How to Use a Gas Grill: Grilling Tips for Beginners

As soon as the sun starts coming out and the weather starts warming up, the idea of getting outside for barbeque starts to sound really good. While a coal barbeque can get you through, you’ll want a real grill if you want to spend plenty of evenings out in the yard and hone your grilling skills.

So, how do you get started? Read on to learn how to use a gas grill, how to smoke on a gas grill, and other great grilling tips for beginners.

Part 1. Grilling Basics: How to Use a Gas Grill

Grilling isn’t as easy as it seems – if you want your food to taste good every time, you need to learn the basics properly. Here’s how to use a gas grill properly.

Check the Gas Tank

First, you’ll want to check your gas tank. Most grills use small propane tanks, but some large grills need to access the natural gas supply to your home. Hook up the gas to your grill. If you’re using propane tanks, it’s a good idea to have a spare on hand so if the one you’re using runs out, you’ve got a full one to hook up so you can continue cooking. Connect it and open the value to the gas supply.

How to Start a Gas Grill

Next, look for an ignitor button – most grills now come with a button that easily lights the grill, but if not, use a long wand lighter or matches. Press and hold the igniter while turning the burner control, as you would for a gas stove in your kitchen. When you can see a flame, you’ve successfully lit it!

Before you start cooking, turn on all the burners to maximum heat and close the lid. When it reaches around 400F, turn off the heat and use a wire brush to clean the grill – this will ensure it’s clean and ready to use.

Heat Management

The key to grilling involves using and managing heat properly. It’s always a good idea to preheat your grill on medium heat for around ten minutes before you start cooking.

You should only use high heat and sear your meat for a short time. The rest of the time, use medium heat for cooking things quickly and low heat for slower cooking or keeping cooked food hot.

If you want to cook food thicker than ¾ of an inch, you’ll want to close the lid. If you’re searing or cooking food less than ¾-inch thick, you can leave the lid open.

Smoking on a Gas Grill 

Gas grills aren’t designed to smoke meat, but you can still get good results with one. To add a smoky flavor, you need to use wood chips or pellets. You can try either of the following techniques to give your food that signature smoky flavor:

  • Sprinkle a large handful of wood pellets into your barbecue, under the grates, and let it start to smoke. Keep the lid closed if you can, otherwise your pellets may begin flaming.
  • Fold a big handful of your wood pellets into some tin foil, crimp the edges closed and poke a couple of holes into the foil so the smoke can flow out. Pop it under the barbecue’s grates and shut the lid.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also infuse your food with herbal flavors by placing bunches of herbs on the grill grates and cooking the meat on top.

Once you see smoke, add your food to the grill away from the heat and close the lid. Keep an eye on the temperature and keep it within the 225-250F range.

Meat Temperature Guide

Not only does cooking food at the right temperature guarantee great flavor, but it’s also important for food safety, especially if you like your meat rare. To check your foods’ temperatures, get an instant-read thermometer. This will tell you when food is safe to eat and how hot your grill is.

Here are some temperature points to remember (this is internal temperature):

Cook fish at 145F;

Cook ground meat to 145F for medium-rare beef burgers, and 165F for chicken and turkey;

Cook poultry at 165F;

Cook pork at 145-205F;

When it comes to steak:

  • well-done is cooked at 165F
  • medium is 155F
  • medium-rare is 140F
  • rare is 130-135F

Part 2. How to Clean a Gas Grill

It’s important to clean and maintain your grill if you want it to last you years. 

Clean your grill grates before each use, but leave that grease on your grill’s grates after you’re done cooking – this will create a protective layer between each grilling session.

To clean just before cooking, heat your grill for 15 minutes on medium heat with the lid shut until it stops smoking. Scrape the grates with a grill brush, dipping it into water for stubborn food particles.

Part 3. Alternative to a Gas Grill: Pellet Grill

Gas grills are traditional, but they’re not always the best thing to use. pellet grills are another option which allow for much better temperature control, which is essential if you want to get into grilling in a big way. So, why choose a pellet grill over a gas grill?

  • Great if you don’t have easy access to gas (or want to be eco-friendly)
  • Better for smoking
  • Imparts food natural wood-fired flavor
  • Better for social gatherings, as food cooks more slowly and evenly

If you think a pellet grill may better suit your needs, Z Grills makes high-quality, dependable pellet grills built to give you and your family years of delicious barbecue. Our powerful wood-fired grills deliver delicious results using 100% all-natural hardwood fuel. Z Grills make it easy to get a professional smoky flavor right in your backyard and you’ll have neighbors asking for a plate in no time.

Getting started with grilling can be easy – you just need to ensure you’ve got the right tools and the right knowledge. So pick your grill, prepare, grab your meat, carbs, and veggies, and get grilling!