Expert Grilling Tips for Your Best Summer BBQ

What’s summer without an evening of al fresco barbecue? There’s definitely an art to grilling…and those of us who only do so in the warmer months may need a refresher. In honor of summer BBQ season, The Related Life reached out to Jake Dickson, owner of the famous Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in Chelsea, New York City. A grilling authority, Jake shared his must-know tips to guarantee epic barbecue meals all summer long. Keep reading for his list of pointers.


Use a Meat Thermometer!

Take the guesswork out of grilling! Use a meat thermometer so you can cook your steaks, burgers and chops to the perfect temperature every time. I prefer an instant read digital thermometer, but the old-fashioned analog ones work great too.

And if you want to take it even one step farther, use a probe thermometer that you leave in the meat.  These are especially helpful when cooking larger cuts of meat that will stay on the grill/BBQ for a long time.  There are plenty of affordable ones out now; many even have Bluetooth that connects to your phone.


Let it Rest!

Meat will keep cooking after you remove it from the grill, so pull the goods 10-15 degrees before your target doneness and let it rest for 10-15 minutes on a tray or cutting board before slicing.  This will give the muscle fibers time to relax, reabsorb all the juices, and slowly even out the cooking.


Use the whole grill!

I like to set up a warm side and a hot side. I use the hot side for searing and then the warm side for finishing cuts to the desired doneness. The warm side is also great for cooking sausages and hot dogs that benefit from lower-temperature cooking.

Or, you can do the reverse (AKA Reverse Sear Method): Slowly cook on the warm side, then finish on the hot side. This works especially well for larger cuts of meat.

Cooking for a large crowd? Sous vide your steaks first!

This will allow you to cook everything to perfect doneness and just sear on the grill before serving.  You'll be able to cook a lot of food fast without guesswork.


Leave your grill hot until you serve. 

Even after removing my meat from the grill, I always leave the grill hot in case I've undercooked anything or a guest prefers their meat well done.



Go to your local butcher and buy the good stuff!  Good meat will taste better no matter how you cook it.


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