Top 5 Tips for Really Great Grilling

Get ready to fire up the grill for Father’s Day and all your summer meals with these tips from grilling expert Jennifer Chandler. She even wrote a cookbook on grilling, Simply grill, which is part of his Simply Cooking series. And beware, Jennifer’s latest book—The Southern Pantry Cookbook—Will hit the shelves of your favorite bookstores in the fall of 2014!

Today Jennifer is helping us polish the way we grill meats.

Simply Grill - Cover

Photo credit: Justin Fox Burks

Jennifer Chandler:

Grilling season has officially arrived and people across the country will be lighting up their grills for special occasions and casual summer dining. Here are five simple tips to help you grill meat like a seasoned pro.

Keep the grill warm, clean and oiled.

A clean grill with oiled grates will prevent food from sticking. Before placing food on a hot grill, scrub the grates with a heavy-duty grill brush, brush the grates lightly with oil using a brush or paper towel, and scrub the grates one final time when you have finished cooking.

Turn only once.

To get grill marks that kill, turn meat or vegetables only after they have been on the grill for a few minutes. The meat is ready to be turned when it comes off the grill easily.

Hang on, don’t stab.

Use a set of tongs, not a barbecue fork, to turn a piece of meat. The forks make holes in the meat to allow these precious juices to drain.

Know when it’s done.

Nothing is worse than an overcooked piece of meat. It is always preferable to favor undercooking rather than overcooking. You can always put food back on the grill, but you cannot put food back on the grill.

Let stand.

Allowing a piece of meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it will give it time to recirculate, resulting in a more tender and juicy dish.

Now you are ready to grill dishes like this flavorful balsamic beef tenderloin! (recipe by Jennifer Chandler, below)

Balsamic Beef Fillet

Beef tenderloin with balsamic vinegar, photo credit: Justin Fox Burks

Simply Grill - Cover

Balsamic Beef Fillet

Simply Grilling Recipe: 105 Recipes For Quick, Casual Grilling By Jennifer Chandler

This delicious beef tenderloin is easy to prepare and the perfect dish to serve to guests. The balsamic flavor elevates the tenderloin to new heights!

Preparation time 6 time

Cooking time 45 minutes

Total time 6 time 45 minutes

Course Starter, Main

Food American / South, Grilled Meat

Portions 6

Calories 150 kcal


  • 8 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 1/3 Cup dried italian seasoning
  • 1/4 Cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cut of beef 3 pounds, trimmed
  • Vegetable oil for the grids


  • Combine the garlic, salt, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, oil, Italian seasoning and pepper in a small bowl until combined. (Make Ahead: Marinade can be made up to a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.)

  • Place the meat in a non-reactive dish. Rub the paste evenly over the meat, cover and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours. Take out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.

  • Preheat a clean grill over medium-high heat with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

  • Remove the fillet from the marinade. Discard the marinade.

  • Place the filet mignon on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning several times, until the meat is golden brown on all sides and cooked to the desired temperature, 20 to 25 minutes for medium rare. (Cooking tip: An instant-read meat thermometer is the best way to tell if your tenderloin is ready. For medium rare, the thermometer should read 130 ° F, as the temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees while the net is at rest.)

  • Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


Variation: You don’t have time to marinate your fillet? Simply brush with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Follow the cooking instructions as outlined above.


Portion: 1sliceCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: tengProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated fat: 2gPolyunsaturated fats: 1gMonounsaturated fats: 9gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 393mgPotassium: 192mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 100UIVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 96mgThe iron: 2mg

Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!
Jennifer chandler

Chef Jennifer Chandler, photo credit: Justin Fox Burks

Thanks Jennifer!

For more grill recipes, visit Jennifer’s website or add Simply grill to your cookbook collection. Be on the lookout for Jennifer’s next book, The Southern Pantry Cookbook, coming to your favorite bookstore this fall.

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Tanya S. Norvell

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