Favorite chefs share their expert grilling tips for more flavorful food

(Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images) /

The unofficial start to summer often means that the grill becomes the focal point of the gathering. From the moment the flame is lit, the tempting aroma builds the anticipation for that first bite. While grilling is the only cooking method that imparts flavor, the reality is that the method is as simple as it might seem. From temperature control to proper placement on the grill, technique is as important as the food being prepared. These favorite chefs are sharing their expert grilling tips to help the home cook serve a more flavorful meal.

One of the most popular food choices to grill is a burger. While the burger toppings can vary, one aspect is universally agreed upon. No one wants a dry, overcooked meat puck.

Chef David Rose of Omaha Steaks advises home grills to avoid smashing the burger when cooking. It is one of his biggest pet peeves when he watches other cooks. As he mentioned, smashing that burger on the grill allows all the juices to escape into the grates. All that flavor is left on the grill.

Chef Rose recommends flipping the burger only once and allowing the grill to do the work. Also, a good thermometer can ensure that the burger is done to preferred temperature. Basically, it is the idea that less is more when it comes to grilling burgers.

While burgers might be a staple, it is not the only food on the grill. Chef Marc Kusche, Executive Chef at Space 220 Restaurant, has some stellar grilling tips for the home cook. While he might be cooking celestially inspired dishes at the EPCOT restaurant, these concepts are down to earth.

For example, Chef Kusche said it is important to choose the right cut of meat. For example, he recommends a cut with a good amount of fat. The classic saying of fat is flavor can apply. Plus, that fat helps with texture and moisture.

Chef Kusche says that one of the common grilling mistakes is that the grill is too hot. He recommends taking your time when grilling. A slightly less hot surface and a longer cooking time can be better.

Lastly, a good marinade or rub can amplify the flavor. Chef Kusche said, “In my hometown in north Germany, we grill a lot of Pork Neck, which is marinated overnight with a lot of smoked paprika and onions.” From pork to beef to chicken, there are a multitude of flavor options to explore.

Another Orlando chef, Chef Takeshi Ikeuchi, Executive Chef at Morimoto Asia, has a simple but poignant concept that everyone should remember before even lighting the flame. Chef Ikeuchi says fresh meat grills best. Without quality ingredients, the final result will not be as good as it could be.

Also, chef recommends a quality charcoal. Although not every grill is charcoal based, that element goes back to using better ingredients. Once that cooking process begins, it is best to let the flame do its work. There is no need to open and close the lid often during cooking.

Lastly, Chef Ikeuchi recommends a marinade to elevate the grilled meat. Chef uses a marinade with “soy sauce, honey, vinegar, ground garlic, ground ginger and oil, marinated for at least 30 minutes.”

These expert grilling tips are simple, straightforward and easily adapted to anyone’s cooking level. Whether people are ready to get all up in that grill or only want to dabble in the experience, a little flavorful food advice can go a long way.