Emeril Lagasse's Grilling Tips

"I used to be one of those macho guys that cranked the grill up to bejesus."


Photographs by Maro Hagopian

This week’s grilling tips come from celebrity chef icon, Emeril Lagasse. His empire has expanded to include restaurants, radio shows, best-selling books, and several product lines. Most recently Emeril has been "going green" with his television series, Emeril Green where he inspires viewers to cook in an eco-friendly way and buy organic and local produce.

Last week, Emeril hosted a live show at Sirius XM Martha Stewart Radio celebrating his newest cookbook, Emeril At The Grill. At the event, Emeril prepared several of the recipes from his cookbook and really "kicked it up a notch" with a live demonstration of his fiery grilled pico de gallo. The Sirius XM Radio phone lines were ringing off the hook with novice and seasoned grillers alike hoping to get answers to their own grilling dilemmas. I even got to join the party and ask Emeril a few grilling questions on behalf of all serious eaters.

How To Prepare The Grill

“This is very important. The first thing you need to do is heat the grill properly. Crank the heat up to high and use a wire brush to clean your grill. Then lower it to around medium-high. Don't lift the grill lid unnecessarily, you want to keep the charcoal hot and keep the air out.”

Rotate the Meat Like a Clock

“I used to be one of those macho guys that cranked the grill up to bejesus. You can’t do that, you need to oil and season your meat and let it rest at room temperature for a least 30 minutes.Then, rotate the meat like a clock, alternating between direct and indirect heat. Let the meat cook on medium, then on high, then let it breath on low. Don’t use too much direct heat—the meat won’t get a chance to breath. Check the thickest part of the meat with a meat thermometer—this is one of the most important parts of grilling. If the meat isn’t cooked right, it won’t be as good as it could be.”

Going Green While Grilling

"There's a lot of things you can do to keep your grill as eco-friendly as possible. There's a new hard charcoal available at Whole Foods and Home Depot. I always use recyclable aluminum foil and I compost, which is really important. Work with your local farmers markets, we need to support them. The local produce is usually fresher, better for you and available at a much better price."

How To Grill Seafood Successfully

"A grill pan will make grilling seafood much easier. A steakier fish like tuna or mahi mahi will grill much better than a delicate fish like sole. You want to oil your fish really well, then use a grill pan over medium heat. Don't be afraid of grill seafood, there are so many great grilling recipes in the 'From The Sea' section that are really simple."

Emeril answers a caller's question about a simple grilling sauce in the video below.

Video courtesy of Sirius XM Martha Stewart Radio

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