Photo by Evan Wise on Unsplash
Prepare Your Grill
For gas grills, soak wood chips (1½ cups mesquite, hickory, or other smoked chips) in water for 1 hour prior to grilling—they need to smolder to impart the best flavor. Place them in your grill’s smoker box, if it comes equipped with one, or in a disposable pie pan or wrapped in a foil packet with holes poked in the top, and place on the grates. For charcoal grills, put fresh chips directly on the coals. If the chips are dried, soak for 2 hours before placing them on the coals. You’ll need to replace the chips, gradually, as they burn out.
Get a Good Sear on Your Chicken
Letting chicken come to room temperature and patting it dry before grilling helps it cook more evenly and achieve a good sear; this is good practice for all cuts of meat, and especially helpful with bone-in meats and poultry.
Choose the Right Meat for Kebabs
Chicken thighs are a smart choice for kebabs, as they stay tender and juicy even when cut into bite-size pieces. Kebabs can be assembled and refrigerated up to 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
Grill Oysters with Ease
Keep the oysters on ice until you’re ready to grill. Once they’re cooked, you’ll need to be ready to serve and eat, so pour your drinks first and gather your supplies—two thick kitchen towels, grill tongs, an oyster knife, and a platter to hold your hot oysters.
Make Your Own Meat
When making burgers… grinding your own meat not only allows for the freshest taste, it opens up endless possibilities for custom blends. After much trial and error in the test kitchen, we find sirloin and short-rib combination contains the optimal proportions of flavor and fat. “A standing mixer’s food-grinder attachment makes short work of cubed meat, or ask a butcher to grind a blend for you.”
Check Doneness the Right Way
To check steak’s doneness, insert a thermometer through the steak’s side and into the middle, not from the top down.
Choose Fruits That Hold Up to Heat
Grilling stone fruits deepens their natural sweetness. When selecting fruits, make sure it yields gently to the touch but is not too soft. You want it at just the right stage of ripeness so it will hold up over high heat.
Grill This Onion
Sweet, plump cipollini onions caramelize nicely because of their high sugar content, which makes them wonderful for grilling and roasting.
Make Dinner and Lunch
If your grill is big enough, double the recipe and serve leftovers cold over salad.
Serve a Crowd Simply
When you have a small crowd to feed, or perhaps just your family, one big platter overflowing with delicious options—main dish and sides together—is an easy way to present the meal beautifully. The approach can be casual…or it can be more formal. Either way, a meal passed on a platter encourages simplicity, sharing, and conviviality—all the things we love about the grilling season.