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Rachael Ray’s Team Shares Their Favorite Summer Grilling Tips

This delish post is brought to you by our friends and Feedback sponsor, Hebrew National [1]!

When summer rolls around, we’re strong proponents of moving gatherings from indoors to outside. Grab a drink (or two), talk to friends and family and nosh on some delicious eats on the patio. What better way to enjoy every last drop of sunshine than moving the time you spend over the stove, to time over the grill?

So, to help you make the most of your cookouts, we chatted with Rach’s friends and culinary staff from her team asking, “What’s your favorite grilling tip?” We have to say – these people know their stuff! Find out how they’ve mastered the cookout season so you, too, can impress your guests.

Intimidated by even the thought of grilling?

Charlie Dougiello, CEO and cofounder of The Door [2], and Andrew Kaplan (aka “Kappy”), vice president at Rachael Ray, have you covered. Charlie suggests opting to sous vide [3] (click that for how it works) everything! “It’s a form of cooking where you place food in a plastic pouch or jar and then put in a hot water bath. Why is it so great? Consistency. It will always be cooked to your preferred doneness. Place it into a water bath and after an hour, slap it on the hot grill or a cast iron pan [4] for a couple minutes on each side and your steak is done,” advises Charlie. Kappy says this is a great tip for big crowds, too. “Similarly, get a jump-start on grilling by placing your hot dogs or sausages in a pot of water on the stove over low heat and let them hang out,” (just like sous vide, without the bag) he says. “That way, when you need to grill them, it’s just a few minutes on each side and they’re ready to be devoured. No more piles of grilled and wrinkly-looking hot dogs that were grilled a long time ago.”


So you’ve mastered how to prep your meat. Time to get grilling! (But where the heck is your grill brush?!)

Emily Rieger, senior supervising producer from the Rachael Ray Show [6], suggests reaching for a basic kitchen staple – aluminum foil. “Make a tin foil ball between the size of golf ball and a tennis ball. Grab the ball with sturdy tongs and scrub the grates (ideally while hot for the most effective cleaning). Elbow grease is required,” advises Emily. Janet McCracken, who is the “grill master” at Rachael Ray Every Day’s [7]Test Kitchen agrees, adding that long tongs work best to distance your hands from the heat.

Clean grill? Check! Now how do you get this baby burning?

“If you’ve got a charcoal grill, it’s really worth it to invest in a chimney starter,” suggests Janet. “Stuff the bottom with newspaper and the top with coals for guaranteed success with getting the fire started! The best part? No need for any chemical fluids to get the coals going.”

Right on schedule… But your dinner caught fire!

No need to panic with Jeanette Donnarumma’s easy tip. To prevent charred food, the culinary producer at the Rachael Ray Show suggests keeping a water bottle at arms distance: “Sometimes flare-ups can’t be avoided, particularly when cooking a protein, chicken, burger, or things that have been marinated. When the fat drips and ignites, there’s not much you can do but make it rain a bit. Keep a squirt bottle of H2O next to the grill so you are always ready.” Also, Janet suggests taking preventative measures by setting up what she calls “2-zone heating” on the grill. “If you are using coals, pile them up on just one side of the grill. If you are using a gas grill, leave one section unlit,” she recommends. “That way, if that chicken leg is starting to flare-up, you can move it to the cooler part of the grill to finish cooking.”

It’s time to eat. Time to set the table!

The best part of grilling is getting to eat your delicious food! Get creative with you presentation by letting your guests create and assemble their own dishes. “Why not try a DIY Hot Dog Bar?” says Kappy. “Put out a few different sauces, garnishes, and other condiments. I’ll get you started: mustards (anything from honey mustard, spicy mustard, and yellow mustard),  pickles (dill, bread and butter, and spicy), and some miscellaneous toppings like pickled jalapeños, crushed corn chips, crushed salt and vinegar chips, salsa, kimchi, cole slaw, BBQ sauce, chopped bacon, and caramelized onions. Seriously though… why should tacos have all the fun?!” Wow – can we join your cookouts, Kappy?

Equipped with a full arsenal of cookout knowledge, we think it’s time to get outside. Thanks to all our friends for sharing their expertise with us! Have a tip we didn’t share? Let us know on Facebook [8]. For now, we leave you with a delish grilling recipe: Rach’s Sweet + Smoky BBQ Crunch Dogs [9].

Sweet + Smoky BBQ Crunch Dog [10]

This recipe combines my delicious homemade sweet + smoky BBQ sauce along with a simple oil & vinegar based slaw. Quite FRANK-ly this is a winning combo on burgers, tacos and just about anything else, so make sure to hang on to any leftover sauce. Thanks for the dogs, Hebrew National! -RR Recipe –> http://bit.ly/sweetandsmokybbqcrunchdog

Posted by Rachael Ray [8] on Thursday, June 28, 2018

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