Summit Grill Center with Social Area

Red-Hot Grill Gear

Summit Grill Center with Social Area Weber’s big new product launch, this complete L-shaped outdoor kitchen, includes a large grill with rotisserie, dual-ring side burner, a smoker, a searing burner, an ice bin, and tons of storage and counter space, all without the need for masonry work, electricians, or building permits. At $4,499, it’s an instant alternative to outdoor grill centers that can cost much more.
The Big Green Egg

Bam! Superstar chef and author Emeril Lagasse has his own line of pots, pans, sauces … and now grills, in a new partnership with commercial-range and kitchen-appliance specialist Viking. The new Emeril line includes a powerful four-burner gas grill ($799) and a large charcoal kettle grill ($199), both in high-quality stainless steel.

Do It All The Big Green Egg, a modern, ceramic take on an ancient Asian clay-pot cooker, has a cult
following, including TV host Steven Raichlen. By managing the air vents, you can grill, sear, smoke, or slow-cook all in one ­ultra-heavy-duty unit. The super-insulated design means consistent heat, while efficiency and five sizes (large is around $800) handle everything from steaks to racks of ribs to whole smoked turkeys.

Expert Tips

Whether you have a gas grill, a charcoal kettle, a smoker, or a pull-behind competition barbecue trailer, you can make delicious barbecue at home, as long as you have patience, passion, and indirect heat. Expert advice will not hurt either.

“Start with high-quality meat, especially brisket. If it starts tough, it ends tough. Sear meats quickly over high heat so the rub or spices adhere, then cook over low temperature. Like chili or pasta, a lot of barbecue is even better the next day, so we cook our meats most of the way, then chill them for at least 24 hours before finishing. It makes it tastier.” Scott Roberts, owner of The Salt Lick
Emeril Lagasse

“When I want to kick it up, I like to add hardwood chips or chunks to the grill; it adds bold smoky flavors. The most common woods are hickory and mesquite, but you can find alder, apple, cherry, and my personal favorite: pecan. One of the most important but least-exciting [tips] is to keep your grill clean. Every time you use your grill, heat it up, covered, for 15 minutes, and then use a grill brush to brush the grates before cooking. I think many cooks are afraid of undercooked meats. A good thermometer is a cook’s best friend.” Emeril Lagasse, star chef, TV personality, and author of Emeril at the Grill

“Let the meat come to room temperature before placing on the grill. This will allow the outside and inside to cook more uniformly. Remove large cuts of meat one hour before cooking and smaller cuts 30 minutes
before cooking. Resist the urge to constantly lift the lid … every time you do that you lose smoke, which will make it less flavorful, and the temperature will go down quickly. You want to maintain a consistent temperature.” Bobby Flay, star chef, host of TV’s Food network Star, and author of Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America’s Great Flavors, due out this fall
PBS television host, cookbook author, and barbecue guru Steven Raichlen

If you really want to master barbecue, sign up for one of two annual three-day sessions of Barbecue University, led by PBS television host, cookbook author, and barbecue guru Steven Raichlen. These boot camps are hosted by Colorado’s five-star Broadmoor resort, home to a unique barbecue center with more than 40 different grills for students.

For the ultimate barbecue boot camp, head to the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort in Solvang, California. Learn about Dutch oven cooking and spice blending, plus meet with local brewmasters and winemakers.