The 7 best grilling tips for the Fourth of July

Make this your best cookout ever.

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
Josh Miller/CNET

The Fourth of July is the ultimate grilling holiday. How are you celebrating?

Regardless if you're a grilling veteran or this Independence Day is your first time hosting a cookout (do you need a grill?), there are several steps you can take to make sure everything goes smoothly. As you gear up to throw a few burgers, steaks, hot dogs and kebabs on the grill, we have everything you need to make your barbecue stress-free and fun. 

More on Chowhound: What is the difference between barbecuing and grilling?

Get the tools you need


The most important grilling tool is a fire extinguisher.

Josh Miller/CNET

Before the barbecue starts, make sure you have the grilling tools you need. A quick trip to the hardware store or big box store is all you need to pick up a spatula, metal tongs and more.

And before you ask, yes, you need a fire extinguisher. It's the best way to ensure that you, your friends and family, and your house stay safe this Fourth of July. Check out the 5 steps you need to take before you fire up the grill.

Bring Google Assistant or Alexa to the party

Voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant can help you cook in the kitchen, or set the mood for your dinner party, and they can do all of that outside too! Let Alexa help you build a grocery list or Google Assistant give you beer and wine pairings for your meal.

Here's how to use Alexa at your next barbecue, and what Google Assistant can do for you while grilling.

Learn how to start your grill

To get your gas grill hot, it's a matter of pressing a few buttons and turning some dials. For a charcoal grill, you'll need to put in a bit more work.

It's easier than it looks, if you have the right tools and know-how. If you haven't already, pick up a charcoal chimney starter and a bag of charcoal, and then learn the right way to start a charcoal grill.

Check your fuel

If you're cooking with gas, but you're not sure there's enough propane left in the tank to get you through your holiday cookout, here are four simple ways to check before you run out for more.

Watch this: Can a potato make your grill nonstick?

Stop food from sticking to the grill

Don't keep salmon, chicken and other lean meats off your cookout menu just because you don't want to deal with them sticking to your grill. There's an easy way to stop food from sticking -- and all you need is a potato.

Grill your food like a chef

Get your food to cook just how you want by learning how to use direct and indirect heat. It can mean the difference between perfectly cooked burgers and chicken, and food that's burnt on the outside but raw in the middle.


Try grilled peaches, pineapple or strawberries for dessert.

Josh Miller/CNET

If you've already mastered burgers and steaks, it's time to level up your grilling skills with some new techniques. This Fourth of July, try grilling fruit for a simple and delicious dessert, or start your meal with grilled salad -- it's easier than you think!

More on Chowhound: How to grill pizza

How to clean your grill

After the last burgers or peaches leave the grill, make sure you clean the grates to save time at your next cookout. Spend a few minutes brushing down the grates with a grill brush. Can't find yours? Grab a ball of aluminum foil or half an onion to get the job done.

Watch this: Two ways to quickly clean your grill between uses

Master your grill with CNET's guide to everything you need to know about grilling.

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