Well, this isn’t a full comprehensive list but these are some basics that can be applied to any cooking situation whether you’re cooking inside or outside on your grill or smoker. 

The basics should always start with safety. Make sure to take the necessary steps to keep your guests safe by ensuring that you are handling food safely and cooking food to safe temperatures for consumption. You should also have the right accessories to protect yourself from burns since you will be handling hot food and you’ll be around open flames and burning coals that may spark. 

  • DON’T – Wait until the last minute to start preparing for your barbecue. Have the ingredients and any bowls, measuring cups, containers, etc. by your side and ready. Also take into account the time needed to brine or marinate your food before it goes onto the grill. 
  • DO – Wear disposable gloves for the safe handling of food. 
  • DON’T – Handle food without washing your hands! As a matter of practice, wash your hands often! 
  • DO – Wear protective gloves to shield your hands from hot food, hot coals, flames, sparks, etc.
  • DON’T – Only rely on how meat/fish appears visually to determine whether it is done. Undercooked food can make you and your guests sick! 
  • DO – Buy yourself an instant read digital thermometer like this one

Remember, cooking should always start and finish with safety being the top priority.