The Heat Is On: Tips for Grilling Like a Pro in Bradenton and Sarasota

September 12, 2017

Tips for Grilling Like a Pro in Bradenton and SarasotaSo what if the calendar reads September? Grilling season in Southwest Florida lasts all year long! Fire up the grill and wow your friends with these helpful tips and tricks.

Grilling Like a Pro

Who better to learn from than people who grill food for a living? Here are some great tips from grilling and BBQ professionals.

Be sure to clean out any residual ashes before starting. A thick layer of ash inhibits air circulation.
Steaks will grill more evenly if you bring them to room temperature before cooking.
Set up direct and indirect heat zones on the grill for better control over cooking.
Don't overload the grate. Leave at least one-third of the grill area open so there's room to maneuver.
The principle of "10 and 2" doesn't apply only to driving and keeping your hands on the wheel. Get those beautiful cross-hatch grill marks by picturing the face of a clock. Cook meat first at 10 o'clock, then turn it to 2 o'clock.
Most BBQ sauces contain a lot of sugar, so add them during the last stage of cooking to prevent burning.

Add Some Variety

Steak, chicken, burgers, hot dogs and ribs are traditional grilling favorites. Why not experiment with some unexpected foods?

  • Have some vegetarians on the guest list? Tofu is a nice meat substitute that benefits from the smokiness of the grill.
  • Take advantage of the wonderful seafood available in Florida. Toss some oysters, clams or crab on the grill and get ready for a treat.
  • Grilled bacon is actually a healthier option than conventionally prepared bacon. The meat isn't sitting in its own fat, so it's crispier and less greasy.
  • Grill romaine lettuce for a quick and tasty Caesar salad, or make a colorful coleslaw with grilled red cabbage wedges. 
  • Fruit is a natural choice for grilling. Heat causes the sugars to caramelize, enhancing the sweetness with a hint of smokiness. Some of the best choices include watermelon, peaches and bananas.

Safe and Sane Grilling

Don't let an injury or illness put a damper on your fun.

  • The Florida Fire Prevention Code prohibits use of grills on apartment balconies and patios. Springs at Palma Sola and Springs at Bee Ridge have well-equipped outdoor kitchens and grilling stations for your convenience.
  • Establish a three-foot buffer zone for kids and pets.
  • Chimney starters are a safer option for lighting charcoal without lighter fluid.
  • Keep a spray bottle of water close at hand to tame any flames that get out of control.
  • Never leave a grill unattended when it's in use.
  • Color-code tongs with stickers or masking tape to designate separate pairs for raw and cooked food.
  • Use a food thermometer and observe USDA recommended internal temperatures

Do you have a delicious grilling recipe to share? Let us know in the comments!

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