There’s nothing more frustrating when you’re grilling than having food stick. Here are some simple solutions to forestall food sticking, including the easiest ways to oil your grill rack.

First, make sure your rack is clean before cooking. Once your grill is good and hot, use a wire brush to clean off the burnt-on residue from your last use. Many cuts of meat need nothing more than a clean grate; when the meat is sufficiently seared, it will easily detach from the grill surface, note hounds, so if meat sticks when you try to give it a turn, consider letting it cook in place for another minute and then trying again. Leaner meats, such as skinless chicken, and fish can be given a light coat of oil before going on the grill to prevent sticking, and vegetables can be tossed with oil.

A few foods, such as pizza dough, or meats seasoned with dry rubs or yogurt marinades, need to be cooked on an oiled grill rack. A simple way to oil the rack is to rub an oiled paper towel over the grates, holding it with grill tongs. Put a tablespoon of oil in a ramekin or small bowl and dip the paper towel in, suggests ospreycove. JaneEYB uses a silicone brush, which can withstand high heat, to oil her grill. “With the paper towel method I feel like I use a lot more oil than the brush, which doesn’t soak anything up,” she says. King of Northern Blvd keeps fat trimmings in the freezer and uses them to oil grill racks; just grip the piece of fat with tongs and run it over the hot grates.

Want more grilling basics? Todd Eng explains How to Grill.

Discuss: Is there a better method of oiling grill racks?

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