9 Must-Know Grilling Tips from Kids BBQ Championship Hosts Eddie Jackson and Damaris Phillips

Grilling is like a combination of art and science, some of it's based in rules and some of it comes from experience. So, if you're a first-timer at the grill, it might seem a little intimidating. But these tips from Eddie and Damaris will ensure you're headed in the right direction.

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Always Preheat

"Never place food on a cold grill," says Eddie. You'll want to preheat the grill so the hottest spot in the center is between 400 and 450 degrees, Damaris recommends.

Start with Good Charcoal

"Use additive-free lump charcoal," Damaris advises. The type of charcoal you use does make a difference in how your food is going to taste.

Cleanliness is Key

"Always start with a clean grill," says Eddie. If you're grill isn't clean, follow Damaris' tip: " When the grill is preheated use a wire brush to clean off any residue."

Don't Let Anything Stick

"Grease your grates to prevent sticking," Eddie recommends. Damaris likes to use a paper towel moistened with vegetable oil.

Be Prepared in Case of Fire

In case of the occasional flare-up, Eddie recommends keeping a spray bottle filled with water handy.

Keep Crowding to a Minimum

"Don't overcrowd your grill — leave a few inches in between your items," says Eddie. Doing so will ensure everything cooks evenly.

Keep Meat Moist

When it comes to marinades, Damaris is a big fan, because it improves the texture of the meat. Not to mention it helps keep it moist. Another trick Eddie recommends is to keep a tin of water in the corner of your grill. "This will create steam within the grill," he explains, and help keep meat, especially chicken, from drying out.

Think Beyond Meat

And don't forget the veggies: "Vegetables should be oiled and seasoned with salt and pepper before grilling," Damaris advises, because it ensures they'll taste great.

Know Your Product's Cook Time

If you're grilling items that take longer than 15 minutes to cook, Damaris recommends first searing on direct heat and then moving "the food to indirect heat to continue the cooking process." A lower temperature toward the side of the grill will cook the food through.

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