Achieve grilling greatness - tips, recipes, advice and inspiration from professional chefs and backyard masters
May 25th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
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Some people maintain that Memorial Day officially marks the start of grilling season and Labor Day, the end. Those people, for the most part, are wrong. Some folks maintain the flame in snowdrifts up to their thighs. Others won't haul out the hibachi until late September because it'll finally be cool enough to cook outside without wilting like a hothouse gardenia.

So what we're saying is, so long as our spatula isn't actively frozen or melted to our hands, and monsoon spray does not prevent us from lighting a charcoal chimney, we're going to be outdoors, putting flame to food. Why don't you just come along and join us?

Catch up on the rest of our great cookout and picnic tips below, and if you run into a sticky grilling situation - we're here to help. Share your burning questions in the comments or Tweet us @eatocracy and we'll have your festivities back on track in no time.

Achieve Grilling Greatness

- Grate balls of fire? Not on our watch.

- Help! My neighbors stink at grilling!

- C'mon baby, light my fire – just don't skimp on the flavor

- Up your grilling game

- Red hot grilling tips from Eatocracy readers

- 5 grilling mistakes – and how to fix them

- Why girls should grill

Monumental Meat

- Burgers – a step-by-step guide

- Five tips for hot dog success

- How to smoke a brisket in your backyard

- Best. Burgers. EVER and Best. Cheeseburger. EVER

- 5 Steps to steak supremacy

- Hearts afire! Liver, marrow, kidneys and more great offal for the grill

- Whole hog BBQ - the Mount Everest of Meat

- Five cuts of meat to buy and grill

- A prime rib primer

- Lobster roll 101

- What every carnivore should know

- Big, bad burgers from around the country

Stellar Sides

- Best potato salad we've ever had

- How to grill corn

- All about cole slaw

- The art of the deviled egg

- Ultimate grilled okra

- The only salad that matters right now

The Art of Outdoor Dining

- Make your tailgate a touchdown

- 5 picnic no-nos

- How to use grilling leftovers

- Bring your indoor favorite to the great outdoors

- Make a Mexican-inspired outdoor feast

Divine Drinks

- Ideal wines for grilled burgers, steaks, chicken and seafood

- Iced tea awesomeness every time

- Make perfect lemonade

- Best burger-friendly wines

- The right wine for that burger you're eating

- Wine + BBQ = Heaven

- Chill out with wine

- Drink this with summer seafood

And feast on the results of The Picnic Poll to find out what your fellow chefs like for a main dish and drink, burger topping, side dish and dessert.

Read all about barbecue

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Filed under: Grilling • Grilling • Help Desk • How To • Smoking • Techniques & Tips


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soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. PantyRaid

    When is this Memorial day going to happen?

    May 29, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
  2. Yourgo

    I have looked at 3 foods , and again i think the simple thing of cooking is made into a add every thing and things you don't want to bring along like the kitchen sing and super market
    When i see yellow cheese i know milk is white ,when the lobster has onions maybe a little celery would be better and when it comes to a drink i have lemons the size of baseballs I measure the juice
    after looking at 3 foods of your i have 98 more reasons to not bother looking any more at the nonsenses

    May 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • JeffinIL

      Nice poetry.

      May 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  3. F

    if liberals had their way we wouldn't have steak anymore. Only tofu.

    May 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • tesla1908

      I agree. I'm sick and tired of their s hit.

      May 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
      • Graciela lopez

        i was walking the other day this lady was like " hey would you like to come to our church's vegetarian barbeque?" i was thinking like what man.......? huh that don't even sound right. vegetarian barbeque what you gonna put on the grill? and i asked her nd she was like" tofu don't worry it rtaste like chicken..." man this lady was on crack or sum' dang i mean put some pork chops on there that taste like chicken!~!!!! i am no way gonna be eating the creamy stuff eewewwwwww

        May 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Wanda

      You can also have a veggie burger. Anything that didn't have to be hung upside down and have the throat slit is perfect for a celebration.

      May 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      You are perpetuating the stereotype of 'stupid conservative'. You see, 'liberal' refers to which way ones politics swing. 'Vegetarian' on the other hand, refers to their preference in food. I am a liberal that hunts, fishes and enjoys all types of meat. I am not afraid of tofu either (read: open mind). If I were to use your logic and use Rush Limbaugh as the model for conservatives, I would think that all conservatives were Viagra popping, Oxycontin abusing, multi divorce fat slobs. Is that true? I guess the world will have to live with the 'uneducated right wing' as a stereotype. Your party thanks you.

      May 25, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      That is why they are hypocrits

      May 28, 2012 at 6:41 am | Reply
    • WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU SAYING

      I love that..liberals would have you eat tofu . HaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaHa ! Oh God, I've heard it all now. I don't know where you Duffs come up with this stuff. It is just way out there. What kind of crazy thinking comes up with this ridiculous statement. I could say ' conservatives are jerks' , wait, that is true. I could say conservatives eat their young. That is just as crazy as what you said. You make me laugh. Thanks.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  4. PantyRaid

    All of this food looks great, but who can afford a steak anymore?

    May 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • VladT

      People with jobs and live within their means

      May 28, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
  5. Primal 4 Life

    As a purist only natural lump hardwood charcoal will be used. Gas and bricketts are for amateurs. Also absolutely no starting fluid of any kind. Only a chimney started by paper will do.

