Leave an Unheated Space on the Grill. Even if you’re cooking over a single-level fire, leave a small space unheated so that you have somewhere to move food if you have a flare-up or if something is cooking too fast.
Keep the Lid Up for Veggies. The lid traps moist heat and smoke, which makes vegetables lose their crunch and take on a “dull, sooty patina.” Lid-down cooking is advised only for large, whole vegetables that benefit from a little steam, such as winter squashes or potatoes.
Sauce Later. Saucing too soon is a common mistake. If you brush on sauces at the beginning of cooking, chances are they will burn and taste awful by the time the food is done. Wait until the last few minutes to apply them and you’ll get a nice glaze instead of a black, charred mess.
Don’t Forget Food Safety. Check for proper doneness with an instant-read thermometer and use separate platters for cooked and raw foods. If you want to use a marinade as a sauce, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service says to either reserve some that hasn’t come in contact with raw foods, or to boil it first to destroy any bacteria.