Our founder shares her top tips for managing the heat in her new book, Martha Stewart's Grilling.

April 17, 2019
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Elizabeth Cecil

We love warmer days because that means we can break out the grill and cook our favorite steaks and skewers outside. The charred flavor undeniably elevates classic American cookout fare like burgers and kebabs, but it also adds an unexpected touch to dishes like grilled bread and chiles with burrata and grilled pound cake with peaches and plums. In her latest book, Martha Stewart's Grilling: 125+ Recipes for Gatherings Large and Small, Martha shares her key tips for successful grilling, sans flare ups and overcooked meat.

Get Set

Before you heat your grill, gather your tools and ingredients nearby so you don't have to leave the flame unattended. Keep a clean platter on hand, too, since you should never place cooked meat or fish back on the plate that carried them raw.

Brush Up

Scrape the grates before you cook-and after, while they're still warm. A few strokes with a wire brush remove the sticky scraps that can cause future items to cling and break apart.

Stay Slick

Well-oiled grates ensure clean flips and distinct char marks. Use a heatproof silicone brush to apply oil just before you add food (too early, and it'll burn off).

Know the Zones

Every grill can create two kinds of heat: Direct, as in right over the flame (best for searing tender cuts or cooking smaller ones); and indirect, which is cooler and better for large pieces of meat.

Make Space

Just like when you're sautéing, overcrowded ingredients won't cook evenly. Spread things out across the grates, leaving an empty "safe zone" in one corner of food in case of a flare-up (i.e., when dripping fat or oil sends the flames up through the grates).

From Martha Stewart's Grilling: 125+ Recipes for Gatherings Large and Small, from the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright© 2019 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, on March 26, 2019.

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