Summer officially began and you know what that means? It’s grilling time! As we pull out the grill, there are several tips and tricks that will help make your cookouts more successful. Most people simply drag out the grill, dig out a lighter, scrape down the grill grate with a wire brush and throw on some meat, but there is so much more to getting that perfect meal.

Make sure that the grill is on a concrete surface or other similar surface that will not catch on fire. The grill needs to be away from anything that can catch on fire. Also make sure that you have a fire extinguisher around in case things go wrong.

Once the grill is located in a safe place, it’s time to put the charcoal inside the grill. The coals need to be spread out so that when they burn down the heat is spread evenly throughout the grill. If you are using a gas grill, make sure that all of your pipes and hoses are tightened and there are no leaks.

Now that the grill is heating up, it is time to make sure that the grate is clean. Most people simply take a wire brush and scrape the grate to get the larger leftover chunks off which is great; however, to get the grill truly clean, slice an onion in half and rub the onion over the grill grates. This will help clean all of the pieces that the brush left behind. Then you can get cooking!

For ideas on what to cook up on your grill this summer you can go to Texas Beef Councils website at and look over their recipes. While beef is a popular option for grilling, there is a wide variety of options to put on your grill ranging from peaches, pineapples, lamb, sausages and a whole bunch more. Let your imagination run wild.


Ashley Cox is an intern with the Parker County Texas A&M AgriLife extension agency.

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