Grilling 101: Learn How to Grill Like a Pro

Grilling is one of the oldest cooking methods, and it is one method that is still popular thousands of years later. In modern times, grilling has changed a lot—but it still makes some of the best food you can have on your table. Read on to learn how to grill like professionals do!


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    Grilling Basics

    Before you can start grilling like a pro, there are a few things you will want to know about the process. Let’s take a look at these grilling basics!

    Indirect vs. Direct Heat

    Indirect grilling is when you cook food that never comes directly with the grill’s flames. This is commonly used for longer periods of cooking.

    Direct heat is when the food is placed right on top of the flames or heat source for your grill. It is commonly used for foods that cook quickly or as a final step when preparing slow-cooked foods. Read our indirect vs. direct grilling article to learn more.

    indirect vs. direct heat

    Use an Instant-Read Thermometer

    Instant-read thermometers are one of the most useful tools you can have while grilling. These thermometers read the temperature of the meat, so you can get that perfect finish every single time—regardless of what you cook!

    best meat thermometer

    Look at the Color

    The color of meat and vegetables can tell you a lot about how well they are cooking. Poultry, for example, should never be pink when it is done cooking. With red meats, you can use color to determine how well-done the meat is. It helps to keep a reference guide on hand!

    Look at the Color

    Different Ways to Grill

    There are four different popular grill types in the market today. Let’s look at what they offer.

    Pellet Grilling

    Powered by electricity, pellet grills use fire and wood pellets to slow cook meat and leave it with a delicious smoked flavor. These grills are perfect for making savory meats that are juicy and tender.

    Gas Grilling

    Gas grilling is one of the more standard ways to grill. Commonly used for burgers, hot dogs, and chicken breasts, you can make a lot of different dishes with these grills.

    Charcoal Grilling

    Charcoal grills include cooking directly over charcoal, which can help to maintain plenty of heat. With charcoal grills, you can count on a pleasantly charred flavor. These are ideal for standard cookouts with burgers and brats.

    Electric Grilling

    Electric grills are a new take on traditional gas and charcoal grills. Powered by electricity used to generate heat, they can cook various popular dishes and are perfect for basic use.

    Related reading: Pellet Grill vs. Charcoal vs. Gas vs. Electric

    Benefits of Grilling

    There are so many great ways to cook food that it can sometimes feel impossible to know which one is best. Grilling comes with a few amazing perks that make it a great choice.


    Grilled food is known for its tender interior and crisp and flavor-packed exterior. Ideal for making meats that fall apart and vegetables that are nice and tender, grilling makes food feel as good as it tastes.


    Grilling can be used for cooking quickly and cooking slowly. Its versatility is one of the many reasons that people love it so much. There is an option for everyone!


    Since you can cook vegetables, meat, and even fruit on a grill, you can get plenty of nutrition. With you in control of how much everything cooks, you can also maximize the nutritional value of your meals.


    Different food preparation methods can often have similar flavors in the end, but grilled food is a class all its own. Known for its smoked, crispy flavor, grilling has a flavor, unlike any other cooking method, no matter what you make.

    benefits of grilling 1

    Preheat and Season Your Grill

    Before making amazing meals, you will want to season your grill. To do this, remove the grill racks, drain pans, heat baffles, and any other objects in the grill. For a pellet grill, add your preferred pellets and turn them on high until they begin to fall into the fire pot.

    Clean Your Grill Often

    Cleaning your grill is important to ensure it continues to operate correctly and provides that wonderful flavor. You should clean your grill after each use by removing the pellets, clearing out any grease or debris, and scrubbing all the interior components using a grill brush and scraper.

    Grill Cleaning Brush

    Must-Have Grilling Equipment

    You can start grilling today with these must-have grilling tools.

    A Grill

    To grill, you need a grill to get started. For maximum flavor and consistency, we recommend the Z Grills Pellet Grill. If you don’t own your grill, give it a try.

    pellet grill

    Smart Meat Thermometer

    A smart meat thermometer, like the Smart Wireless BBQ Thermometer, is a great way to stay up to date on the temperature of your food.


    Grill Grate

    A grill grate, like the Grilling Grate for 700 Series by Z Grills, gives you a great surface to cook on.

    Stainless-Steel Grill Grates

    Grill Brush and Scraper

    A combination tool, like the Stainless Steel BBQ Cleaner Brush and Scraper, can help you to keep your grill clean with every use.


    Grilling Tongs

    A good set of stainless steel tongs can help you to manage your food on the grill with ease.


    Grilling Press

    A cast iron grill press allows you to make food that tastes great and looks great, too, by offering flawless grill marks.

    Cast Iron Grill Press

    Grilling Tips and Recipes for Beginners and BBQ Lovers

    Make every dish into a masterpiece with these easy tips and recipes!

    For Steak

    When grilling steak, keep an eye on the internal temperature so you can get that perfect finish every time. You can enjoy this sirloin steak or grilled steak recipe to get started.

    grilling steak

    For Pork

    Pork must be cooked thoroughly, so be sure to reach that ideal internal temperature. Slow-cook it for tender meat that is full of flavor. You can get started with these pork loin chops or grilled bone pork chops.

    grilled pork chops

    For Chicken

    Chicken must also be cooked to perfection to avoid illness. Always cook chicken until you can’t see any pink. This is another meat you can slow cook to make it more tender. Try grilled Portuguese chicken or grilled chicken kabobs to start.

    Grilled Portuguese Chicken

    For Lamb

    Lamb is full of flavor and should always be cooked to a perfect medium rare to get the most out of it. You can try grilled butterflied leg of lamb or grilled lollipop lamb chops to create luxurious meals.

    grilled butterflied leg of lamb

    For Fish

    Fish should never be charred or burnt, so be sure to keep an eye on it while it cooks. You can either leave the bones inside or remove them in many cases. For starter dishes, try grilled oysters or grilled mahi-mahi.

    Grilled Mahi Mahi

    For Vegetables

    Vegetables can get too tender if they are cooked for too long, so be sure to only cook them for a reasonable amount of time as outlined in each recipe. Bring delicious side dishes to your table with grilled squash and zucchini, and grilled bell peppers.

    Grilled Bell Peppers

    About The Author

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    Z Grills

    Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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