Top Secrets for Better Grilling

Istockphoto/thinkstockIstockphoto/thinkstockA summer staple for outdoor cooking, grilling is an easy way to gather friends and family and make quick and tasty meals. Whether you fall on the "grilling is so easy" or the "I still end up with burned food" side of skills, it never hurts to learn a few tricks from the pros. Let's face it, they know what they're doing.

Related: Best Tips and Recipes From the Pros for Grilling Summer Fruits

From cleverly using leftover fruit peels to the best cuts of meat for grilling, chef Gresh offers his go-to tips that will make you a better griller.

Related: 5 Excellent Grilling Tips Used by the Professionals


I always grill little extras for other meals. Some of my favorites are red onions grilled and tossed in pesto. Use them the next day in eggs, as a garnish for a soup, or on a sandwich. Or, carrots grilled until the outside is black, then cut into bite-sized pieces and tossed with sherry vinegar, olive oil, and goat cheese is a staple for a side dish.

Related: 10 Grilling Tips for Beginners

The Grill Is Just the Beginning

Think of the grill as a flavoring agent. Especially with charcoal grills -spending all that time and money burning charcoal for one meal just doesn't seem like enough for me. So while I'm eating the item I've just made, I'll throw a split chicken on the grill to par cook. That chicken is then put into a classic chicken good soup recipe instead of a raw chicken. The charcoal flavor just screams "summertime" when eating the soup the next day. This is also a great trick for salads and sandwiches.

Related: Chefs' Tips for Healthy Grilling

Leftover Fruit Peels

I take the leftover fruit peels from oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits and char them in the oven before throwing them in with the charcoal on the grill. The resulting flavor is a lovely citrus-imbued taste to fish, chicken, and steak, and also allows us to use what would be kitchen trash - very eco-friendly!

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It is important to give a little "luv" to items you are grilling, i.e. baste the items to enhance flavor, increase tenderness, and ensure they doesn't dry out. I use BEEF LUV (think of it as seasoned beef butter) at David Burke's Primehouse, but you can use herb-infused extra-virgin olive oil, pork or back fat, or chicken or duck fat that has been rendered. A little goes a long way and really helps increase flavor.

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-Yasmin Fahr, The Daily Meal