Published on June 05, 2019

burning charcoal on a grill.jpg

Five Quick Tricks to Get the Grill Season Started Right

Among the finest aspects of fair-weather must be the rewards for all five senses that come with grilling supper, lunch or even breakfast. Here are some tricks and tips to get things off to a great beginning.

  1. Grills are easiest to clean when they’re hot, so plan to clean between pre-heating and putting the food on, or right after you’re done cooking. If you don’t have a grill brush, a crumpled ball of heavy-duty tinfoil will do the trick.
  2. Infuse a little extra flavor by oiling your grill grates with an onion. Cut an onion in half and stick it firmly to the end of a meat carving fork. Dip the onion in oil and run it over warmed grill grates. It works best just before you cook.
  3. Add a marinade or dry rub. Cooking meat at high grilling temperatures creates heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are known to be cancer causing. Adding a half-cup of a thin vinegar-based marinade to each pound of meat can reduce the creation of HCAs by more than 50%. Avoid marinades with high sugar content (such as many barbecue sauces) because they can actually increase HCA production.
  4. Don’t forget to use your meat thermometer; it’s the only accurate way to ensure foods have been cooked properly. Red meat (beef, pork, lamb) should cook to 145 degrees; ground meats to 160 degrees and poultry to 165 – all in Fahrenheit, naturally.
  5. Give it a rest: whole cuts of meat (roasts, loins, chops, breasts) should be allowed to rest for at least 3-5 minutes for the juices to settle. If you skip this step you could end up with dry meat.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small pork tenderloins (about 1.5 pounds total)

Note: I typically buy one large (1.5 lb) pork loin and cut it in half.


  1. Combine the paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cumin, mustard powder, onion and garlic powder in a bowl.
  2. Rub the pork with oil and then coat with the spice rub.
  3. Wrap the tenderloins tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 to 6 hours. Remove the pork from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Cook the pork, turning occasionally, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145 degrees F. (About 20 minutes).
  5. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.
  6. Slice and enjoy!

Lauren Cornay, RD, LN, is a registered dietitian at Avera Heart Hospital. Get more insight on nutrition and health.

Subscribe to our

wellness e-newsletter

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.