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The summer would be absolutely nothing without a few backyard barbecues throughout the season! Whether you’re grilling up some burgers or barbecuing chicken, the warm weather is the perfect time to fire up the grill. But good BBQ isn’t just throwing a few pieces of meat on the grill; getting that perfect balance of char, smokiness, and juiciness is a skill that even the most experienced chefs try to master. 

If you’re a little lost when it comes to grilling, don’t sweat it. With a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll be grilling like a pro in no time! Here are some of our best tips to help you grill the right way: 

  • Heat Zones. One of the biggest mistakes grillers make is making one big heat zone over your entire grill. Instead, create two different heat zones on the grill: one indirect heat zone and another direct heat zone. Direct heat zones should be used to sear and char the outside of your food, while indirect heating zones should be used to cook your food at a lower temperature. For foods with skin, such as chicken, you may want to start on indirect heat and then move it to direct heat to prevent the food from sticking to the grill. 
  • Picking a Grill. Speaking of the grill, now may be the time to consider the type of grill you’re using. Most people use gas, charcoal, or a hybrid grill in their backyards. Though some experts may tell you that one is better than the other, the truth is there are some pros and cons to each. Charcoal grills are great for flavor and smokiness; however, it’s tough to regulate the temperature. Gas grills are easier to clean and control the heat, but it takes a while to heat up and requires you to buy gas to power them. Hybrid grills combine these elements but can be extremely expensive. Assess your needs, choose the right grill for you, and adjust your grilling techniques accordingly (for example, a charcoal grill will need a closer eye, but a gas grill will need a longer cook time). 
  • Seasoning Your Grill. By “seasoning” your grill, we mean cleaning and prepping your grill correctly. Before you start grilling, clean out the grill of any debris or burned food particles. This will not only help your food cook perfectly, but it will also prevent any bacteria from breeding inside your grill. You’ll also want to clean out any grease that may have fallen into your grill to prevent carcinogens from getting into your food. 
  • Seasoning Your Meat. Once you’ve seasoned your grill, make sure you season your meat! Consider marinating tougher cuts of meat, like brisket, to make it as flavorful and tender as possible. Salt beef and pork generously; use fat when cooker leaner meats to add moisture. And, of course, use a barbecue sauce balanced with vinegar, salt, and sugar! The ingredients and proportions will vary depending on where you live, ingredients and proportions will vary – so choose your favorite! 
  • Cooking Your Meat. Cook your meat to the right temperature. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and beef and pork should be about 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to check temperatures so you’re not poisoning anyone, but keep a close eye to ensure you’re not overcooking or over-charring. Use this guide to help you cook various kinds of meat. 

Visit Suzy’s Bar and Grill in Yorkville, IL, for the summer food you love all season long! We offer delicious pizzas, sandwiches, calzones, burgers, and wraps that will take any tailgate to the next level. Also, check out our Events Calendar for in-person fun like trivia, slot machines, pool tables, volleyball, bags, darts, and more. Visit our website to learn more or give us a call at (630) 553-6500.