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Getting the Most From Your Grill

by Jeff Flynt

Grilling is a rite of passage for most Americans. With that comes the infinite number of ways people go about their grilling.

It's not just whether you prefer charcoal or gas. There are traditions, styles, tools, philosophy and whimsy which every grill-master has and will attempt to impart upon his or her guests.

The Seattle Times has a list of 8 tips for summer grilling.

Some of them are important for any attempt at braving the conditions to cook meat, fish, fruit and vegetables over an open flame.

But there are a few I'd like to add:

  1. Never forget that you can use your grill not just AS a grill, but also an oven. This is where having a safety zone or upper rack comes in handy. You may not be able to cook your food all the way through by direct heat alone. Utilize that area of the grill that doesn't sear, close the lid and let the stuff that needs extra time finish.
  2. Sticking food sucks. Oil and clean that grill AFTER and BETWEEN each use.
  3. Use this grill to cook those vegetables AND fruit. It's not just for meat and fish anymore. There are a lot of tasty items where grill marks; caramelization and smoke can enhance your favorite fruits and veggies.
Don't forget to enjoy the experience. Because unless you're insane, there will come a time sooner rather than later when you'll have to put that grill away.