Gallery: Getting Perfect Grill Marks | Grilling

  • Getting Perfect Grill Marks

    Crosshatch grill marks may not add a whole lot in the flavor department, but they sure are evocative. Getting them is fairly simple and they're bound to impress.

    Fire Building

    Once the coals are lit and covered in gray ash, arrange them in a two-zone indirect fire, with all of the coals on one side of the charcoal grate, leaving the other side empty.

    Grill Grate Selection

    You want some heavy-duty grates to get the job done right. If you have a gas grill or ceramic cooker, you're probably good to go, but for us charcoal kettle owners, some cast iron grates or the aluminum raised raised rail Grill Grates will run hotter and retain heat longer than than the standard steel grate.

    Preheat the Grill

    Once the coals are arranged and the grilling grate is in place, cover the grill and let it heat up for five to ten minutes. The super heated grill will ensure a branding sear.

    Oiling Up

    Give the food or the grill grate a nice coating of oil, which will help prevent any sticking that could bring ruin to your grill marking efforts.

    Food Placement

    Place your food at a 45 degree angle to grate, making the marks run diagonal on the finished product.

    The Turn

    After the first sear is done—about one to two minutes—turn the food 90 degrees and sear again to create the crosshatch pattern.

    The Flip

    After the second sear is complete, flip and repeat the process while gazing lovingly at the beautiful marks you just created.

    Finish the Cook

    When the second set of marks are done, move the food to the cool side of the grill and cover to finish up the cooking, if necessary.

    The Final Masterpiece

    Success! Beautiful diamond shaped grill marks that let everyone know that you're a true grill master.