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Ultimate Secrets to a Better BBQ

Whether it's through comments on my YouTube videos or questions I get while doing a grilling demo, everyone wants to know my "secrets" for grilling. These are some tips and techniques I use while I'm using the grill. Hope you enjoy them!

Chef Tony Matassa,, LLC

Here's an easy way to check for doneness while grilling steaks.

  • Rare – The steak should be seared on both sides, when pressed, the meat should have little to no resistance.

  • Medium Rare – The steak should be grilled on the first side, until little drops of blood run up to the surface, then turned and browned on the other side. The meat should feel spongy when pressed.

  • Medium – The steak should be grilled on the first side, until drops of juice are visible on the surface. Turn the steak, and brown the other side, until the meat resists when pressed.

  • Well Done – The steak should be grilled on the first side until plenty of juice has come to the surface. Turn the steak and brown the second side, until firm to the touch. This should usually be done over lower heat, depending on the thickness of the steak.

  • Brandy blends well with almost anything: fruit, vegetables, meat, and desserts. It's fairly inexpensive and shelf stable, unlike wine. If you're adding it to a sauce, remember to reduce the Brandy first. This will concentrate the flavors and lower the acidity of the Brandy, which helps prevent curdling of milk or egg products.

  • To enhance the flavor of a "stuffed" recipe (stuffed peppers, fruit, mushrooms etc...), try fire roasting some or all of your ingredients before blending and stuffing.

  • Try to get your kids to eat more broccoli and cauliflower, by lightly oiling and grilling. When cooked quickly on a grill, they will have a sweeter more mild flavor.

  • When grilling broccoli or asparagus (especially thicker asparagus), keep them from turning grey, by first peeling their stems. This allows them to grill quicker, keeping their delicate buds in tackt. While grilling veggies, it's a good idea to grill these with the lid open, until just al dente.

Chef Tony Matassa,, LLC
  • When marinading seafood, add a little bit of honey, as this will help the herbs and spices bind to the flesh and add a nice sweet hint to your dish.

  • For perfectly seared tuna steaks, place steaks in a sealed plastic bag and soak in warm water for 10 – 15 minutes. While soaking, pre-heat your grill until very hot and wipe with a little oil. Soaking the tuna will allow it sear faster, and protect the flavor and texture.

  • For grilled chicken breast that actually comes out moist, pre-soak in a 50/50 solution of buttermilk and water for 2 – 4 hours. Rinse, pat dry, season, grill and enjoy! This also works great for wild game, such as venison. For thicker cuts, soak overnite and up to 2 days.

  • If you need to season/re-season a cast iron pot, use your gas grill. Why not your oven? Seasoning cast iron smokes alot, and smoke is best left outside!

    Here's an easy rule of thumb to follow when preparing your own marinades:

  • Higher Acid Content – Use this type of marinade for tenderizing larger cuts of meat.

  • Higher Oil Content – Use this type of marinade for smaller cuts. More oil in a marinade will help to preserve the moisture level of your soaked ingredients.

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