guy here at Hello. This time of year, though, I am also the resident Grill Master. In the spirit of summer, I thought I’d take a break from my writing about work stuff to share my Top 10 Grilling Tips. Like we said last week, even if you have to work all summer you still deserve to have a little fun!

1. Clean your grill. You don’t want to taste last night’s meal on today’s dish. The best way to do this is by using a stainless steel grill cleaning brush after grilling when the grates are still hot or before your next grill after you get the grill up to temperature. You can always remove the grill grates completely and wash with soap/water every few weeks if desired.

2. Oil your grill. This is very important to do so that the meats and veggies you are grilling do not stick to the grill grates. Just get the grill up to your desired temperature and either rub the grill with a paper towel that has canola oil soaked on or brush both sides of your favorite meats and veggies with canola oil before grilling.

3. Salt is your friend. This is true for all meats and veggies but especially true for burgers and steaks. Just rub on a liberal amount of salt to both sides of the meat right before grilling. This will help to create a great crust/sear on the outside of the meat and lock in the juices.

4. Marinate your food. It’s fun to make your own marinades to try on all different kinds of meat and veggies and really enhances the flavor/tenderizes the food. Beef, pork and chicken can normally be marinated the longest amount of time (easily up to 24 hours or more if desired), while fish should be marinated up to 4 hours, and shrimp up to 1 hour.

5. Get your grill hot. I usually like to grill between 400-450 degrees as this assures the grill is nice and hot to create the perfect sear. You can always move your meat or veggies to a part of the grill where the coals are scarcer or the second level of a gas grill to finish the cooking process after getting a nice sear on both sides.

6. Let the meat rest. This is especially true for steaks. After taking your steak off the grill make sure you let it rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. This will keep the juices from running out of the steak and ensure the best full flavor.

7. Get your food up to room temperature before grilling. This allows the meat to reach room temperature and ensure a more even cooking temperature. I normally take my steaks, chicken, pork etc. out of the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Avoid grilling frozen meat such as burgers if at all possible!

8. Account for the carry-over cooking effect. When you remove your meat from the grill it will continue to cook. Normally the internal temperature rises by about 5 degrees after removing from the grill. So don’t be afraid to remove your steaks a little early as they will continue to cook. Plus who doesn’t like a medium rare steak? (Vegetarians aside, of course)

9. Treat your veggies like meat. Marinate them and make sure to get a nice coat of salt on the outside to create a nice crust. Portobello mushrooms and cauliflower steaks are great meat alternatives for our vegetarian family members and friends.

10. Have fun! This is what grilling is all about. Gather your family and friends and have them over for a BBQ. In my opinion there is nothing better in the summer than grilling, chilling and sharing a wonderful BBQ meal with those closest to you. Have a great summer!