Hosting one last barbecue this Labor Day weekend? Embrace your inner grill master and get fired up by following these nine tips, tricks, and techniques courtesy of Iron Chef Bobby Flay. The Food Network superstar is sharing some smoking-hot advice with GlamNest that will help take your backyard bash to the next level. You’ll be ready for a throw-down in no time …
Choose the Right Grill for You
A grill is just a source of heat — just like a stove. It’s very user-friendly. The question is: Charcoal or gas? Both give excellent results, so choose the one that best suits your style of cooking.
Give Yourself Room
Don’t underestimate the importance of having enough room to work. Grilling is much more relaxing when you are not trying to juggle a whole collection of plates and bowls as you do it. If your grill doesn’t have enough workspace — and they almost never do — set up a table right next to your grill.
Organize and Prioritize
Plan a menu, make lists, and do the shopping. When it’s time to hit the grill, get everything out in front of you: food, spices. and tools. Everything you are going to need should be within reach.
Make Sure It’s Hot
Most of the time, I grill over high heat. I like things to move fast. I like the sound and smell of a very hot fire. I gravitate towards dishes that you can get on and off the grill as quickly as possible. After a while you’ll know how hot the grill is without thinking about it. Until then, you can use the time-tested method of holding your hand four inches above the grate and seeing how long you can keep it there. It may sound a little dangerous, but you’ll pull your hand back at just the right moment. (High: 2 counts; Medium-high: 4 counts; Medium: 6 counts: Medium-low: 8 counts; Low: 10 Counts.)
Keep the Lid Closed When Cooking Items That Take Longer Than 10 Minutes
When cooking items like ribs, whole chicken, bone-in chicken breasts, etc., close your lid and lock in the heat.
Don’t Play With Your Food
The more you touch the food on the grill, the more it will stick and begin to fall apart. Brush your burgers, fish, and vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper and then place on a hot grill. Don’t touch it for at least two minute. It needs to form a crust so that it can naturally pull away from the grill. If you begin to turn it before the crust has formed, it will stick.
Don’t Flatten Burgers, Steaks, and Chops With the Spatula
It will only press out flavorful juices and cause flare-ups. Flip the food only once if possible.
Grilling Meat: When in Doubt, It’s Better to Undercook Than Overcook
You can always put food back on the fire if you need to.
*Photo via Getty Images