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Chill Out and Grill Out

Tips for Summer Grilling Plus a Mean Marinade Recipe

Seven in 10 U.S. adults own a grill or smoker. While most of us may have our grilling techniques down pat, proper preparation is essential to a successful grilling experience. The following tips are written for a new grill with cast iron grids. Of course, you should also refer to the user’s manual provided with your specific gas, charcoal or electric grill. 

Wash your grids. At the beginning of your grilling season, or when using a new grill for the first time, it is important to wash the grids on your grill, using a light detergent and water. Use a soft bristle brush for this step. Rinse the grids and dry them with a towel. 

Season your grids. Use a high-smoke-point oil to season your grids. Oils such as avocado, rice bran and canola are excellent for this purpose. Apply these oils generously to all parts of the grids. A silicone brush works well for this step. 

Light your grill. Light the grill and run it for about 30 minutes at medium/low (400°F). This step allows the oil to bake on and create a nonstick protective layer to the underlying grid metal. Shut off the grill. Once the grids have cooled down, they are now seasoned and ready to use. 

These first three steps can be done hours or days before your new grill’s first use.

Preheat and cook. Before placing your food onto the grill, it is always a good idea to light and preheat the grill, being sensitive to the items that you plan to cook. You can preheat to medium/low (400°F) for 15 minutes and then increase the temperature according to the recipe you are following.

Clean your grids. After each use, brush the grids with a high-quality stainless steel brush. This can be done when the grids are still warm, but not hot. Cleaning the grids now ensures a nice, clean grid for your next grilling session. 

Tip 1: Stainless steel utensils work great with all types of grills. 

Tip 2: An accurate thermometer is essential for grilling.


Grilled Meat Marinade

1½ cups salad oil

¾ cup soy sauce

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dry mustard

2¼ teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

½ cup wine vinegar

1½ teaspoons dried parsley flakes

2 crushed garlic cloves

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice


Combine all ingredients and mix well. This recipe makes about 3½ cups of marinade and may be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Pour over meat (chops, short ribs, steaks, etc.) and marinate overnight. Drain and cook meat as desired.