Every BBQ chef has had the experience of their carefully prepared meats, vegetables, or fish sticking to the grill. Here are some options to keep that from happening:

  1. Rub the surface of your grill with some oil (vegetable oil or olive oil – depending on your preference). This can be done in several ways i.e. dip a paper towel in the oil and rub the towel on the grill. Use tongs to hold the paper towel (to keep from losing the hair on your knuckles). Also be careful not to light the paper towel on fire. This could end up forcing you to feed the fire department as well as your family and friends.  Another option would be to use a long handled bristle brush dipped liberally in oil frequently to leave a velvety sheen of oil on your grill before putting the meat down.
  2. Alternatively, a similar idea is to brush your meat with oil before putting it on the grill. I actually prefer oiling the grill rather than the meat, but that is just me.
  3. Cut a piece of fat from the meat that you are cooking with and rub that on the grill surface. Again use tongs and a glove or oven mitt to keep from burning yourself as this process may take a bit of time for the fat to warm up to the point where it will leave grease on the surface of the grill
  4. Use a non-stick spray, i.e. Pam on a cold grill before turning it on. Using it on a hot grill may cause flare ups and in the worse case scenario cause the can to blow up…I know, I have never seen it happen, but I have heard stories (something to do with aerosols and a lighter, but I digress). I personally don’t prefer this method as the spray tends to burn off as the grill heats up and is practically gone before placing the meat on. Use the oil method…works great!
  5. I have also tried the aluminum foil method. Spray or oil the aluminum foil and place your meats, fish, kabobs, etc. on the foil and then put the foil directly on the grill surface. The idea is to reduce grill cleanup after you are finished, but I don’t prefer this method either. I love the aesthetic look of the grill marks on the meat, and the foil tends to even that out. I didn’t have as good of luck with the non-stick aspect of the foil either…There is just more surface area for the meat to stick to. Finally, using foil may cause the meats to have more of a fried taste rather than a grilled taste. However, aluminum foil is a good option when you are cooking items that are small enough to fall through the grill surface to the briquettes or burners below.

Two other items to keep in mind:

  1. Food tends to stick less when your BBQ grill is clean.  At the beginning of each BBQ session, turn your burners on high and let it sit for several minutes.  This will cause the stuck on food from your previous BBQ experience to turn in to char and make it easier to scrape off with your favorite grill brush.  When it is good and hot, scrape last weeks hamburger residue off the grates and let it cook a few more minutes on high heat to make sure everything is ready to go.  The preheat will also kill any spiders or other insects that have decided to call your BBQ grill home sweet home.
  2. Don’t put your food on the grill until the grill is hot.  The hot grill surface will sear your meat and will cause your food to not stick as bad.  That concept also applies to your cooking process.  Make sure you wait until the meat is seared before you attempt to turn it over.  Turning it over before that sear occurs will cause more sticking problems.

This will help your steaks, burgers, chicken, fish, shrimp, kabobs, vegies, etc. from sticking to the grill surface while you BBQ.


Let me know which method you prefer or if you have other tips and tricks to keep meat from sticking to the grill.