Grilling Tips From the Pros

Putting food to fire has global appeal, which means there are plenty of flavors and techniques to be learned from grilling traditions around the world. Whether you're looking to master the art of succulent ribs or create the perfect cheeseburger, we've got the ultimate collection of grilling tips, tricks, and recipes.

Secrets of the Grill: Chicken

I always do two things when grilling chicken: I flatten the bird, which helps it cook evenly, and marinate it. Marinating is a technique Latin American cooks inherited from medieval Spain. In Cuba, where I'm from, we marinate everything under the sun in an aromatic paste called adobo that combines garlic, cumin, oregano, and lots of fresh citrus. For even more punch, I add ground aji molido chiles, paprika, and lemon; a bath in this mouth-puckering concoction provides a basic underpinning of flavor that blossoms and evolves while the bird cooks. --Maricel E. Presilla See the tips and recipe for Adobo Chicken Under A Brick »Todd Coleman

Secrets of the Grill: Corn

With its sweet flavor, just-picked summer corn is sublime on its own. But grilling--either in the husk or shucked--gives the kernels a nutty taste that makes each ear perfect for flavored compound butters, sauces, and glazes. More mature corn, which is slightly starchier, is my preferred kind to grill because the sturdy kernels can withstand the heat. --Elizabeth Karmel See the tips and recipes for Grilled Corn »Todd Coleman

Secrets of the Grill: Burgers

Deeply charred ground beef dripping juice onto a soft bun, melted cheese oozing over the edges--I'm obsessed with the American cheeseburger. At the culinary lab I run in Seattle, we decided to pay it a scientist's tribute. After researching the chemistry behind the deliciousness of every component--the meat, cheese, bun, sauce--we uncovered methods for making the ultimate backyard burger, no weird science required. It starts with grinding the meat ourselves and ends with a special sauce that puts ketchup to shame. --Nathan Myhrvold See the tips and recipe for the Ultimate Grilled Cheeseburger »Todd Coleman

Secrets of the Grill: Kebabs

In countries surrounding Eurasia's Caucasus Mountains, people have been cooking their meat on swords, sticks, and skewers over an open fire for eight centuries. My Russian family keeps the tradition alive each summer, balancing skewers of marinated lamb shoulder and onions over coals on a mangal, a grateless grill. We serve them traditionally, slathered in salty, tangy sauces, which perfectly complement the richness of the meat. --Juliya Madorskaya See the tips and recipe for Shashlik (Russian Lamb Kebab with Tomato-Prune Sauce) »Todd Coleman

Secrets of the Grill: Steak

I spend a lot of time cooking indoors in restaurant kitchens, but I relish any chance I get to be outside grilling over an open fire. The sun and fresh air, the aroma, the flames--it's a hard activity to beat. I like to cook my steak in a slightly unconventional way: After a sear over a super-hot fire, I move it away from the hottest coals and baste it in rendered dry-aged beef fat, which adds incomparable depth of flavor. I then finish with another last-minute sear for a beautifully charred crust. --Craig Koketsu See the tips and recipe for Grilled Ribeye with Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce »Todd Coleman

Secrets of the Grill: Ribs

I've met cooks all over the globe who have rhapsodized over the primal pleasure of eating ribs, holding them in hand and eating the charred meat straight off the bone. Ribs take as many forms as there are places where they're cooked, and it's easy to replicate lots of them at home: Blast a rack of baby backs with garlic and fish sauce and they'll taste just like ones you'd find in Cambodia; marinate a lamb rack with ginger and yogurt and it takes on an Indian tandoori flavor. What a delectable way to keep such an ancient way of eating alive. --Steven Raichlen See the tips and recipes for Ribs »Todd Coleman