5 tips for an amazing barbecue

Author and TV host Rob Rainford shares his best barbecue tips to help you become a master of the grill.

Tips for an amazing barbecue
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No summer is complete without friends and family enjoying a warm breeze, good conversation and mouthwatering grub cooked on an open grill. Not only does grilling keep your home's energy costs down, it also allows you to spend time outdoors in the fresh air and gives your food a unique taste that can only be achieved with a grill.

So whether you're a suburbanite with a spacious backyard and mammoth barbecue or an urban-dweller with a mini-grill on your balcony, you can still get the ultimate summer foodie experience. Here are some summer barbecue tips that'll make your food better than you ever knew it could be.

1. Preparing the grill

"Grill preparation is a very important step that many people overlook," says Rob Rainford, former Food Network host and author of Born to Grill (Random House, 2012). The first thing to do is grab some long grilling gloves to protect your hands, then turn the grill up to high. Take a metal brush and scrape down the grill to rid it of any debris or food left over from another meal. Once that's complete, turn off the grill and rub the grates down with olive or vegetable oil to prevent sticking. 

2. Steak

"When it comes to steak, you'll want to put it on direct heat at about 400-450 degrees," advises Rainford. If you can't easily tell when a steak is cooked through, buy an internal probe to stick in the meat to determine the internal temperature (it should be at least 130 degrees). Once cooked to desired tenderness, remove from grill and place on a plate, cover in foil and let sit for five to 10 minutes before serving.

Best cut: Rainford claims rib-eye steaks to be the best cut when it comes to grilling. "Rib-eyes have the best marbling, which is important because the little bit of fat keeps the juices within the meat while it's on the grill," he says. 

Tricks of the trade: To give your steak a professional look, Rainford suggests placing it on the grill at a 12 o'clock angle, then rotating to a 3 o'clock angle to get diamond marks before flipping once.

Seasonings: For grilled steaks, Rainford likes to use what he calls the 'Rainford Twist' -- 3/4 rosemary and 1/4 thyme for a fragrant and earthy seasoning.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover great tips for barbecuing with chicken and fish on page 2.

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This article is featured on Canadian Living's Father's Day special