Across the country, Americans have been firing up their grills for as long as we can remember, and now, even more folks are doing so with the power of propane. If you’re one of the many who recently made the switch to propane so you can enjoy the ease and convenience of a gas grill, or are trying your hand on the grill for the first time, you’ve come to the right place. Every grill master got their start somewhere, and if you follow the tips and tricks in this grilling guide, you’ll join the ranks of the gas-grilling experts in no time.
1. Getting started with your gas grill
You can’t start thinking about that epic first meal on your grill without the propane to help you make it. Conveniently for you, our Propane Finder can help you locate the closest retailer carrying Blue Rhino. It’s the perfect solution, especially if you’re new to grilling and don’t have a grill tank. You can buy a ready-to-grill tank without exchanging an empty.
Once you’ve got your fresh grill tank back home, it’s time to hook it up. First, attach your tank to the grill. Depending on your grill, that may be in a designated cabinet under the grill or attached to the side of the grill. Be sure your grill is off. Then remove the protective cap from the grill tank. Once that is complete, take the grill’s gas hose and attach it to the grill tank with the regulator. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the proper way to attach your tank to your grill and connect the gas hose. Finally, turn the gas tank handwheel to the open position (a single turn), then check for any leaks or wear and tear on the hose. Now you’re ready to grill!
2. Lighting the grill
Before lighting your grill it’s important to keep safety in mind, so be sure to check your owner’s manual for the specific steps in lighting your model. Never light your grill with the lid closed. Once your lid is open, turn each knob to a desired heat level (high/medium/low), press the igniter button, and then close the lid again to allow for it to preheat. (If you’ve used your grill in recent days without cleaning it, make sure to follow these steps to ensure your gas grill is seasoned and cleaned thoroughly.) Once clean, make sure your food is coated with oil so it doesn’t stick to the grill. Gently place your items on the grates and start grilling!
3. Having the right tools
Every grill master should have the right equipment to set themselves up for success. Whether it’s a pair of tongs, spatula, basting brush or grill brush, be sure to keep your tools ready for the big moment. A couple tools to get into the habit of using are a meat thermometer and a side burner. The thermometer will allow you to measure the internal temperature of your food and serve it just right. The additional burner will act as a kitchen range, allowing you to boil, sauté, or fry additional ingredients.
4. Direct and Indirect Heat
There are two heating methods for grilling: direct and indirect. Direct grilling is a method of cooking the food directly over the heat source. Use direct heat for searing and foods that cook quickly like vegetables, shrimp, steak, chops, sausages or burgers. Indirect grilling is simply the alternative method. This is a technique of cooking the food adjacent to the heating source, usually with the lid closed. Indirect grilling is great way to cook thicker cuts of meat with evenly cooked, tender results. Use indirect heat for pork shoulder, whole chicken, chicken breasts, ribs and more. The savviest of grill masters are prepared to use both methods to get the perfect meal every time.
5. Recipes that’ll rock your world
Half the battle of grilling is finding the right combinations of food that will impress you and all your guests. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of beginner-friendly recipes that are sure to be a hit. Often, the most stress-free meat to prepare in the grilling world is chicken. Whether you opt for a Spiced Grilled Chicken Breast, Chicken and Bacon Shish Kabobs, or Classic Chicken Wings, you’ll end up with a tasty meal in no time. Another timeless favorite is the Perfect All-beef Burger. Pair it with a side of Corn on the Cob, or Grilled Sweet Pineapple and you’ve got yourself a full meal that everyone will love.
6. Cleaning up
With these tips and tricks, it’s safe to assume you’ll be grilling frequently from now on. That also means you’ll need to keep your grill clean for your next cookout. Instead of breaking the bank on an expensive grill cleaner, take a look at this handy grill cleaning method from Operation BBQ Relief’s co-founder and CEO Stan Hays.
So those are the gas grilling basics. If you think you’ve got these down, try out some more advanced skills like smoking on a gas grill, or a few more complex recipes during your next cookout. With this newfound knowledge, you’re one step closer to reaching the famed grill master status!