Five tips to flaming success

August is the perfect time to up your grilling game. My favorite part of grilling? Great tasting food AND no pots and pans to clean up! Read on for my tips to become a top-notch griller.

Top 5 Grilling Tips:

Clean the grill, use cooking spray and preheat for 10 minutes. Sounds basic, but you don’t want to taste the leftovers of last night’s dinner. Get in the habit of cleaning your grill every time you cook. Cooking spray is an essential tool for grilling success—a well-oiled grill means your food doesn’t stick. Finally, you need some heat, so be sure to preheat your grill for 10 minutes with the top closed before cooking.

Use both direct and indirect heat. Direct heat means the item you’re grilling is directly above heat. It’s the hotter part of the grill and it’s great to start the cooking process, but you can overcook your food. Indirect heat is a separate part of the grill that is still hot because the grill is preheated. You can start your food over direct heat and move it to indirect to finish it.

Keep your food safe. The best habit I have is grilling with two pairs of tongs. Once my food is cooked on the outside—there is no visible rawness—I switch to the second pair. That way I can be confident that I’m not contaminating the food.

Save the sauce for the end. Sauce can cause flare-ups which can char or burn your food. Wait for the last few minutes of cooking time to brush on the sauce. In fact, that’s a perfect use for the indirect heat part of your grill. I also love to reserve a little sauce to serve along with dinner. My kids might not want the extra sauce, but the adults at the table enjoy the additional flavor kick.

Let it rest. Nothing ruins a perfectly grilled piece of protein faster than cutting into it once it comes off the grill. I take my protein right off the grill and onto a flexible cutting board set inside a sheet pan. Then I leave it alone for five to 10 minutes. I have a juicy piece of food every time and the juices are contained by the sheet pan. A perfectly grilled, juicy chicken breast is a thing of beauty. Once you have mastered this take-it-slow technique, chicken success on the grill will be guaranteed every time!

Honey Barbecue Chicken

Author: Kate Wagner

Serves: 6

Consider making a double batch of the spice paste and honey glaze. With dinner insurance in the fridge, you are just a step away from a savory dinner. Simply brush some on grilled or seared meat, pork, fish or shrimp. The flavor is incredible. Happy cooking!

Rub ½ cup Olive oil

1 Tbsp. Honey mustard

2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced

1 tsp. Paprika (preferably sweet paprika)

1 tsp. Brown sugar, light

1 tsp. Oregano, dried

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. Chipotle chili powder (optional)

4 – 4 ½ lbs of Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, trimmed



¾ cup Honey

2 Tbsp. Soy sauce, low-sodium

2 Tbsp. Ketchup

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. Apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. Sriracha (optional)


In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, honey mustard, garlic, paprika, brown sugar, oregano, Kosher salt and chipotle chili powder (if using).

Spread spice paste all over the chicken breasts and store them in a large Ziploc bag.

Marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or up to overnight. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

In the meantime, in a second small bowl, whisk honey, soy sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and Sriracha (if using). Set aside and reserve ½ cup to serve with dinner.

Spray the grill with canola spray and heat to high. Close grill top and allow the grill to heat to 350 to 400 degrees.

Once grill is heated, turn the burners to low, place the chicken on the grill, preferably on a slant for the grilling marks.

Grill chicken for five minutes and then flip to the other side.

Once the chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, brush with glaze and then flip for an additional five minutes. From this point forward, brush with glaze every time the chicken is flipped.

Once that time is up, flip and cook for an additional five minutes. At this point the chicken might be finished or need an additional 5 to 10 minutes of cooking time.

You should pull the chicken when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, while resting. The chicken will continue to cook an additional five degrees (chicken is ready to eat when the internal temperature is 165 degrees).

Once chicken is finished cooking, allow the chicken to rest five to 10 minutes before slicing.

Serve with reserved sauce on the side.

Kate Walker Wagner is a food writer and cooking instructor. Visit her website for healthy and delicious recipes and follow her on Facebook: for daily dinner inspiration.


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