take it easy

Avoid putting a thick, sweet sauce on raw wings before grilling. The sugars in the sauce will burn before the meat inside has a chance to cook through. The result will be a wing with an incinerated exterior and a raw interior.

Classic Brats

Classic Wisconsin bratwursts are traditionally boiled in beer before grilling. Simmer the sausages in a pan on the grill with water or beer, adding onions or a tablespoon or two of butter if you like. Once cooked through, sear the sausages directly over the coals.

simmer dogs

If you prefer, you can simmer your hot dogs in water in a saucepan or foil pan on the hot side of the grill. Then move to the pan cool side, remove the hot dogs, and sear them directly over the coals.

shrimp shells

The advantage to using shell-on shrimp is their natural fireproof jacket prevents burning, and the meat steams up nicely inside. If you choose to go shell-on, use a liquid marinade to season so that more flavor gets past the shell.

sub turkey

Turkey is also excellent meat for kebabs. You can easily substitute turkey for your favorite chicken kebab recipe—just make sure the turkey is cooked to the minimum 165ºF.

veggie cook rate

Be sure to select vegetables that cook in a similar amount of time. Potatoes require a longer cook than bell peppers. It’s hard to cook them both well on the same skewer.

kebab batches

Don’t feel obligated to cook all the skewers at once—it takes longer than you might think to rotate and keep an eye on the skewers. So it’s best to work in smaller batches that are easier to manage.

Lamb Lolipops

Try lamb lollipops. Carefully french the bones all the way down to the eye of the loin, removing most of the meat and fat between bones. You will be left with a small, cylindrical piece of meat with long bones attached. Slice the loin eye between the bones for this lollipop-looking entrée.

No Breadcrumbs

Many recipes call for coating the outside of the rack with an herbed breadcrumb mixture. This is great for the oven, but not the grill, as the breadcrumbs will burn.

Gamey Lamb

Smoke flavor complements the slightly gamey flavor of the lamb. Often just the charcoal itself lends enough smoke flavor. But if you want to add additional smoke flavor in the form of wood chips, do so sparingly so as not to overpower the flavor of the lamb.