Tips to keep meat from sticking on the grill

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 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.

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.


  1. John Kukahiko says:

    I spread the oil on the grill by cutting an onion in half, dipping the cut side in some oil (I use olive oil) using a long grillers fork, and wiping the grill. This spreads the oil and gives the grill a nice onion flavor. Enjoy.

  2. Tonight PAM failed me . Kebabs were sticking al over the grill. The other options (rubbing fat of your meat on the grill) seem unnecessarily complicated.. will try the oil next. dont know why i havent tried that yet. ..

  3. sandra brown says:

    Great tips! Thank you! Happy grilling!

  4. i agree pam cooking spray SUCKS! I use the oil directly on the grill plates it works perfectly for everything.

  5. I poured some olive oil into a small bowl, then wadded up a couple of paper towels, dipped it in the bowl and spread it over the grill. Worked perfectly fine.

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