It’s mid-July already! Can you believe it? Its finally 100 degrees out here in SoCal and we are doing our very best to stay cool during the hottest part of the day. Around 5pm, when I start to make dinner it is still in the upper 90s so I am always trying to avoid cooking inside. Just using the stove makes the air conditioner kick on every time so to avoid astronomical electric bills I am doing 75% of my cooking on my amazing gas grill.
Grilling outside during the summer months makes so much sense! Besides keeping the house cooler, grilling makes cleaning up super fast since there are no pots to clean. If you do end up using a pan for holding food, just cover it with aluminum foil and then you won’t have to clean it! Another reason I love to BBQ is because I can cook a lot of food for the week in a short amount of time. BBQ chicken breast is extremely versatile and great to have on hand for lunch and dinner. I like to throw some on top of a big salad for a quick and cool lunch.
If you don’t have a gas grill you can use a charcoal grill but it’s not as quick and easy. Charcoal takes some time to heat up and can be a little tricky to get the hang of. If you do decide to use a charcoal grill be sure to get the briquettes that light very quickly without needing lighter fluid. This makes starting the grill MUCH safer. I prefer gas grills because they are faster, safer and cleaner to use.
If you have never used a gas grill before I would watch a few youtube videos just to get you started. If your grill is brand new you will want to make sure its placed somewhere that is away from wood overhangs, floors and any plants that could catch on fire or be damaged by the heat.
Next check to make sure your propane tank has enough propane. You can check the meter on the side of the tank to see how much is left. Keep the propane dial on the top closed until you are ready to turn on the grill. When ready to warm the grill up you will first turn the knob toward the open arrow until it stops. Just make sure to turn it back to closed when you are finished grilling. After turning the gas on you will turn the main burner on and press the ignitor switch. It’s usually a button that clicks when you push it. It might take a few seconds but it should light up. If it doesn’t light after 10-20 seconds, turn the burner off and let the gas dissipate for a couple minutes before attempting to light it again.
You will also want to get into the habit of cleaning out the base of the grill as well as the grease collection cup every few uses. This avoids flare-ups that can burn you and your food. To clean the bottom just pull the tray out from the back (when completely cool) and scrape it in the trash. I also scrape the grill grates every time I use my grill with a grill brush.
After lighting the grill I keep the burners on high until they are piping hot. Always put your meat on a hot grill so you can get a good sear. This will help keep the juices in the meat. After the initial sear, I will turn the burners down to medium heat for the remainder of cooking if needed.
Another important tip to know is that different areas of the grill get different amounts of heat. It takes a little time to learn how your grill cooks. On my grill, the hottest part is in the back of the grill, especially the center. The coolest part of the grill is in the front corners so when I want food to continue cooking without any more charing I will move them to cooler places on the grill. You could also create different cooking areas by putting one side of the grill on low heat and the other side on high heat. Just move the food around as needed until its cooked.
My favorite thing to cook on the grill is steak. Its a delicious and fast dinner that everyone loves. I usually throw a couple potatoes on the grill with the steak and maybe some corn on the cob or a green salad on the side.
My kids devour chicken drumsticks, wings, ribs, and carne asada. I make wings almost every week and leave a huge bag of them in the fridge to munch on all week. They are all proteins to prep ahead of time and store for later.
Super Simple Grilled Steak
- a couple 1-inch thick Ribeye steaks
- salt and pepper
- Season your defrosted steaks liberally with salt and pepper and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- Heat the grill until very hot. Then, using BBQ tongs, place your steaks on the grill in the hottest areas.
- Wait until the bottom of the steaks have a good char on them, similar to the photos above, then flip them over using tongs. Try not to pierce the meat because it will cause the meat to ooze juice. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Allow the meat to char on the second side. 3-5 minutes
- When this side is chared you will probably have a medium rare steak. If you want a nice medium, turn the grill down and continue cooking until the top of the steak gently springs back when pushed.
- Remove the steaks from the grill and allow them to sit for 10 minutes to absorb the juices and finish cooking.
- If you want to add a bit of extra flavor, allow a tablespoon of butter to melt on top of each steak.
- Serve with baked potatoes and salad.
Do you have any questions about barbequing? Leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you!