Barbecue Tips

From your first grill to your fifth, you can always up your barbecue game and try something new on the grill. Whether it’s testing out a new type of flame or switching things up with new accessories, there’s never a shortage of skills to add to your plate. If you find yourself in need of some barbecue inspiration, consider these 10 tips to expand your skills and take your barbecue game to the next level.

  1. Flirt with a New Flame. Loyal to gas or committed to charcoal? No matter your flame of choice, experimenting with a new style can sharpen your approach and reveal new ways to enjoy your food. Try switching up gas for charcoal, or vice versa. Borrow a smoker from a neighbor, try wood pellet grilling, or go low and slow with a kamodo. Taste the difference.
  2. Master Marinades. Many consider barbecuing to be all about the sauce. Consider creating and perfecting your own special marinade blend to give your backyard meals a distinct, signature flavor.
  3. Pair up with Produce. Try perfecting new produce items on the grill, such as watermelon, pineapple, apples, peaches and pears. They grill best when firm and barely ripe.
  4. Visit a Barbecue Competition. Find true barbecue inspiration by witnessing (and tasting) the masters in their element. Visit the world-renowned Kansas City Barbecue Society’s online directory of sanctioned events – chances are one is near you.
  5. Hold a Neighborhood Cook-off. Put your barbecuing skills to the test with a neighborhood cook-off. Invite neighbors to gather up the grills and fire up their favorite recipes. Let kids and seniors serve as judges for an unforgettable block party.
  6. Grill All Three Meals on the Fourth. Consider declaring full independence from your indoor kitchen for the holiday by cooking up breakfast, lunch, and dinner on your grill.
  7. Go Global. Mix up your outdoor meal plans by trying full ethnic flavored dinners – like all Asian cuisine (kebobs and satay) or French delicacies (canapés or niçoise salads).
  8. Befriend Your Butcher. Few know meats better than your neighborhood butcher. Take the time to regularly ask him or her for the best cuts for barbecuing – and tips for bringing out its best flavor.
  9. Go Whole Hog on Accessories. Beyond a new spatula or tongs, go all in with new accessories such as smoker boxes, rotisseries or a side burner – freshening up what and how you cook. 
  10. Top-off with Desserts. Skip the freezer ice cream and celebrate the end of a great meal with decadent desserts over an open flame. Think grilled donuts, banana boats or s’mores cooked in a grill pot.