Chef's Blog

April 26, 2017

Grill ‘Em All

from Chef Christopher F. Donato

Are you a propane or natural gas griller? Do you go for the ‘slow and low’ of charcoal— natural or briquettes? Or do you prefer to stoke the flames from a good old wood burner? And let’s not forget about you smokers out there. To smoke, or not to smoke— how does that fit into your grilling experience?

Are you partial to a single grill, or do you own several pieces of task-specific equipment for the various styles of cooking that we refer to as ‘grilling’? Finding your style is just as important as the cut of meat or choice of rub, marinade, or sauce. I find myself in the multipurpose griller category. My personal home grill— while gas fired— allows me to cook over charcoal or wood, too. It even offers a smoker box.

Some days I just need a quick cook— such as a chicken breast. Mostly though, I find myself grilling for an event. And that my friends requires some forethought. What type of protein? Will it have a rub or marinade? Or dare I let the grilling process do the heavy lifting— taking center stage with only a little salt and pepper to finish it off.

Using different hardwoods to cook over offers a unique set of flavors. I found this technique takes a little experimentation to get right. But when it does—boy that’s a back slapper. Charcoal provides nice flavor and easier to use than wood, which is why that distinctive smell permeates the long holiday weekends.

Whether your grill is gas, a green egg, or a smoker, be sure to take the time to enjoy the experience of grilling. Your guests will surely enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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