Grilling 101: Grilling Tips for BBQ Season

Grilling 101: Grilling Tips for BBQ Season

Looking to fire up the grill this Victoria Day long weekend? You're going to want to read what our grilling experts have to say about how to grill like a pro! We cover everything from how to grill different types of meats, to how to season chicken, beef, and seafood, to the best side dishes to serve with your BBQ! We'll have your tummies rumbling and your grilling skills fine tuned.


Alllllll aboard! Final call for all passengers boarding the grill train. Not sure if you want to join this journey yet? Then what if we told you that we have some information that you can use to level up your grilling skills, and help you learn how to grill? Don’t be shy if you’ve never been on this ride before; this journey is for everyone!

We cover everything, including:
1. Preparing To Grill
2. Best Grilling Tools 
3. Grilling Meats
4. BBQ Seasoning
5. BBQ Sauce
6. Easy BBQ Side Dishes
7. Grilling Tips

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. 

Preparing To Grill

The first stop on our grilling journey is the city of Basic Grilling Tips! 

Before you even think about blessing your grill with a piece of meat or vegetable, you have to make sure that your grill is clean. Sometimes we forget about the previous state of our grill and overlook its cleanliness. So make sure the grates of your grill are nice and clean so that you don’t get old charring on your fresh food. 

Oil that bad boy up…well not too much of course. Before turning on the grill, base the grates with an oil spray or use a non-stick grilling mat. Please make sure your grill is turned OFF before applying any type of non-stick spray or mat. 

Sorry we had to get so serious there, but we care about your safety on this journey. The final thing to keep in mind before we leave this stop is to make sure that you give your grill some time to get toasty. After turning on your grill, give it some privacy and allow it about 5-7 minutes to get nice and hot, before putting your food on. 

Please make sure you’re seated, it’s time to move on to the next stop! 

Best Grilling Tools

We’ve arrived at our next stop on this journey: Tool Nation.

The Spatula is an artifact that is used to flip more delicate meats like burgers and fish. This artifact is a necessity to have on this grilling journey. 

Extra Long Tongs are a treasure that allows you to keep your hand away from the heat of the grill, and flip or remove your food safely. This will make for an easy grilling process!

These next gems have been handed down through many generations. The Grilling Mitts are a right of passage and a must have for all grilling beginners. These also help keep your hands away from the constant heat of the grill. However, not just any old mitt will do. Make sure you’re finding grill specific mittens that are made from fire resistant materials like silicone. 

The Basting Brush is a work of art and is such a simple but crucial tool. It allows you to brush that sauce nicely onto your foods, as pouring the sauce directly while on the grill may cause flare ups. You DON’T want massive flare ups as they cause extra charring. So let’s avoid that problem with a nice basting brush. If possible, try to use ones made out of silicone as other traditional bristles may have a build up of bacteria over time. 

Are you sheeting us? You’ve never heard of the great wonders of the Baking Sheet? Well let us tell you, it’s a vital asset to the team. Using a baking sheet while grilling is a great way to organize your ingredients before adding them to the grill. It’s also great for having a place to put your already grilled foods after you take them off of the heat. 

The Meat Thermometer is a bonus jewel for passengers who are trying to learn how to grill. This tool will help you check the doneness of your meat if you’re still getting accustomed to grilling. 

If you’re purchasing any of these grilling tools from the gift shop please do so now, we’re about to depart onto our next stop! It’s time to move onto grilled foods!

Grilling Meat 

If you haven’t left the ride yet then we just want to say we appreciate you for sticking around. We’ve finally arrived at an exciting stop on our journey: Grilled Meat Metropolis.

This city is filled with a variety of famous grilled meat ideas! It’s run by truLOCAL, an executive board of meat specialists. They host only the freshest and local Canadian meats and seafood. The beef of this area is grass-fed and the chickens are treated like royalty as they’re raised cage-free and without antibiotics. So let’s see what these meat celebrities are all about! They’re well known here though, so we’ll be moving quickly to avoid security! 

Chicken is first on the list with two different looks, bone-in and boneless. When grilling chicken that is boneless, it’s a super easy cook. Cook it for around 9-10 minutes on both sides before removing it from the grill. Meats that have bone tend to take a bit longer to cook on the grill. When grilling bone-in chicken, turn the pieces every couple of minutes for about 20-25 minutes. Make sure to cook chicken on the side of the grill with higher heat. 

Next is the Burger. This meat is well known around this city, but is not one to be messed with. Place these bad boys on the medium-high side of the grill. Let them sit for a bit without disturbing them, before flipping them with a spatula so that they don’t fall apart. You can cook these guys up for roughly 8-10 minutes before removing them. 

Down the block are the more fancy folk of this city: the Steaks. When cooking a steak, place it on direct high heat for about 9-12 minutes. Depending on how well done you prefer your steak, will determine how long you keep it on the grill. 

Let’s maneuver to the next part of this Metropolis, where the Sausages live. Since sausages are a bit higher in fat, you have to grill them on medium indirect heat for about 25 minutes. This will prevent the sausages from burning before they’re fully cooked. 

The next superstars in this city are none other than Shrimp. This group can either be cooked on a skewer or in a grilling basket so that they don’t fall through the cracks of the grates. The larger the better for this group, plus they have a fast cooking time. Place them on the grill for about 2-3 minutes per side before removing them.  

