Seven Things No One Ever Teaches You About Grilling

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TV’s grilling expert offers barbecue techniques for how long to grill, how much to grill, and pretty much everything else you need to know for perfect meat this summer.

1. GET THE GRILL SCREAMING HOT

For steaks, chops, and burgers, hold your hand three inches above the grill grate and start counting, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi, etc.” If “ouch” comes at two or three Mississippi, your grill is properly preheated.

Always clean your grate immediately before and after cooking, using a long-handled stiff wire brush. In a pinch, you can scour the grate with a ball of crumpled aluminum foil held in tongs.

4. EDIBLE SKEWERS

Skewer meat or seafood on sprigs of fresh rosemary (great for lamb), cinnamon sticks (great for pork and peaches), or lemongrass stalks (great for chicken, shrimp, and swordfish).

5. THE BEER BOTTLE BASTING BRUSH

Open a longneck bottle of beer, cover the mouth of the bottle with your thumb, then shake it. Gradually slide back your thumb and direct the resulting stream of beer on the meat

6. THE FOUR FINGER THERMOMETER

Form the “okay” sign, touching the tip of your thumb to the tip of your forefinger. The pad of flesh at the base of your thumb will feel soft and squishy — exactly the same way a rare steak feels when you poke the top with your forefinger. Now move the tip of your thumb to the tip of your middle finger: That’s medium-rare. Thumb to the tip of your ring finger: medium. Thumb to pinkie: well-done.

Lay sweet potatoes, onions, and even corn in the husk directly on the embers. Roast, turning with tongs, until the skins are coal black. When you scrape off the burned skin, the vegetable inside will be supernaturally sweet and smoky.

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