Firing up the grill this summer? I’m sure you are. It’s the way to cook and entertain throughout the season. While grilling is a simple technique, there are some things every backyard chef should know.

I’m a bit of a “grill geek” and spend lots time figuring out the best ways to produce the tastiest, most tender results. Before you sear a steak or flip a burger, check out my tips—and proclaim yourself the Grill Master!

Charcoal Chimney: This handy gadget helps light the grill with no fuss. Light some crumbled newspaper (no lighter fluid necessary) and your charcoal is ready in about 15 minutes. Want to take it to the next level? Try mesquite and oak charcoal to give your food that signature from-the-grill flavor. This Drop Bottom Chimney from Williams & Sonoma is under $25!

Digital Thermometer: There’s nothing worse than over or undercooking meat. If you cut into a piece, discover it’s too rare and pop it back on the grill, you’re going to dry it out. If it’s overdone, well, there’s not much you can do. Instead, use a digital thermometer to get an immediate and accurate read. Of course, you can find plenty of options on Amazon.

Cook to Rare: Speaking of temperatures, professional chefs cook beef and steaks to 130° F. This is a bit more rare than what’s typically recommended. But here’s the deal: fat renders right around this temperate, which yields a ton of flavor. You then take the meat off the grill to let it rest and finish cooking. If you want to know more about the science, check out this article called How It’s Cooked.

Rest (and grab a cocktail): After the meat comes off the grill let it rest. Sure, I just mentioned this but it’s worth repeating. During the resting period, it’s advised that you don’t try to cut, taste, touch or mess with it in any way. Resting time can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the cut and density. Place the meat on a platter and grab yourself a well-deserved beverage (might we suggest our Old Fashioned).

Have a question about the grill? Email us. Then post your best Grill Master pic on our Facebook wall with the hashtag #grillmaster.


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