How to grill smarter this summer

Consider this your guide to cleaning and setting up your grill, staying safe, grilling burgers perfectly and cooking like a pro at your next BBQ.

Sarah Mitroff Managing Editor
Sarah Mitroff is a Managing Editor for CNET, overseeing our health, fitness and wellness section. Throughout her career, she's written about mobile tech, consumer tech, business and startups for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat.
Expertise Tech | Health | Lifestyle
Sarah Mitroff
3 min read
Fabian Krause / EyeEm

Summer grilling season is happening now, and I can already smell the burgers.

Whether you're a grilling novice or pro, you can have your best grilling experience yet this summer. We're spending this week diving into everything you need to know about grilling, from how to buy the best grill and also how to clean it, to quick and brilliant tips -- like how to make your grill nonstick with a potato. When you're ready to start cooking, we've busted five common grilling myths that you should stop believing.

Ready? Let's get grilling!

Read more: The best gas grills of 2019What is the difference between barbecuing and grilling? | Best portable grills of 2019  

Which grill is right for you?

The age-old grilling debate has long been charcoal or gas? But today there are 5 categories of grills to choose from.

Do you prefer convenience and precision cooking? Gas might be the way to go. Are you after a smoky flavor and not opposed to a bit of work to get your grill started? Pick charcoal. Maybe you're not even allowed to have a gas or charcoal grill where you live. In that case, an electric grill is your best option.

Whatever your cooking style and preference, we discuss the pros and cons of 5 different types of grills and explain how to pick the right grill for you.

Watch this: Can a potato make your grill nonstick?

Set yourself up for success

Before your next cookout, take stock of what grilling tools you have. Do you have a fire extinguisher? What about metal tongs long enough that you won't get burned while cooking? Make sure you have the tools you need to grill safely and stock up on the ones you don't.

When you're ready to start grilling, do a little prep work before you head outside. Make burger patties and slice vegetables in your kitchen and put them into containers to bring them outside. And don't forget to bring clean plates and utensils for retrieving your food from the grill once it's cooked.

Make sure you follow these five steps to set up your grill and grilling area so you stay safe and happy.

Fire it up

Now that you've picked out a grill and are ready for your first cookout, you'll need to get the fire started. With a gas grill, it's pretty simple. Just follow the manufacturer's directions for all the buttons and knobs you need to use.

For a charcoal grill, you'll need to put in a bit of effort to get it set up and get the charcoal heated up. Don't fear, we have all of the steps you need in our how to start a charcoal grill guide.

Watch this: Here's how to clean your grill safely

How to clean your grill

Before you get started throwing burgers or steaks on the grill, you'll want to make sure it's clean, especially if there's any build up from last season.

It's worth the time to give your grill a deep clean before your first cookout, and then maintain it throughout the summer. You'll want to get a grill brush to get rid of burnt-on food, but if you don't have one, you can use aluminum foil or even an onion!

More grilling tips!

Want to stop delicate foods like salmon or chicken from sticking to your grill? Try this easy non-stick hack!

Alexa is undoubtedly helpful around the house, and it can also lend a hand outside you're outside grilling. Check out all the ways you can use Alexa while BBQing.

Did you know that an aluminum pan is the secret to better grilling? Or that adding herbs to the coals gives your food a great smokey flavor? Learn 8 ways to level up your grilling skills.

Never again run out of fuel halfway through a cookout with these tips to figure out how much propane you have left.

With these 5 tips and tricks, you'll be a grill master in no time.

Watch this: 4 unexpected tricks for a better cookout

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.