Summer Cooking Tips

Summer is the season for barbecues, picnics, beach time, and relaxed, easy cooking. From a foolproof recipe for perfectly-textured ice cream to a speedy trick for coring iceberg lettuce, a guide to building an impromptu grill on the beach and more, these techniques, tips, and ingenious hacks will help you make the most of summer.

Grill Like the Pros
Whether you're looking to master the art of succulent ribs or create the perfect cheeseburger, we've got a collection of tips, tricks, and recipes from cooks all over the world. **See the gallery of grilling tips » See a recipe for Ginger-Lemongrass Baby Back Ribs »**Todd Coleman
Shape Perfect Kebabs
There's an art to forming kebabs with ground meat (like Simit Kebap)--three simple steps will ensure well-formed skewers that cook evenly. See 3 Steps for Shaping Kebabs » See a recipe for Ground Lamb, Bulgur, and Pistachio Kebabs »Brenda Weaver
Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker
You don't necessarily need an automatic maker to yield great ice cream--these 6 alternatives are just as effective. See the guide to low-tech ice cream » See a gallery of ice cream recipes »Todd Coleman
Master Essential Barbecue Techniques
From cuts of meat to types of grills, we have everything you need to know for barbecue success. **See the Barbecue 101 guide » See a recipe for Memphis-Style Dry Ribs »**Todd Coleman
Hull a Mess of Strawberries
Strawberries are one of our favorite summer fruits--they're great in pies, ice cream, compotes, and cool fruit salads. Here's the trick to hulling them. **See How to Hull a Strawberry » See a recipe for Strawberry Compote »**Todd Coleman
Get Smooth, Creamy Ice Cream
Ice cream is basically a frozen emulsion--getting the texture just right can be tricky, but with a few simple techniques you'll get a great result every time. **See the Ice Cream 101 guide » See a recipe for Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest and Poppy Seeds »**Todd Coleman
Achieve Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust
Pies are a classic way to showcase a bounty of summer fruits. Get perfect, flaky crust every time with a few easy techniques. **See the technique for perfect pie crust » See a recipe for Strawberry Pie »**Barbara Ries
Smoke Meats on the Stove
This beyond-simple technique for making a stovetop smoker out of items you already have in the kitchen means there's no worrying about the weather or gathering any fancy equipment to make your favorite smoked meat and fish dishes. **See How to Make a Stovetop Smoker » See a recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Trout with Tarragon »**Todd Coleman
Build the Ultimate Burger
Our passion for the hamburger, perhaps the greatest of American culinary inventions, never dims. We have tips for meat and bun choices, preparation, and a seemingly endless variety of possible toppings. See the guide to Building the Perfect Burger »Michael Kraus
Make a Stone Beach Grill
No need to schlep a whole grill to the beach: build a grill in the sand with stones for great impromptu summer cookouts. See How to Make a Stone Beach Grill »Laura Horrigan
Core a Head of Iceberg Lettuce in a Hurry
Perfect for tacos, salads, and topping burgers and sandwiches, this technique is great if you need to prepare a lot of lettuce, quickly. **See How to Core a Head of Iceberg Lettuce in 3 Seconds » See a recipe for Iceberg Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette »**André Baranowski
Peel Peaches and Tomatoes
This simple, speedy blanching technique offers a clean and easy way to slip the skin right off your summer bounty. Watch the video » See a recipe for Vegetable Run-Up »Todd Coleman