Building Deck & DIY Platform for a Grill
BBQ Basics: Techniques You Need to Know

Grilling Tips

Weber charcoal grills and gas barbecues give you great grilled results every time because they are designed to give you ultimate control of your grilling temperature and cooking method. Here we explain the secret to great grilling.

Grilling Tips
Direct Method

The Direct Method is similar to broiling. Food is cooked directly over the heat source. For even cooking, food should be turned once halfway through the grilling time. Use the Direct method for foods that take less than 25 minutes to cook: like steaks, chops, kabobs, sausages and vegetables. Direct cooking is also necessary to sear meats. Searing creates that wonderful crisp, caramelized texture where the food hits the grate. It also adds nice grill marks and flavour to the entire food surface. Steaks, chops, chicken pieces, and larger cuts of meat all benefit from searing.

Grilling Tips
Indirect Method

The Indirect Method is similar to roasting, but with the added benefits of that grilled texture, flavour, and appearance you can't get from an oven. Heat rises, reflects off the lid and inside surfaces of the grill, and slowly cooks the food evenly on all sides. The circulating heat works much like a convection oven, so there's no need to turn the food. Use the Indirect Method for foods that require 25 minutes or more of grilling time or for foods that are so delicate that direct exposure to the heat source would dry them out or scorch them.

Grilling safety requires placing your grill on a flat, level surface that remains free of combustible materials that could catch fire should you experience grill flare-ups or your fire produces sparks.
Building a simple deck for your grill can provide a safe location to cook outdoors without worry. Choose from several different decking materials to build a deck that fits your style and level of building experience.
Regardless of which simple deck style you choose to use for your grill, you must prepare the ground beneath the area. You may need to level the surface if you intend to install the deck on the ground rather than install a raised deck.
You can find a variety of snap together decking tiles to use when building a simple grilling deck. These tiles are made from different hardwood and composite materials, such as teak, eucalyptus, recycled woods and recycled plastics.

3 Tips for the DIY Deck Builder

Spring is right around the corner here in the Northeast. This is the time of year when lots of well meaning husbands, will attempt to build the deck that their wives have been asking for. As a fellow DIYer who routinely finds himself in over his head with various projects, my hope is to save you from making a big mistake that will haunt you later. Even if you are doing the work yourself, a deck is still an expensive project. Especially if you are using composite or vinyl materials instead of the traditional wood. So by taking a little extra time up front, hopefully we can extend the life of the deck.

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  1. Get a building permit. I know this is a hassle, not only to get it upfront, but with all the inspections that are needed. But the inspector will make sure that you are using the proper hardware and flashing necessary for a long-lasting deck.

  2. Get the Ledger board right. The connection of the deck to the house is the most important part of the whole project. Almost all of the deck collapses you see in the news are caused by 3 things, 1) Improper or lack of flashing, 2) Lack of joist hangers, 3) using only nails to attach ledger to house. So make sure you remove the...


Spring is right around the corner here in the Northeast. This is the time of year when lots of well meaning husbands, will attempt to build the deck that their wives have been asking for. As a fellow DIYer who routinely finds himself in over his head with various projects, my hope is to save you from making a big mistake that will haunt you later. Even if you are doing the work yourself, a deck is still an expensive project. Especially if you are using composite or vinyl materials instead of the traditional wood. So by taking a little extra time up front, hopefully we can extend the life of the deck.

  1. Get a building permit. I know this is a hassle, not only to get it upfront, but with all the inspections that are needed. But the inspector will make sure that you are using the proper hardware and flashing necessary for a long-lasting deck.

  2. Get the Ledger board right. The connection of the deck to the house is the most important part of the whole project. Almost all of the deck collapses you see in the news are caused by 3 things, 1) Improper or lack of flashing, 2) Lack of joist hangers, 3) using only nails to attach ledger to house. So make sure you remove the siding from behind the ledger, install ice & water shield or some type of rubber/vinyl roll flashing between the ledger and the house wall. Also add a “z-channel” flashing to the top of the ledger after it is installed. Use ½”X5” lag bolts or 5” Ledger Locks to attach to the house. And lastly make sure you use triple zinc coated joist hangers to attach the joist to the ledger.

  3. Don’t skimp on the footers. I’m a big fan of the “overkill is underated” mindset when it comes to deck footers. Some people will tell you that is is okay to just dig a few holes, dump a couple bags of dry sackrete in them, and build your deck. That might work for a mailbox or a fence, but not for a deck. Take the extra time to mix up the sackrete and let it harden.

In general, make sure that your framing and footers are done properly. It is tempting to skimp on these things because they are never seen again after the floor is installed. But think of it this way, why put vinyl or composite decking that has at least a 25 year life, on a deck frame that isn’t going to last that long? Happy building and enjoy that new deck!

By Ray Ebersol


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