The Clever Way To Find Hot Spots On Your Grill

From outdoor parties to quiet nights at home, having command over your grill can elicit murmurs of praise from strangers and loved ones alike. Almost everything seems to taste better on a grill — and there is scientific reason to explain why. Grilling helps kick senses into high gear, per Napoleon, and produces a chemical process named the Maillard Reaction that impacts both taste and smell. Plus, grilling adds caramelization, that sweetness of food that comes from high temperatures (via The Taste Workshop). But to trigger these flavors — and those beautiful grilled streaks striping your food — heat has to be on point. And no, that doesn't mean cranking up your entire grill to a scorching level (true Grill Masters set up hot zones).

Whether or not you've already invested in key grilling tools and have carefully seasoned entrees for your meal, read on to learn how to make sure the next items you set onto your grilled are cooked to seared perfection. It's time to up your grill game and make a good impression at your next alfresco dining experience.

Understand your grill like a pro

Sure, you can wave your hand over the top of your grill to find areas of most intense heat, but what if we told you there's a better way to cultivate grilling prowess?

Cooking on the grill can mean more vegetables, tastier meals, and reduced electricity bills (via SheKnows), so grilling is a skill worth perfecting. Kitchn recommends a hack using a simple loaf of bread. After you've turned your grill on to medium heat, lay the bread out across the surface of the grill. Let this bread roast for a minute before you turn your grill off. Then flip over the slices and take note: This warm toast is your newest grilled asset. As you turn over each piece, you'll be able to see which areas on your grill run hotter than others. Then, before you start cooking up your mains and side dishes (consider off-cuts or cauliflower), you'll have a clear idea where to place each item on top of the grilling rack.

Bonus: Use the bread you've just grilled as a dinner side or burrata appetizer. Enjoy!