Chef Jonathan Collins, Coyote Outdoor Living Brand Ambassador, shares his five essential tips on how to elevate your grill skills for a quintessential outdoor summer event!
A true outdoorsman who has cooked for presidents, prime ministers and even British royalty alike, Chef Collins is all about curated ingredients, unique recipes, sure-fire techniques, and a celebration of healthy and simple cooking. When it comes to smoking and charcoal grilling, Chef Collins uses the Coyote Asado Cooker for consistent heat and a perfect smoke and for a more traditional grill, he uses the Coyote high-end all-stainless Signature S-Series Grills.
Here are his top five tips to flavorize your summer:
Fresh Herb Smoking
Smoke adds the easiest flavor when cooking outdoors. No chips? No problem. Take fresh Rosemary, Thyme, Savory, or Lavender, brush with canola oil, press it to the finished side of Fish, Seafood, Chicken, Lamb, Beef, or Veal and press directly over heat. As the fresh herbs heat up they begin to smoke, transferring a beautiful aroma that’s quick and easy. Discard the herbs after burning.
Smoking over a long period of time can often mean overcooked, burnt, or dry meat. Smoking with offset heat will solve this problem by dividing the smoker into 2 zones. One zone for the charcoal or wood fire where Hickory, Applewood, or Mesquite can be added. A second zone where the marinated or seasoned meat will rest with a gentle smoke and heat rolling over it.
Graduated Heat Zones
Preheating the grill is important; propane or natural gas 10-15 minutes, charcoal or natural wood 30-45 minutes prior to cooking. After preheating, make sure there are graduated heating zones where a variety foods can be cooked, gently finished, or held at-temperature for serving. Zone at 175°F for serving, 225°F for gently cooking or finishing, and 350°F for charbroiling.
Flavored Citrus-Herb Salt
An easy way to add flavor to everything, from vegetables and seafood to poultry or beef, is combining a mixture of Flaked Sea Salt, Grey Salt, and Course Himalayan with fresh herbs like Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, and Sage. To elevate it further, use a peeler to remove strips of zest from citruses like lime, lemon, or grapefruit.
Whether Chicken, Lamb, Beef, or Veal, bone-in will take a little longer to cook but will retain moisture and provide more flavor when grilled. Checking the internal temperature with a probe thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, not touching the bone is imperative.
Hungry and thirsty now? Find three traditional Brazilian barbecue recipes and a signature cocktail, Chef Collins approved, below!
This post was originally published on August 18, 2018 and updated on June 16, 2022.