The final icons we’ll be seeing in this city are always swimming through the streets. Fish  comes in many different forms. When cooking fish on the grill, place it on high direct heat for about 10 minutes. You can either wrap them in foil paper so that they don’t fall apart, or use two spatulas to give them a good and safe flip. Cook these icons up until their skin is crispy, and let them rest for a few moments after removing them from the grill. 

Don’t know which star to visit first? Then try out truLOCAL's Mix It Up Box, which includes a variety of different meats for you to choose from! Everything is fresh which makes your meat more flavourful and nutrient-dense. truLOCAL is your go-to for meat products as they believe in supporting local farms and providing you with high-end and quality products. Could you ask for a better board of meat specialists to run this Metropolis?  

Alright it’s time to move on, wave goodbye to the city everyone! 

BBQ Seasoning 

Alright settle down, settle down. We know how exciting it can be seeing all of those meat stars for the first time. We’re arriving at our next stop, so have your notepads ready for Seasoning Scape. This group of individuals are here to give you some exciting flavour options to season your grilled meats! 

Jerk Master

“Hello all, I’m here to instruct you on how to get your protein ready to be jerk flavoured! Start off with a dash of all purpose seasoning. Once you have those on, continue with some ginger, onion powder, garlic and herb, brown sugar, thyme, parsley, ginger, paprika and salt. To kick up the spice, hit your meat with some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Rub this combination thoroughly into your meat for a spicy but tasty jerk flavour!” 

You definitely know how to keep things extra spicy Jerk Master! 

Mediterranean Expert 

“Hi everyone! Let’s jump right into some tangy but savoury flavours. To achieve a tasty Mediterranean flavour, you want to begin by adding some olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. To finish it off, sprinkle on some black pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, basil, onion powder, oregano, and thyme. Massage these flavours into your protein for a citrusy but savoury flavour!” 

Always a pleasure hearing from you Mediterranean Expert! 

Teriyaki Consultant 

“Hello there! I hope you’re all enjoying this BBQ journey. How about we shift gears a bit and talk about how to achieve a delicious teriyaki flavour! You can begin by adding soy sauce to your meat, followed by sesame oil and rice vinegar. After that, you want to sprinkle some brown sugar, Chinese five spice, garlic powder, and ginger. Knead these ingredients into your meat to accomplish this tasty flavour!”

Such an exciting combination of flavours Teriyaki Consultant! 

Classic Genius 

“Greetings! Looking for something more on the simple side? Then keep it uncomplicated with a classic bbq flavour. Keep it quick and easy by sprinkling on a nice barbecue rub, salt, black pepper and garlic powder!”

I’m sure everyone here appreciates a simple alternative as well Classic Genius!

Alright passengers, pack it up and make your final notes! It’s time to hit the road again and move onto our next stop! 

BBQ Sauce

We’ll only be passing through Sauce Society briefly so listen closely to a couple of healthy bbq sauce options! 

When using barbeque sauce while grilling, apply the sauce with a basting brush at around 5 minutes before you remove your foods from the grill. This will help prevent extra charring on your foods before it’s finished. 

Don’t know which sauce you want to use? Well it depends on what taste you’re going for! 

Want something sweet, healthy, but with a little bit of spice? Then try a low-sugar sweet and spicy sauce!  

Maybe you’re craving something with more spice! You can top your meat off with a jalapeno mango BBQ sauce

Not quite a spicy or sweet type of person? Then try out a good old classic BBQ sauce!   

Ohhh, you want something that’s only sweet? No worries! You can use a sauce in a nice honey flavour

Alright, we told you this stop was going to be super short. We’re almost at the end of our journey, only two more stops to go! 

Easy BBQ Side Dishes 

Okay folks, you’re probably all wondering, “Okay, but what do I eat my grilled meat and veggies with?”

Don’t worry, this stop will give you some quick and easy side dishes that you can try!

It’s not impastable to create a pasta salad that is quick but delicious to make! Use fusilli pasta with mayonnaise, salt, black pepper, loose corn , ranch dressing, sour cream, and diced bell peppers for a tasty side. 

Want something a bit more simple? Then you can serve your guests a bowl of sweet potato fries, with a sprinkle of salt on top! 

We can’t forget about the classics! Whip up a quick coleslaw with mayonnaise, salt, apple cider vinegar, sugar, black pepper, and carrots! 

It’s bean a long time for some of you, but bean salads are a tasty incorporation to your grilled foods. Try combining garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, and black soybeans. Toss them together in olive oil, black pepper, red wine vinegar, salt, and paprika for a flavourful addition! 

How about some nice grilled veggies? You could grill up asparagus by cooking it for about 6-8 minutes. You could also try bell pepper, which you could grill by cutting it in half and leaving it on for approximately 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle some salt, black pepper and olive oil on them for extra flavour! 

Alright everyone, take what you need from this stop because we’re about to head to our last stop for the day!

Grilling Tips

The BBQ Tips Union will now briefly go over some final things you should keep in mind when starting your grilling journey. 

  • Use metal utensils instead of plastic ones when grilling
  • Keep your uncooked meats away from your fully cooked meats
  • Create different heat sections on your grill for low, medium and high heat
  • Avoid flattening or squeezing your meats with a spatula while they’re grilling
  • Let your meats defrost for about 30 minutes before placing them on the grill

Final call! This is the last stop, we will be heading back to take you all home! 

Final Thoughts

Thank you all for riding the NaturaMarket grill train! We hope we were able to provide you with some easy grilling ideas, that you’ll be able to apply to your grilling techniques this season. Try not to overthink it, start with simple ingredients before moving on to the more complex ones. If all else fails, just remember to keep calm and grill on! 

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