v1b8-How-to-Achieve-Great-Grill-Marks

Grilling Tip: How to Achieve Great Grill Marks

If you’re struggling to achieve impressive grill marks, you’re definitely not alone. If you find yourself coming up short on your grill marks, these tips will help you master the art of imparting those charred lines of grilling goodness!

How to Achieve Great Grill Marks

Instructions
 

Clean Your Grates.

  • First, it’s important to start with a clean grill. If your grates haven’t been cleaned since they came out of the box, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
    v1b8: Clean Your Grates
  • If you need some tips for cleaning your grill, read this article we put together.

Change Your Grates.

  • If your grates are made of steel, you’ll struggle to attain grill marks. As a result, if killer grill marks are an aesthetic that’s important to you, you should consider investing in cast iron or aluminum grill grates.
  • These types of grates will retain more heat and run slightly higher in temperature than their steel counterparts, which will help you achieve the grill marks you’re after.

Oil Your Grates.

  • Even if the meat you’re putting on the grill has oil on it from a marinade or otherwise, you’re still going to want to apply cooking oil to your grates before preheating your grill.
    v1b8: Oil Your Grates
  • Many pitmasters suggest using a high heat cooking oil, such canola, cottonseed, grapeseed or peanut coil. We’ve found success with olive oil as well, so you don’t have to be too fancy.
  • You can apply the oil to your grates this with a spray bottle or with a paper towel that’s coated with oil. Be careful not to press too hard if using a paper towel, because you’ll leave behind bits and scraps on your grates.

Preheat, Preheat, Preheat.

  • If you’re placing your meat onto the grill without preheating it first, your grill marks are going to suffer.
    v1b8: Preheat
  • Think about it: You’re asking the grates AND meat to heat up at the same time, so if the grates aren’t starting at a higher temp than your meat, how can you expect to see grill marks?
  • You should always preheat your grill, whether you’re after grill marks or not.

Use Direct Heat.

  • Next, when it comes to grill marks, it’s all about the direct heat grilling technique. if you’re not grilling over a roaring, open flame when attempting to impart your grill marks, you’re never going to get there. The grates have to be super hot in order to leave grill marks.
  • To achieve the crosshatch, get the first sear done at 45 degrees, then rotate 90 degrees and sear again, flip and repeat. This leaves a diamond grid that will let everyone know that you're a true grill master.

How to Achieve the Crosshatch

  • To achieve the crosshatch or diamond-style grill marks, (as pictured above), get the first sear done at 45 degrees, then rotate 90 degrees and sear again, flip and repeat. This leaves a diamond grid that will let everyone know that you're a true grill master.
    How to Achieve the Crosshatch