Thrill of the Grill Dad Blogger Challenge

Nature’s Own reached out to dad bloggers to create a video of their favorite grilling tips and compete to see who could get the most comments to win a Big Green Egg ceramic grill and win the title of “Nature’s Own Grill Master”.    I am very excited and honored to be participating in this competition.  I hope you find these tips useful and can incorporate them into your arsenal of grilling tricks and tips.  I invite you to post your tips to to win some Nature’s Own products and help me win a Big Green Egg.  Details are below.

It’s pretty basic but I believe that rule number one is to always get a game plan.  Regardless of using the smoker or a grill I get a game plan in mind to create my menu, needed ingredients, and time frames.   Maybe make a few notes, write down a list to go to the store.  The worst thing you can do is forget something.  Grilling in your backyard should be relaxing, you have to be prepared!  Also, for the purposes of these tips, I be grilling on my Weber Kettle grill with cast iron Craycort grates.   For the most part I tend to stick with charcoal.  I know there are great gas grills out there but I love charcoal and real wood.  Also, for this blog we will be grilling corn on the cob and stuffed cheese burgers.

1) Use lump charcoal.  It’s about the same price as regular charcoal but natural lump charcoal is free of chemicals that go into regular charcoal.  Your fire will burn cleaner.  There is a huge difference.

2) Add real wood.  Use a chimney starter, when you coals are burning pretty good add a stick of your favorite wood.  I keep a stick of Oak, Hickory or Mesquite handy.  This will help to accent your food greatly!

3) Build your fire to one side.  Building your fire to one side instead of the middle will create a “hot spot” and a “cold spot”.   If you put your coals right in the middle the whole grill will be hot and you don’t want that.  You will want to have the ability to “sear” your food and move off to a cooler spot on the grill. Real important to wear safety glasses or at least sunglasses when you dump the coals.  That hot ash could certainly blow in your face or eye.  Better to always be safe.  I use gloves too.

4)Pick some great music out!  Since you have a game plan and already thought of your processes, relax, have a beer and think about how good this food is going to taste.

5) USE QUALITY INGREDIENTS.  I think this is the most important tip.  Most people don’t grill every day.  You grill probably once a week or a couple of times a month.  Quality ingredients will make or break your flavor profile.  What I do is buy organic or natural beef, chicken or pork products.  I prefer grass fed for hamburger meat and some steaks like filets.  All vegetables and fruits that are grilled are organic and local where possible.  Don’t just use American cheese, it’s good but it’s boring.  For these burgers we used smoked Gouda slices.  Seasonings are very important.  If you can, find a store that sells seasonings.  Buy in small quantities if you can.  At Central Market in Texas you can buy fresh seasoning such as pepper or chili powder and get just what you need.  Too many times you will reach in your cabinet for a bottle of chili powder that has been sitting in there for a year or longer!  It’s stale, it won’t taste like it should!  You can also order quality seasoning ingredients from  It’s where I do my shopping in Fort Worth.  Get good quality buns like Nature’s Own.  We used the wheat hamburger buns for these stuffed burgers.  Don’t use the 99 cent yesterday specials!

6) Corn is great on the grill!  It takes a little preparation but it tastes great.  It’s real simple.  Peel back the husk on and ear of corn and remove the silk as best you can.  Pull the husk back up and let the ear soak in a bucket of water for about an hour and a half.  Put the ear on the cool side of the pit and grill the corn for about 25 minutes.  Peel the husks off after they cool a bit and there you go.

7) Measuring burgers is easy.  One thing about using grass fed beef is that they don’t shrink up like regular beef and are less greasy.  Because of this you can use a 80/20 grass fed ground beef and you will think it is as lean as a 90/10 regular lean hamburger.  I like using third pound burgers.  Just divide 1 pound of hamburger into three balls.  When they look about the same size your pretty close to a third pound.   Simple as that.  If you just take a piece of the hamburger and start pounding away into a patty you will get all sorts of different sizes and you don’t want that because it is just one last thing for you to control.

8) Beef, keep seasoning simple.   Pork, chicken and other meats you can put all sorts of seasoning on.  Nothing else tastes like beef.  I like to keep my seasoning on beef simple with only salt and pepper.  Kosher salt and 16 mesh or quarter cracked black pepper.  Coarse fresh pepper you can taste. You don’t need a lot and if you bought quality meat the taste will shine through!

9) Stuffed Burgers are fun!  Jazz up your burgers by putting cheese in the middle and not on top.  Separate each of the third pound burgers into two patties.  Fold and double a piece of slice cheese and stick in the middle on one piece of meat and press on the other half.  It’s that simple.

10) Always grill beef on the hot side.  Hamburgers and steaks you basically want to “sear” cook.  On the hot part of the fire you want to cook the hamburgers hot and fast, two to three minutes on each side.   There won’t be any flare-ups if you have a clean pit and using good beef.  Flare-ups happen because people cook really fatty burgers for long periods of time.  Get them on, get them off.   Well done is fine, but nobody likes a burnt, dry burger.

11) Meat must rest.  Always, always, always let meat rest. Hamburgers about 5 minutes will be sufficient.  Steak a little longer.  The juices must redistribute after pulling off of the heat.

12) Enjoy your meal!  Again, grilling is fun and should always be!  Being prepared and organized is the first step.  It’s not a time to rush or skimp.

Here is a video that illustrates some of these tips.  I hope you enjoy it!

Nature’s Own Thrill of the Grill – Grilling Tips from Tim Keith on Vimeo.


I hope these tips help you out!  Here’s where you come in.  Contestants who comment below about my tips or post recipes or tips of their own will be eligible to win 10 Nature’s own bread products at the end of the contest.  2 winners will be chosen.   The more comments that are given, the closer I get to winning a Big Green Egg.  You can also win your own Big Green Egg by entering the Nature’s Own Thrill of the Grill Challenge here.  How cool is that? Let me know if you have any questions and let me see those comments and tips!!!!





  1. Mariann

    Great article Tim. Good luck!

    • Tim

      Thanks Mariann, what do you like to grill?

  2. Kari

    Great video and tips from the best pitmaster I know!!!

  3. BBQPairadise

    Nice tips. Especially number 4. Bluegrass or some Leon Redbone! Great that you mention about safety. My welding gloves are always in used on every cook.

    • Tim

      Thanks! I agree, Bluegrass and BBQ just seems to go together.

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