At West Coast Design Build Florida, we love creating beautiful outdoor spaces. From gourmet kitchens to comfortable areas to entertain, our designers and installers are experts at turning your backyard into a living space worthy of showing off. Once you’ve got your designer lanai, it’s time to have the friends and family over! This summer, impress your guests with your skills. Whether you have a gas grill, a charcoal grill, or a portable model – check out these tips and master the backyard grill.

backyard patio installation

Becoming a Backyard Grill Master

Every expert on the backyard grill requires a few basic tools of the trade. Of course, these may vary based on what you are cooking, but here are the recommendations from the pros:

  • Metal tongs and spatula
  • Meat thermometer
  • Grill brush
  • Cooking spray
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Aluminum foil
  • Fire extinguisher

5 Tips to Get you Started

  1. Season your grill: Seasoning doesn’t have anything to do with spicing up your food. Instead, it refers to prepping your grill’s grates by preheating and removing any old debris with your grill brush. If you have a brand new grill, spray the grates evenly with a high-heat cooking spray while the grates are cold. Set the grill to medium heat for 15 minutes until the oil burns off or begins to smoke. Seasoning will keep grill rust to a minimum. Do this every time you grill for the best results. Note: Some grates are coated with porcelain enamel that doesn’t require seasoning – be sure to read your grill’s manual.
  2. Keep fire safety top of mind: The National Fire Protection Association reports that US fire departments respond to an average of 9,600 home fires started by grills annually. Don’t let your backyard bash turn into one of these incidents. It’s always essential to keep a fire extinguisher nearby. If you don’t have a good location to store one outdoors, keep it just inside the nearest door. Keep the area around the grill clear of any potentially flammable objects, and monitor the grill’s grease collection tray, emptying when necessary.
  3. Don’t skip the food prep: Once your grill is ready, set up your food for easy access and grilling. You’ll find it helpful to have all of your food – meats and vegetables – prepped before you bring them to the backyard grill, rather than doing it as you go. Slice and skewer vegetables, make burger patties, and marinate steaks inside before firing up the grill. Use casserole-type dishes to transport food, so it doesn’t slide off platters. Have a clean plate or receptacle to put the cooked food in, and don’t forget a clean pair of tongs for all cooked food – you don’t want to use the same tongs that touched raw meat. Think ahead of anything you may need within reaches you are grilling – your meat thermometer, extra spices, etc. If your grill has a side burner, keep sauces and side dishes going simultaneously.
  4. Get a good start: Always refer to your grill’s manual for the preheating instructions for your specific model. All grills are different, and some types of grills need more time to preheat than others.Charcoal grills: Many people love the taste of food over charcoal, but those grills take at least 20 minutes to preheat – keep this in mind when planning your meal. Open all the vents on the bottom of your grill to facilitate maximum airflow to bolster the flame and clean out any old ashes. Light the grill with a small amount of lighter fluid and some old newspaper or chimney starter. Refer to your grill’s manual for your model’s correct charcoal size and shape.

    Gas grills: Gas grills preheat rapidly and should be ready to cook in about 10 minutes. Keep the grill’s lid raised, then turn the valve of your propane tank to open. Turn one burner on and press the ignition button – once the first burner is lit, continue turning on as many other burners as necessary for your cookout.

  5. Maintenance is key: As with any appliance, your backyard grill requires maintenance for its best performance. Check your grease trap, and brush the grill to prevent debris buildup. Check your propane tank for leaks throughout the season, and invest in a proper grill cover to protect your grill from the elements.
  6. You’ve got a beautiful backyard; why not use it? A backyard grill is a great tool to enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends.

    Is your outdoor living space lacking? Does it need renovation? Give the experts at West Coast Design Build Florida a call. We provide professional outdoor kitchen design and installation to ensure you have the best summer backyard memories.