Skip To Content
Paid Post

11 Pro Grilling Tips That Will Intensify Your Flavor Profiles

Grilling is the world's most delicious science. Make your grilling even more delicious with expertly crafted flavors from Weber Sauces & seasonings.


1. Use a good, digital, instant-read meat thermometer.


Grilling is nothing more than heating meats to appropriate temperatures, and temperature controls everything: caramelization, juiciness, and flavor. Only a seasoned vet (who's grilling on a familiar grill) can eyeball the perfect medium-rare steak. A meat thermometer turns you into a pro immediately, on any grill.

2. Pay close attention to thickness.


Grill times vary by the thickness of the cut. A 3-inch cut that weighs 10 lbs cooks in the same amount of time as a 3-inch cut that weighs half a pound. Any recipe that asks you to cook "three minutes per side" without specifying thickness is flawed. How to solve this problem? A good meat thermometer!

3. Flip your burgers only once.


You've likely been told flipping multiple times dries out your burger. That isn't actually true. Flipping frequently doesn't affect juiciness, but it does cook your meat faster. The issue is that inexperienced grillers will keep flipping (and flipping) for too long, resulting in an overdone, dry burger. Learn to make one critical flip at the moment the internal temp is perfect. Do this properly, and the burger will be juicy every time.

4. Don't season your meat until long before or immediately before cooking.

Jacky Lam / Getty Images / Via

The salt in your seasoning will extract moisture from your meat and interfere with your sear. To prevent this, season immediately before grilling. Alternatively, season your meat 40 minutes or more before grilling. This provides enough time for the salt to extract water and form a brine and for the meat to reabsorb that brine. You can even season the previous day and let the meat rest overnight in the fridge. This principle applies to rubs as well.

5. Boneless chicken breast is the griller's kryptonite, but brining and pounding will help.

Jupiterimages / Getty Images

Chicken breast is an unforgiving cut of meat. To keep yours maximally juicy and flavorful, brine it. Next, pound it flat to ensure an even cook and grill over medium-high heat. Repeat after us: Brine 'em and pound 'em.

6. Face the fatty side of your meat toward the heat source.


Some believe putting the fat cap up will result in juicier meats because the fat will drip down into the meat. In practice, this isn't true. The fat drips around the meat, but does not penetrate. Putting the fat toward your heat, however, will shield your meat from the high temps and help keep it moist.

7. Marinades work better if you gash your meat.


Marinade flavors will not penetrate the surface of your meat. It also doesn't tenderize meat; that's a myth. Marinades DO allow you to add flavors you can't find on the spice rack. In order to help those flavors stick, gash and crosshatch your meat with a knife before marinading. Now the marinade penetrates deeper into the meat, resulting in bolder flavors. P.S. Thin cuts of meat respond best to marinading.

8. Basting is an effective flavor-enhancing technique when done correctly.

Rocketroom / Getty Images / Via

The problem with basting is that it can result in wet meat surfaces that will steam on the grill, interrupting your sear and retarding the formation of that delicious crust. To baste properly, wait until the crust has formed. Apply your basting juices to the top of the meat immediately after flipping so the skin of the meat is hot enough to burn off most of the baste. Sweet bastes are best, as they caramelize well. Take special care with skin-on poultry; the baste will turn the skin rubbery unless it's already well crisped.

9. Grilling fish whole is the easiest way to grill good fish.


For starters, it's the easiest way to ensure you've purchased a fresh fish — and it's cheaper. The skin of the fish is a little more forgiving regarding cooking times and temps. It's also delicious when brown and crispy. To keep from sticking, be sure to bring the fish to room temperature and pat it down with a paper towel to avoid excess moisture. Rub it in oil, and you're good to go.

10. The "two-zone" setup is your secret to perfectly cooking everything.


It's simple: One zone is high heat for browning and searing. One zone is low heat for coaxing out that perfect internal temp that means your dish is done. This is easy to achieve on a gas grill. Charcoal grills require more finesse, but it's something anyone can achieve with directions (and a thermometer).

11. Lastly: let it rest.

Neil Langan Uk / Getty Images / Via

It's tempting, but don't eat your foods hot off the grill. Letting them rest allows the juices and fats to solidify inside the meat. If you don't let it rest, those juices will leak out of your food through the incision of your first bite. But don't let it rest for too long. Over time, the amount of juice lost is trivial while the amount of heat lost is substantial — and no one likes a cold meal.

And if you're seasoning your meat, brush it with oil first so all that delicious flavor sticks.

Courtesy of Weber Sauces & Seasonings

This also keeps your meat from sticking to the grill grate. Grilling Level: Expert. Bring even more flavor to your best cuts with Weber Sauces & Seasonings.

Take this survey. It's almost like taking a quiz!