Nothing beats grilling at home. The smell of fresh sausage or boudin hot off the grill, a cold one in your hand and your go-to playlist playing in the background. It’s our favorite way to enjoy the breezy days of summer—and we’re not alone. You can’t tell us that you haven’t set your eyes on a filet mignon or ribeye steak that was so beautiful, it beckoned you out to the yard for some grilling.

So fire it up, y’all. It’s time to put those grills to work and we’re dishing out all of our tried-and-true tips to help you make this your BEST grilling season ever. Ca c’est bon!

1. Choose Your Favorite Grill

Charcoal or gas? That’s the question. We’re fans of charcoal for the smoky aroma and taste that the coals provide — but we’re not always fans of the extra cleanup involved (unless we can get someone else to do it)! Gas grills are definitely easier to use, and they cook faster and cleaner — but they’re not in everyone’s budget. If you’ve got a gas grill, add some extra tang to your meats by sliding a piece of mesquite wood under the hood.

2. Go Low and Slow

Yes, that tempting smell of BBQ on the grill has your taste buds demanding, “Now!” but to enjoy grilled meats at their finest, keep that temperature low and cook it slow for up to several hours. This tip is especially important when you’re grilling ribs or other bone-in meats. The low temperature results in juicy meat that falls off the bone with mouth-watering tenderness. If you want a step-by-step rundown of how we grill our ribs, check out our recipe for success.

3. Use Indirect Heat

If you’re cooking one of our whole stuffed chickens, racks of ribs, roasts or any other large piece of meat or poultry, make sure to keep that meat away from the direct flame. No, we’re not being couillons—just trust us. Indirect grilling, when you have the food on one side of the grill and the fire on the opposite side, is just what you need to cook large pieces of meat all the way through without burning the outside. Just make sure you rotate your meat part of the way through cooking!

4. Hold Back on That Sauce

We love a good barbecue or grilling sauce as much as the next person, but take it easy, especially if you’re grilling ribs. The sugars in barbecue sauces will burn if you brush them on too early, and nobody wants that. Wait until the last half hour before you take your meat off the grill. And if you’re grilling boudin or seasoned specialty meats from The Best Stop, you may want to skip the sauce altogether and just enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the meat by itself—just like Penny likes it.

5. Let the Meat Rest

Once your meat is cooked just the way you like it, pull those bad boys off, transfer them to a plate, cover loosely with foil and let them rest a few minutes. Whatever you do, don’t skip this step, T! Those precious minutes are when all the magic happens and the juices sink in for a perfectly tender center. I mean, that’s all a griller can ask for, right?

Now that we’ve got all the bases covered, let’s eat! Shop all your summertime favorites to throw on the grill this summer and chow down on those Cajun cuts in all their glory!

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