Home Grilling Tips from the F&W Test Kitchen
FW's Justin Chapple, Kay Chun and Anna Painter perfected all the recipes in this issue. Here, they reveal their at-home grilling tips, tricks and shortcuts.
Justin: Drumsticks flavored with coriander and brown sugar. I lightly char them, then finish them off by smoking.
Kay: Short ribs marinated overnight in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, scallions and a touch of toasted sesame oil. They grill up superquick! The best part is the crispy, charred edges.
Anna: Flank steak. A crowd-pleaser every time, and who doesn't want the leftovers?
Justin: My favorite trick to boost the flavor of burgers is to brush them with Dijon mustard and olive oil before taking them off the grill.
Kay: I grind my own meat with a KitchenAid attachment and have played around a lot with different blends. My favorite one is skirt steak and chuck.
Anna: For the patties, I like to use a Gabrielle Hamilton–inspired blend with two parts chuck to one part lamb. Served on toasted English muffins with parsley-shallot butter and sharp cheddar.
Most Ambitious Grilling Project
Justin: A whole brisket. The one time I tried it, I started smoking it at 6 a.m. and didn't finish until 2 the next morning. Then I let it rest so I could get some sleep.
Kay: Soft-shell crabs—fun and special, since they have such a short season. It takes time to clean them, but they can be turned into the best po'boys.
Anna: I grilled a turkey one year for Thanksgiving in the middle of a snowstorm.
Least Ambitious Grilling Project
Justin: When I'm lazy I grill hot dogs (all beef, of course) or skirt steak, which cooks in minutes.
Kay: Spatchcock chicken, rubbed with olive oil, mixed herb sprigs, salt and pepper.
Anna: Sausages, a heap of hearty greens (usually escarole) and slices of peasant bread—all grilled, then drizzled with olive oil and served with grilled lemon wedges.
Strangest Thing Ever Grilled
Justin: Octopus! I wouldn't say it's strange to me anymore, but my friends couldn't stop talking about it.
Kay: A whole head of cabbage kimchi. When it's grilled, it caramelizes on the outside while staying crunchy on the inside. I cut it into big wedges; it eats like a side salad and a pickle at the same time.
Anna: I hadn't ever grilled rice cakes before I tried Sohui Kim's skewers. I adore the char, chew and spice.
Beer-Can Chicken: Love It or Hate It?
Justin: As F&W's Mad Genius, I've learned to appreciate all sorts of strange cooking techniques, and beer-can chicken is one of them. I love Dr Pepper chicken, too.
Kay: I don't know why, but the very thought disturbs me.
Anna: I love beer, and I love chicken, but I would rather just drink the beer while I cook the chicken.