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Grilling with Your Olive Tap Olive Oils and Vinegars

Posted by Rick Petrocelly on

Whether you are grilling proteins, vegetables, fruits or other eclectic foods, olive oil and balsamic vinegar can play an important role on the grill.  Here are a few important tips to remember for the ultimate grill experience and maximum flavor!

Grill Preparation:

It is imperitive to pre-heat the grill in advance to burn off foods and various sediments on the grates from your last grilling event. Once heated, use a clean metal brush to remove any remaining sediment on the grates.  After the grill is clean, carefully brush the grates with olive oil.  Should you want to spray the grates with oil, be sure to turn off the grill, spray the grates and then, turn the grill back on.  The aerosol in many spray oils could explode if spraying oil with the grill on.  The oil on the grates also helps to create the beautiful grill marks on food, of course, if you do not overturn the food (see below).

If you prefer not to brush or spray oil on the grill, another approach is to generously brush olive oil on both sides of the food in advance of placing foods on the grill. 

Direct vs. In Direct Heat

For many foods, especially thicker proteins requiring internal temperatures to be at specific temperatures for food safety, it is important to initially cook the meats on direct heat (promotes grill marks and sears meat juices inside) for a few minutes on each side, only turning once.  After both sides have been cooked directly, the meat can then be move to an indirect heat area until meats get to the desired temperature.

Balsamic Vinegars as Glazes

For sweet flavor and a glaze on foods, it is important to brush on the vinegar at the last few minutes of grilling.  This will prevent the natural sugar in the balsamic vinegars from burning and charring.   


Olive Oil and Vinegar marinades are a great way to season foods but can also be used as a tenderizing approach.  It is important, however, to use marinades appropriately based on if it is for seasoning or tenderizing.   With either seasoning or tenderizing, we recommend a 1 to 1 part ratio of olive oil to vinegar.   

  • Poultry & Seafood:  For these proteins, it is not necessary to use a marinade for tenderizing.  Marinade less than 30 minutes to season the meats.
  • Tender Meats:  Again, it is not necessary to use a marinade for tenderizing.  As a result, marinade tender meats less than 30 minutes.
  • Tougher Cut Meats:  To tenderize and season, tougher cuts of meat can be marinated overnight.  

Remember, with any marinade, do not use the remaining marinade on cooked foods.  If a finishing glaze is required, brush on fresh vinegar and/or oil only.

Twists on Burgers:

For a twist on traditional, season the raw burger meat with a balsamic vinegar.  It will add a subtle, sweet flavor.