1. Marinate Your Meat Three Times: “The first dip before cooking creates a nice char and glaze,” explains chef Salinas. “Then, dip again halfway through cooking, and a final time after removing from the heat for flavor-packed proteins.”
2. Pre-Heat the Grill: “If you are using real charcoal, let it burn until the coals are white and ashy then put food on the grill,” he says.
3. Cook With Indirect Heat: “For larger pieces of meat, use indirect heat, as they take longer to cook,” Salinas explains. “Push your coals to one side, place the meat on the opposite side and cover. This will turn your grill into a convection oven, perfect for longer, slower roasting.”
4. Grill Vegetables With Balanced Moisture: For vegetable grilling, Salinas recommends sticking to those with balanced moisture and density. Think zucchini, squash, and eggplants. “They must be sliced in planks to cook evenly,” he says. “Season with olive oil, kosher salt, and cracked pepper.”
1. Grill Your Ingredients: According to Stir Market executive chef Stacy Rampton, grilling isn’t just for the main course. “Grill [your] ingredients to add depth to salsas, sauces, and marinades,” she says. “Grilled calcot onions and ramps make a great chimichurri. Try grilled tomatoes and tomatillos in sauces and salsas.”
2. Put Herbs On It: “Tarragon, mint, parsley, cilantro, and oregano are all great on grilled vegetables and meats,” Rampton says. “Try an oregano and parsley vinaigrette on lamb chops or pork loin.”
3. Grill Your Fruits: Fruits are great for grilling, too. Says Rampton: “Try grilling peaches and plums in the peak of their season for dessert or as an accompaniment to cheese boards.”
4. Use Fresh Meat: “Frozen and thawed meats and fish give off more water and are harder to grill,” she says.
1. Grill the Steak on a Hot Spot: Sotto chef Steve Samson cooks his bistecca fiorentina to perfection by first grilling it on a hot spot so it develops a crust.
2. Stand the Porterhouse Up: Then, Samson recommends standing the porterhouse up on its bone for most of the grilling time. This allows it to cook slowly at a lower temperature.
3. Let it Rest: “When the internal temperature reaches 105 F, place the steak on a wire rack to rest,” Samson says. “The internal temperature will get to 120-125 F as it rests for a perfect rare to mid-rare. It's very important to let it rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.”
1. Take Time to Prepare Properly: Chef Ben Ford advises crafting a master list of ingredients and tools and start preparing a week in advance of a big grilling feast.
2. Avoid Pre-Packaged Burger Meat: “I recommend visiting an actual butcher so you can customize your own blend and grind up various cuts and types of meat you want,” Ford says. “Ask your butcher to grind the meat coarsely—this is often called a ‘chili grind’—or if you source meat from the grocery store, reach for ground beef with 20% perfect fat.”
3. Fire Up the Grill 30-Minutes Before: “It’s always smart to start earlier than you think so you can get your coals or wood just the right temperature,” he says.
4. Test the Temperature With Your Hand: “Place your palm at the level you will put your food,” he instructs. “The length of time you can hold your hand there comfortably determines temperature.”