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Summertime BBQ - tips, tricks and techniques for the grilling enthusiast

by Terry Sullivan - Lyons-Sullivan Realty

Memorial Day may be the start of the grilling season, but the weeks between the Fourth of July and Labor Day are prime cookout time for serious grillers.

Whether you love burgers, brats, ribs or chicken, take note of these tips, tricks and techniques for the perfect BBQ every time.

1. Make a plan

There’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re cooking up the perfect plate. Take a few minutes beforehand to read up on the best way to grill your choice of meats.

Before you ever get to the grill, have a game plan. Direct or indirect heat? Low and slow? Or hot and fast? Temperature zones? Sauces? Think ahead for best results in all these taste tempting categories.

Using a meat thermometer is a great way to make sure everything is done just the way you like it. 

2. Safe food, healthy food

Speaking of making sure everything is done...remember that working with meat is tricky business. Beware of cross-contaminating cooked and uncooked meats as well as exposing side dishes to uncooked meats and their juices.

The easiest way to stay safe is to stay clean. 

  • Wash your hands before and after you touch any meat. 
  • Once you use a tool (knife, fork, tongs) on raw meat, don’t use it on anything else until it’s been washed. 
  • Use one plate or platter to deliver the raw meat to the grill and use a clean one when serving after cooking. 

3. ‚ÄčGrill safely

While we are talking safety, whether you choose charcoal or gas for your outdoor delicacies, make sure you cook safely. 

First of all, wear heat proof oven mitts when handling any part of your grill. Also, always wear shoes when grilling. A loose piece of hot charcoal can leave a nasty burn on the sole of your foot.

Set up your cooking space well-away from the house. Flame from the grill could start a fire. Residual heat from a gas grill can melt siding. 

Check connections on your gas grill and check the unit for unusual wear. For charcoal grills, remove old ash and put it in the trash.

When starting your gas grill, be sure to follow proper instructions. Charcoal grills can be lit in a variety of ways - chimney, electric starter, or lighter fluid. Be sure to follow the safety directions for your chosen method. Remember - you’re there to cook food, not your eyebrows.

Finally, give your grill the proper amount of time to heat up. Typically a gas grill will be ready in about 15 minutes...30 minutes for charcoal. Heating the grill and the cooking grates will result in a better sear as well as loosening old debris.

4. Not done yet

Once the food’s off the grill - remember that it’s still very hot! Keep children away. Leave the grill where it is to cool. Don’t cover your grill until it is completely cool. 

If you’ll be using the grill again to make something else delicious (like s’mores), keep the fire on low. If you’re done for the day, turn off your gas grill or close all the vents on your charcoal grill.

Grilling in your own backyard (or front yard) is a memorable experience and a great way to enjoy the warmer weather. As a homeowner, it’s fun to experience your home in different ways - especially when those ways include BBQ sauce.

To find a home in Pontiac or the surrounding areas for your cook-outs, call the real estate professionals at Lyons-Sullivan Realty. 


BBQ Resources:


Real Estate News You Can Use

by Terry Sullivan - Lyons-Sullivan Realty

As a home buyer, a home seller or a homeowner, keeping abreast of the latest in real estate trends and developments helps you make make smart financial decisions. At Lyons-Sullivan Realty, your real estate professionals strive to help you in your real estate quest, whether that means finding your dream home, buying investment property or selling your home.


Read on for recent developments on our favorite topic - real estate.

Now In Paperback: How to Get Approved for the Best Mortgage Without Sticking a Fork in Your Eye: A Comprehensive Guide for First Time Home Buyers and Home Buyers by Elysia Stobbe

Here’s how Stobbe sums up her book:

With each chapter I will guide you through the mortgage process, from choosing between different loan types, to understanding the difference between a Good Faith Estimate and an Itemized Fee Worksheet, to the necessity of submitting certain documents in a particular method, and finally how to enter Closing Day stress-free and knowing that you have gotten the mortgage that makes the most financial sense for your future. The goal is to help you get the best mortgage possible for your individual needs and get to closing on time, stress free!


Mortgage Rates, For Comparison’s Sake: Mortgage rates this week averaged 4.08% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. What does that mean for homebuyers? At 3.08%, a $150,000, 30-year mortgage will cost $639 per month, excluding taxes and insurance. The same mortgage at 4.08% will cost $723 per month, At 5.08%, a mortgage holder will pay $813 on $150,000.


Market Outlook Update: Freddie Mac’s June 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook is bright. The report says:

“Not only are more Americans taking out a mortgage to purchase a home, but after seven years of decline, debt outstanding on single-family properties is increasing on a year-over-year basis. This is yet another sign the economy and housing markets are pivoting toward normalcy. We’re likely to see many millions more households and millions more homeowners over the next five years, driving mortgage debt outstanding higher.”

While “debt outstanding” may sound like a bad thing, more mortgages means more home buyers. And more home buyers means more Americans can afford a home.


Zillow Expert Concurs With Freddie Mac: "What we're seeing is the passing of the baton ­– as mortgage rates begin to rise and incomes and household formation rates increase – from a stimulus-driven housing market to one driven by fundamentals," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "This transition from housing recovery to a more normal market is a good thing in the long-term, but we can expect some bumps along the way. In the end, increasing household formation and stronger income growth should be able to overcome the headwind of rising mortgage rates and return markets to health."


Buying or selling a home? Count on your Lyons-Sullivan Realty expert to help. Call us today at (815) 842-1400.

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Contact Information

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Lyons-Sullivan Realty
321 W. Madison Street
Pontiac IL 61764