    May 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • Ron

      That's exactly the way I go with my Big Green Egg! The Big Green Egg introduced me to lump charcoal. I never knew it existed. It's so cool you can use any unused charcoal for your next fire. And the lump charcoal lasts so much longer then Kingsford, etc. No more lighter fluid fumes for me!

      But I still like having a gas grill to fire up when I don't want to go the charcoal route.

      May 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
    • Dover

      I've always found that people that are dogmatic and one dimensional in anything ("There is only one way to do it.....MY way") are the ones that usually don't really know what they are doing. There are many ways to achieve your final product. Charcoal is one.....if you like that. Other methods are not only worth trying, but may be better for certain circumstances and results.

      May 25, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      I definitely prefer hardwood lump charcoal and will always use that over briquettes (I just can't stand the smell or taste), but if it's during the work week and I get home and just want to grill something quickly, I'm glad I have gas to fall back on.

      I dig the clean speed of gas and flavor of charcoal, so my husband and I ended up getting a grill with two different compartments - gas on one side, charcoal on the other. That may seem like overkill, but seeing as we grill at least 3-4 times a week during the summer, it made sense for us.

      May 28, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
  6. Ron

    This is a great article because I love trying many different ways to grill a great Burger. I currently use a Big Green Egg and a small Gas Grill. I'm looking to purchase a new stainless steel grill. Can anyone suggest a really good stainless steel gas grill that will not stop functioning in 2 short years. I love my Big Green Egg and will have it for many years to come because of it's durability. I would like to find the same durability in stainless steel grill unless I should go in a different direction. So far in my research I have come across this article that makes me feel good about investing more dollars than I invested in my Big Green Egg. This article goes into great detail and feel like the Fire Magic Grill might be what I need to purchase.

    http://www.hearthandgrill.com/blog/info/how-to-buy-a-stainless-steel-gas-grill/

    Can anyone make any suggestions of what they feel is the best Gas Grill on the market today? I don't want to make a mistake with this next grill purchase.

    Thanks,

    Ron in Nashville

    May 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      I'm gonna look into that for you! Will get you an answer asap.

      May 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
      • Ron

        Thank you! Do you agree with what the link to the article I posted is saying? It all makes sense to me and I'm close to pulling the trigger on a Fire Magic Grill. It's a lot of money but I don't want to invest in a grill that is going to start falling apart in 2 years time. The grade of stainless steel seems to be a big key in quality.

        May 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
        • Kat Kinsman

          So, I've had a lot of grills throughout the years - some better than others. I think there are vastly different requirements for a built-in vs a standalone, and I can't speak to the former. BUT - I used a Char-Broil Commercial Series grill for manymanymany years with absolutely no complaints and would happily buy one again.

          My current grill is a Char-Griller Duo with charcoal on one side and gas on the other and it's pretty solid at both, but if it were just gas I was after, the Char-Broil Commercial would be top of the list.

          I fully get the appeal of the more expensive ones, but I'd rather put the cash into the meat I put on it.

          I also hear great things about Jenn-Air, but haven't gotten to use, myself.

          May 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
        • RichardHead@Ron

          Hi from Texas....So from what I have read you are looking for a gas grill to compliment the Big Green Egg. Just a couple questions before making a recommendation.... How many people will you be grilling for? Do you want to complete a Full Dinner on this Grill? Infrared vs Gas vs Charcoal? Is Taste a Major sticking point? Kat is one of the Best Grillers I know....

          May 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Walker, Austin

      I'm a big fan of my Vermont Casting gas grill. Year 6 and travelled from the rains of Potland, Or to heat and humidity of Austin, Tx and still grilling strong. Only 1 repair of a broken knob in all that time. Great quality and won't brek the bank.
      Looking into the green egg myself...

      May 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply
      • Ron

        Walker Austin, I highly recommend the BGE! It's worth every dollar. Thanks Kat & Richard for your comments!
        Richard, I will mostly be grilling for one or two with larger groups to entertain which is why I have a BGE and need for a larger new Gas Grill. I find it amazing how many different recommendations I get from folks on Grills they like.

        May 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Reply
        • Kat Kinsman

          My neighbors have a BGE in their backyard and I don't think they have used it once in the 6 years we're been living there. That seems like such a crime! What is it that you love so much about it? Other than them, I haven't heard from a single owner who isn't completely devoted to theirs. I'd love to hear your take on why that is.

          May 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  7. Tr1Xen

    The best bbq doesn't require any tips–just practice and a family recipe. ;)

    May 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      I come from a non-grilling people, sadly. Have had to pick up all my recipes on the street! Luckily, plenty of people have been kind enough to lend their expertise. A good rub recipe is hard to find, but once you have it, it changes EVERYTHING!

      May 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  8. Walker, Austin

    Looks good but this year I'm shunning the grill...boiled crawfish and all the side. But ink I'll try some of these recipes soon, those burgers do look amazing.

    May 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  9. YUM

    Those burgers look SO good....

    May 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Sarah LeTrent

      That's the work of Chef Joey Campanaro. If you're interested in a step-by-step guide, we've got you covered: http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/05/26/meat-the-worlds-best-burger/

      May 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply

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