Tips to up your barbecue game

Each year, we dust off our barbecues and start to think about what’s in store for the patio and grilling season – steaks with your friends, family backyard nights, new and tasty recipes.

Whether you’re looking for a brand-new barbecue or simple tips to up your grilling game, kick off the season right with these tips from Rob Rainford, Canadian chef and author of Born to Grill.

Make the investment. Barbecues are important for those who incorporate grilling into meals throughout the summer and the rest of the year.

What’s your type? Propane, natural gas, smokers, charcoal and pellet grills, the list goes on. There are several options when it comes to selecting the best grill for you. If you’re a ribs and brisket person, opt for a smoker grill, but if your go-to is seafood and steaks, consider a gas grill with a high BTU (British Thermal Unit).

Location, location, location. The location of your barbecue is more important than you think. It should be in an area that is convenient for the griller – close enough so that you don’t have to transport your food too far from your main kitchen and also in a place where you can enjoy it with friends, family and a cold beer.

Preparation is key. Before launching into a grilling session, prepare your cooking grates with vegetable oil. Simply dip a cloth into the oil and wipe down the grates to ensure none of your tasty meat recipes stick to the grill.

Cooking with beer. One of Rob’s favourite things to cook with is beer, from sauces to marinades or simply a refreshing beverage to enjoy while grilling up a feast. A light beer, such as Miller Lite, is a non-compromising addition or pairing for several dishes. And the best part? You can enjoy it guilt-free, with 90 calories and 3 grams of carbs (per 355 mL can) and a great pilsner taste.

Keep it clean. One of the most important factors is to keep your grill as clean as possible. After each grilling session, crank it to high for 10 minutes and then use a good brush to pick up any debris left behind. Make sure to drain the drip tray after all grilling is done to avoid any unnecessary flare-ups.