Drink + Dine

Grilling and Chilling: Chef Danny Elmaleh’s 4th of July Tips

July 3, 2014
Written by: Yasha Wallin

BBQing and the 4th of July are nearly synonymous. And while we’re normally ones to shy away from tradition, celebrating Independence Day with a hot dog in hand or burger on the grill is a ritual we’re more than happy to embrace. To make sure it doesn’t all go up in smoke this holiday, we’ve asked our own Chef Danny Elmaleh, Executive Chef of sbe’s restaurant portfolio on how to grill like a master. Here’s what he told us:

  1. Invest in good charcoal. Binchotan is a Japanese charcoal, which burns three times hotter than American charcoal and burns three to four times longer. It is smoke-free and chemical-free.
  2. Never use start-up fuel as it taints the charcoal and ultimately the flavor of the items you’re grilling.
  3. Ceramic grills are better as they seal in moisture within your meat. The Big Green Egg is an excellent example to try. It’s a bit more pricey, but well worth it.
  4. Presetting the table with all other items will reduce grilling wait times for your guests. Preset salads, vegetables and other dishes so that your only worry is the grilling.
  5. Keep portion sizes small, so that you are able to grill faster. Portion sizes of 5-6 oz. will allow you to grill items in 6-7 minutes. It’s all about sharing and small share plates will enhance the communal experience.
  6. Have an extra grilling rack handy so you can easily switch to a clean rack instead of cleaning while your guests are waiting.

Follow these instructions and you’ll have successfully grilled like a master! And now that you’ve tried it at home, take the next weekend off, and let us do all the work at The Library, where you can host your own private summer grille party, complete with courtyard cocktails and mezzes grilled to perfection.