Whether you’ve been grilling for years or recently bought your first gas grill, there’s always something you can learn to improve your grilling skills. Cooking using a propane gas grill is different than other grilling methods, like charcoal. We’ve put together some tips for cooking on a gas grill to help you make the best food and keep your grill in the best condition possible.
Heat Management & Cooking Temperature
A grill is a great appliance to have at home because you can cook a huge variety of foods and dishes using it. When you’re cooking on a gas grill, you’re working close to high temperatures. With such high temperatures, you could get burned or cause another serious accident. Managing the heat of your grill properly keeps your safe and also allows you to cook your food right.
Here are some ways to manage the heat on your propane gas grill:
- Let the grill preheat: Before starting, it’s important to let your grill fully heat up to the right heat setting before you start. If you begin cooking before it’s fully heated, it could affect how your food is cooking and cause you to overcook or undercook it. It’s a good rule of thumb to let the propane gas grill heat up for about 15 to 20 minutes before you begin cooking.
- Use the right heat settings: Different foods require different levels of heat to cook right. Thick steaks will need a higher temperature than a fragile vegetable like asparagus. When you aren’t using the right heat settings on your grill, you can burn your food or undercook it.
- Position the food: Certain foods cook better on either direct or indirect heat. If you’re cooking sausages, they cook best over an indirect heat to make sure they cook the whole way through. If you’d like to brown them more on the outside, you can then move them over a direct heat for a few minutes.
- Utilize the lid: The lid of your grill is an important part that helps cook your food well. Close the lid to help cook food that’s thicker, like a steak, but keep it open to cook thinner foods like vegetables.
No matter what you’re using to cook, it’s important to cook it to the right internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to check that your food has reached the right temperature. Here’s a helpful guide for the temperatures that popular grilling foods should reach:
- Fish: 145 degrees
- Ground meats: 160 degrees
- Poultry: 165 degrees
- Rare beef: 120 to 130 degrees
- Medium-rare beef: 130 to 135 degrees
- Medium beef: 135 to 145 degrees
- Medium-well beef: 145 to 155 degrees
- Well-done beef: 155 degrees
These tips should help you cook all of your favorite foods perfectly every time.
Browning & Searing
Giving your grilled favorites a good sear and browning helps bring out the amazing flavors that you love. Here are some ways to get the perfect sear and browning while you’re grilling this season:
- Flip it: To get an even sear and browned exterior, make sure you’re flipping the food frequently.
- Move it around: To get an even sear, move around your cuts of meat on the grill. However, this only works for thick cuts. For thinner foods like veggies, a very seared side will make it taste worse instead of better.
- Leave some space: If you have a lot of food to cook, it may be tempting to fill up the grill. It’s important to leave space on the grill for some heat to escape so the food isn’t over- or undercooking on any one side.
- Don’t close the lid: When you close the lid, you’re putting heat on your food from all sides. Leaving it open lets you have more control over the sear.
When you sear and brown your food the right way on your propane gas grill, you’ll get those golden brown or dark sear marks. Your food will have more flavor and really look like it’s the best time of year to grill.
Cleaning & Keeping Your Grill in Top Shape
Taking care of your grill will keep it in the best possible shape for as long as possible. When you don’t keep your grill clean, it can affect how your food cooks. Follow our tips below so you can enjoy your grill as long as you can:
- Clean the grates: As you use your grill, there is going to be a buildup of grease and other gunk from your cooking. You should clean your grill’s grates before you use it every time. Let the grill heat up for about 15 to 20 minutes. Take a spatula or a grill brush and scrape the grates. Once you’ve gotten all the gunk off, you can start cooking.
- Clean your utensils: When you use a spatula or tongs to cook, you’re probably already cleaning them when you’re finished using them. But it can be easy to forget to clean the utensil you use to clean the grill if that’s its only purpose. If you’re using a grill brush, soak it in warm water to get the bits of grease and food out of the bristles.
- Storage: When you’re not using your grill, make sure you store it in a safe place. Pull it inside a garage or basement or get a grill cover for it. Keeping it safe from the weather will increase the grill’s longevity.
When you’re first learning how to cook with a propane grill, it’s important to learn how to safely use your grill. Once you know the basics, you can begin honing your skills.
Cooking on a gas grill is different than other types, like a charcoal grill. No matter your skill level, it’s really important to know how to use these appliances to their full potential.
If you’re looking for more information about propane gas grills, please contact us today! At Foster Fuels, we have 94 years of experience, giving us the knowledge to help you find the best solutions for your home. Let us put our experience to work for you.