8 Great Grilling Tips for Fall Grilling and Beyond

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Temperatures are cooling down, summer is saying it’s last sweet goodbyes, kids are headed back to school, and football season is gearing up. But there’s no need to put the grill away just yet, fall can be the best time of the year to grill! Whether it’s a quick after work dinner or a Sunday game day feast, get your grill on and check out our 8 great grilling tips.

Gas Versus Charcoal
Some people prefer the convenience of gas grills while others can’t get enough of the smoke and fire of charcoal grills. For impromptu game days and after work dinners, we always go with the gas grill. With just a flick of the switch, it’s ready to go. Charcoal we save for weekends when we have the time and leisure of DIY fire building.

Before You Start…
Take your meat out of the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature. It will cook more evenly that way.

Preheat Your Grill While You Start Your Prep Work.
Light your grill up while you start your prep work. A gas grill needs 10-15 minutes to come up to a medium high heat. A charcoal set up will take 30 minutes to be ready to grill. You’ll want your charcoal briquettes to be covered in a light gray ash before grilling. Using a chimney starter will take away some of the hassle of lighting the charcoal.

Clean And Oil Your Grill Grates After The Grill Is Hot. 
Invest in a good long handled grill brush to brush the grit away. You don’t want charred bits to mess with your flavors and ruin a good meal. Oil the grates with a clean tea towel and vegetable oil after cleaning to keep your food from sticking.

Don’t Mess With Your Food.
Resist the urge to over flip and play with your food while it grills. You run the risk of tearing the meat or skin. You want to achieve a nice sear to give it more flavor.

Is It Done Yet?
Get an instant read thermometer to make sure you cook a perfect steak every time. See below for temperature guidelines:

For beef steak:
medium rare: 135 degrees
medium: 145 degrees
medium well: 155 degrees
well: 170 degrees

For pork chops:
medium: 145 degrees
well: 170 degrees

For poultry:
165 degrees

For burgers:
Medium: 150 degrees
Well done: 170 degrees

Let Your Meat Rest 10 Minutes Before Digging In.
Letting your steak, chops, and chicken rest allows the juices to redistribute before cutting in and seeping out. You’re left with a juicer and tastier piece of meat.

And Finally, For a Long Grill Life, Keep Your Grill Covered.
Once the game season is over, always cover your grill to protect it from the elements. Spring training is only a few short months away!

Test these tips on some of our favorites!
Cherry Balsamic Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Easy Grilled Vegetables
Michael’s Grilled Steak Sandwiches
Grilled Tilapia with Peach BBQ Sauce
Stuffed Pork Chops with Grits
The Deen Bros. BBQ Chicken

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


Love you and your boys, Paula, So glad the judge found your case in your favor. I hope Food network wakes up and takes you back. I miss your show so much. Someday, I hope I can meet you and your boys. I hope you get another TV show. I love to cook and I have used sooooo many of your recipes. I have learned so much from your shows. Keep up the good work.

By Elmira Peterson on September 18, 2013


Hello Paula, Love your site. My wife and I are heading to Myrtle Beach on Sept 19th and hope to stop by your Restaurant in Savannah during our trip to the north. Miss your shows and wish you were back. We go to your site whenever we need a recipe and wish you all the best in the future. Dan and Agnes Grace

By Dan Grace on September 11, 2013


Hello Paula. I just needed to say how great your site is and only because you and your family sure know how to cook. Everytime I need a recipe I go to your site. I can even add a few ingredients and it will taste great because of your base recipe. You guys are awesome.

By Sylvia Mashaw on July 24, 2012


Paula, Do you remember the Friendship Cake where you gave a dough ball to a friend with the recipe. You took fruit and added something to it for 3 weeks while the fruit fermented a little more each day. Seems like it took a month and then you baked your cakes. You gave a small cake to a friend with some of the "starter" and they baked theirs and did the same. I would love to have this recipe and am hoping thw "Queen" will have it. Love you and yours wish I had the luxury to go on a cruse with you. Thank you very much. Sincerely, Sharon

By Sharon on September 13, 2011


Paula Dean, We recently attended a Conference in Savannah, ( about 30 people) and we were fortunate enough to be able to visit your restaurant and store, and we really enjoyed the food and shoping but my wife cleaned out my wallet buying gifts and especially since I do the cooking she bought me a very nice cook book, and I really enjoy it, but I still have to look at your recipes and get all I can from your information on how to cook and grill from the e-mails you send, The pictures just always look so yummy !!! so please don't stop sending me your news letter. Hopefully we'll see you next year. Thanks much. Gerald

By Gerald Eady on September 13, 2011


Do this one take a handdock with onion cut thin then tomtoes cut thin on top of fish then cheese on top of that put in maw foq 3min or in oven for 5min haue with bread brown with rice and veg

By michelle swart on September 11, 2011


I loved the stuffed pork chops & grits recipe ! Even though I was born & raised in Toledo( East Toledo) Ohio,I must have some southern in me cause I LOVE grits!! My favorite grits by far are garlic cheesy grits. Thank you Paula for all the wonderful recipes, I just love watching you and your sons.

By Julie Gephart on September 10, 2011

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm