Food & Wine welcomed Texan chef Tim Love to our Facebook page for a chat with fans. Love shared grilling tips and more advice on how to cook meat. Here are some of the highlights.


Grilling Tips: Steaks, Burgers, Ribs and More

Question: Hi Tim! What is your favorite way to grill a 2" thick bone-in Ribeye?
Tim Love: Over a very hot fire with a cold glass of white wine to drink!

Question: Chef Love, when grilling steaks for say 12—what's the best cut to save a bit of cash?
Tim Love: I always recommend skirt steak in this case. It is reasonably priced and very easy to cook. Use peanut oil salt and pepper. Finish with lemon and you will be a hero!

Question: What thickness do you prefer when backyard grilling?
Tim Love: I believe that all primal cut steaks should be no less than an inch thick!

Question: Hi! Making burgers tonight, what’s the secret to a tasty JUICY burger? Mine come out different everytime.
Tim Love: Cook them on a plancha. Grilled burgers tend to always be a bit dry.

Question: Hi Tim, I usually parboil my ribs prior to using a rub and then I finish on the grill slowly by caramelizing on my sauce. It seems they come out much more tender. Do you think this is blasphemy?
Tim Love: No. Whatever you like is the best way to cook, but don’t boil, just braise first.

Question: Tim, How do you like to prepare Pork Shoulder Steak? If possible, I’d love to marinate it overnight and then throw it on the grill tomorrow.
Tim Love: I prefer to slow roast for a while and then grill to finish. I suggest a brine first.

Question: Any tips on cooking Beer Can Chicken?
Tim Love: Yes. Don’t drink too much beer before you start the chicken. Because it generally takes an hour to cook, so there is plenty of time to drink then. I would season it very well with my wild game rub and put it on the grill and never open the lid for 50 minutes should be perfect.

Question: What is a good fish to cook on the grill? And how?
Tim Love: I think any fish is better on the grill! But in order to keep in from giving you trouble, make SURE your grill is hot!

Question: Chef Love, I would like to make a smoked/bbq brisket. What’s your recommendation for a first timer? I see it all the time on Food Network and would really like to try it. p.s. My Husband and I went to “The Love Shack” here in Denton and loved it!
Tim Love: Set aside a whole day for this. Depending on the weight of the meat it takes anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. Season well and wrap in foil and keep the smoke as close to 212 degrees as you can.

Question: Dear Chef Tim, I have never been to Texas, can you tell me what a classic Texas dinner might be? I like to cook staples from all around the globe... Also would you like to share your favorite burger recipe please?
Tim Love: Check out my 4th of July grilling feature in Food & Wine last year in the June issue. That is pretty classic.

Question: What would be the most romantic thing to grill?
Tim Love: Well partner, if you like to impress the ladies, which I do, I always grill skirt steak for my lady with nice grilled spring vegetable salad. Works every time! Oh and NEVER forget the white wine.

Grilling Tips: Grilling Basics

Question: For an amateur, what's the best grill to have—gas or charcoal?
Tim Love: Depends on how much time you have. I have both. But my wife likes the gas grill because it is easier for her to work. Buy a Lynx. They rock!

Question: Tim, what types of wood do you use for which type of meats?
Tim Love: Every kind of wood not only has a distinct perfume but a distinct temperature at which it burns. So there is a lot of personal preference here but I like pecan for chicken, and mesquite for beef.

Question: Hi Chef, I’m just starting to use a charcoal grill instead of gas. I use my chimney starter & fill it, but I just can’t seem to get as much heat as I’d like. (Wimpy grill marks, slow cooking.) What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help.
Tim Love: Check to make sure your actual grill is not too high above the charcoal. Also, make sure that after you light the coal that is has time to get white hot. When this happens you are ready to cook.

Question: I charcoal grill but I don’t understand the concept of indirect heat and how to regulate it.
Tim Love: In a charcoal grill, you should have coals on one side and nothing on the other. This allows you to sear, rest and roast all on one unit.

Question: Chef, can you please explain the difference between grilling and bbq? It might be clear in many parts of the South, but much less clear to us N'oreasters. Thanks!
Tim Love: Yes I can. BBQ in the south is slow roasting over smoke for hours. While grilling is cooking over direct heat.

More Cookings Tips: Meat and Condiments

Question: For a good burger can you go overboard? Such as I grind my own rib eye steaks into burgers.
Tim Love: No. Just don’t put too much stuff on it. If you are grinding ribeye you definitely want to taste it.

Question: Hi Chef! My husband and I are looking for new recipes; however, I cannot take anything that is spicy and he is allergic to shellfish. Whenever we eat Tex Mex, one of us is disappointed. Do you have any ideas or recipes for us? Thank you!
Tim Love: Cumin and coriander are great Mexican seasonings that flavor meat real well without any heat. Try that on a pork tenderloin.

Question: Chef Tim, do you have any suggestions/tips for prime rib roast? My husband’s coming home this weekend from a trip and I want to make something really special. Rubs/sides/tips?
Tim Love: I did a great Salt-Crusted Prime Rib Roast recipe for Food & Wine magazine.

Question: How do you decide whether to use the convection feature on the oven?
Tim Love: No decision necessary. I always use convection to roast meats. The only time you should use conventional is for baking or roasting over night at low temps.

Question: Any opinion about flatiron steak? It has become my favorite over flank or skirt steak for many recipes. Lean and very tender. Thoughts?
Tim Love: It’s a decent cut. I prefer outside skirt over all three of them.

Question: What’s the best way to cook Lamb? Also what is a good budget cut of Lamb?
Tim Love: Lamb sirloin with the skin still on. Score the fat like a duck breast and then season well and grill skin side down first.

Question: Wet marinade or dry rub on Cabrito?? What kinda beer would you be drinking while cooking cabrito?
Tim Love: Dry rub. Wet mop. Tecate. In a can of course.

Question: Can marinades, and brines be used interchangably? What is the difference between the two?
Tim Love: Somewhat. Marinades are generally used for red meats and brines generally used for white meats. You don’t want to ever soak a red meat in salt water. It will cause the meat to have a mealy texture.

Question: My husband would love to know how you prepare the pickles on the Dirty Love burgers (and other burgers, too?). There’s a curry taste, I think, but he swears they’re the best pickles (and burgers) he’s ever had and he’s had a LOT of burgers :)
Tim Love: Thank you! Yes there is curry. Email me at and I will send you the recipe to all 3 different kinds of pickles at Love Shack.

Question: Tim, if the queen was coming for dinner what would you make?

Tim Love: Why are you comin to Fort Worth? Just kiddin’. Hominy stew with lamb bacon and fried chard would definitely be on the menu!