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Get Ready to Grill

Chris Lilly

Fourth of July is next week … and that means time for a backyard barbecue!

At the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest this year, I asked Chris Lilly to share his top 5 grilling tips with us.  An expert at the grill, Chris is Big Bob Gibson’s World Champion pitmaster and a spokesperson for Kingsford.

First and foremost …

Choose Wisely & Plan: Decide how much backyard cooking time you have and then choose what to serve at your party. Grill space can be limited, so make a good plan so you will know what goes on the grill and when to put it on.

Season Early: Season and marinade ahead of time.  There is no time to search in the spice cabinets when guests arrive.  Season early and go straight from the fridge to the grill. 

Wood is a seasoning: Think of wood as a seasoning rather than a fuel source.  Many make the mistake of over-smoking their meat using all wood. Chris recommends starting with a combination of charcoal and a few wood chips. 

Rest your Meat: For smaller cuts of meat, let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes after removing them from the grill and prior to cutting.  For large cuts, wait 15 to 20 minutes. This time allows the temperature to equalize and gives the meat fibers time to reabsorb the internal juices.  You will appreciate the extra moisture.

And finally …

Share the occasion: Barbecue is more than the meat off the grill; it is an occasion which should always involve your friends and family. Enjoy the atmosphere of barbecuing by making your grill the centerpiece for every successful outdoor gathering.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy 4th of July!

For more information about Chris Lilly and his World Champion Barbecue, visit www.bigbobgibson.com.

Jennifer Chandler graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris at the top of her class. She is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks.