How To Keep Food From Sticking To The Grill

Make it hot, keep it clean and don't be afraid of a little oil

Few things in life are more frustrating than when you go to flip your burger or chicken breast on the grill and it won't budge. Scraping from the bottom just results in a rip, so to avoid the mess and headache next time, try these three steps to prevent food from sticking to the grill: Keep it hot, keep it clean and make sure you oil up your food.

① Get the grill hot.
Turn your grill on high and let it heat up at least five to 10 minutes before you start grilling. Putting cold food onto a cold grill is a recipe for disaster. Plus, when the grill is heated to the proper temperature, food will naturally release from the grates when it's ready to be flipped or taken off.

② Clean the grill—and keep it clean.
Before you start grilling, make sure there aren't any pieces of food leftover from the last time it was used. If you got a little lazy and didn't clean it after your last cookout session (no judgment), allow the grill to heat up and then gently scrape the grates. These few seconds will save you from a mess later.

③ Oil the thing you're grilling and the grill.
Lightly coat your protein with oil before placing it on the grill; be sure to use it sparingly, though, because too much oil can be dangerous. Next, use a brush or an old rag and tongs to lightly rub oil onto the grates. Again, you don't need a lot. One exception is burgers: Since they have a higher fat content than chicken or fish, you don't need to rub your burger with oil prior to putting it on the grill.