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Expert Grilling Tips

Expert Grilling Tips by Catch 35’s Chef Eddie

When the summer heat is full blast in Chicago, the last thing you want to do is cook indoors. So break out the grill and crack open a cool beer or a glass of wine and enjoy the ultimate summer dining experience.

Tip #1

Gas vs. Charcoal grill

The gas is convenient as long as you have the tank full. The sizes also vary and are easy to start. The gas grill allows for you to control the heat and temps with a dial. The novice griller may feel more comfortable with a gas grill.

Charcoal grill adds a distinct flavor to the food you grilling. You can also add flavored wood chips to your charcoal to give your food a layered flavoring. Charcoal grills are best used with a Charcoal starter ($10 on amazon). Place your charcoal in the starter. Dip a paper towel in some olive oil and place underneath the starter. Light the paper towel on fire; the slow burn of the oil will gradual light the charcoals on fire. Once all the charcoals are red you can place them to one side of the grill. This creates two different temps on the grill itself. One side with the charcoals can be used for searing meats at a higher temp. The other side will allow food to cook slower and more evenly (referred to indirect heat).


Choose which grill you feel most comfortable with (that is always the BEST choice).


Tip #2

Cleaning your grill

There are so many options on how to clean your grill. The easiest and most convenient option is to let the heat from the charcoal or gas flames burn off any old residue. You can do this before and after each time you grill. Once the flames begin to burn off yesterday’s grilling bits, use a metal or nylon brush (make sure the bristles are not damaged because you don’t want them breaking off) to scrub the grates. Now, it’s time to oil your grates using a hand towel or paper towel. Drench the towel in olive oil and use tongs to drag the towel over the grates oiling very well. Be careful because it can catch fire! The grill is now ready for delicious fresh seafood/premium meat/satisfying sides to be cooked.


Tip #3

Cooking seafood vs. meat vs. veggies

The cooking times depend on the thickness and how done you want each.


  1. Make sure grate is well oiled
  2. The fish is well oiled (use olive oil)
  3. Flip the fish only once or twice (the more you flip it the more it will break apart)
  4. Use skewers for easier handling (its also helps support the fish while being grilled)



  1. Make sure the grate is well oiled
  2. Season the meat with salt/pepper
  3. Use a meat thermometer to insure the right doneness


Steak Doneness Remove from Grill at this Temperature
Rare 115°F
Medium Rare 125°F
Medium 135°F
Medium Well 145°F
Well Done 160°F
  1. Mark it on the hot side of the grill and finish on the indirect heat side.
  2. Let it rest (10 minutes) before cutting into and then apply sauces ( sauces on meat while grilling will burn)


If it is a large veggie like a whole potato or cob of corn (you can cook it directly on the grates, well oiled, with salt and pepper)

For smaller veggies use the following method (steaming on a grill):

  1. Place cut veggies onto foil with sauces/seasonings and fold the seams together to form a pouch.
  2. Put the pouch on the indirect side of the grill until warmed or cooked until the preferred doneness.
  3. Tear a small whole at the top of the pouch to check the temp/doneness of the veggies.



Sanitation *Very Important*

  1. Do not use the same utensils throughout the grilling process.
  2. Have a set of dishes and utensils for raw food and then use a second set of clean dishes and utensils for cooked food. (Tongs, spatulas, grill pans, cutting boards, etc…)


Tip #5

Choose high quality seafood/meats/veggies.

  1. Buy seafood/meats/veggies of the highest quality to insure a tasty meal.
  2. When choosing seafood, it should smell fresh like the ocean, not slimy; buy from a reputable seafood purveyor.
  3. When choosing meat, it should have nice color, smell fresh, and choose ‘choice’ or ‘prime’ for quality.
  4. When choosing veggies, buy from local farmers, organic is BEST, and always look for seasonal options first.




Catch 35’s Chef Eddie is taking the hassle out of your grilling experience. His team has designed three distinct grilling kits to help you. Each kit includes fresh seafood, premium meat, satisfying sauces,and gourmet sides. All you have to do is put it on the grill and Enjoy! Call 630.717.3500 to order your Catch 35’s Summer Selection Grilling kit. Want more info on the grilling kits, click the link below: