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Bobby Flay Fires Up the Grill

Summer Cooking Tips from Grill Master Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay Mesa Grill Caesars Palace

Bobby Flay
Mesa Grill
Caesars Palace

There are few chefs who are better known for their grill skills than Bobby Flay. The chef-owner of Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace began his Food Network career with shows dedicated to all things cooked over an open flame. He’s also written countless cookbooks on the subject and continues to be the go-to guy when it comes to the bold flavors of grillin’ and chillin’. So when it comes to entertaining in your own backyard, he’s the man.

Flay has two tips to maximize your success, no matter your skill level. First, your cooking surface should be as hot as possible, which means preheating it while covered at least 30 minutes before any food even touches it. “For gas, turn it to high, close the cover, and let it heat before grilling,” he advises. For charcoal, he says “to make sure it’s red hot and the ash is gray.” In addition to that, a clean grill is your friend. “Be sure your grates are clean before you grill. The best way to clean your grates is while the grates are still warm. Don’t wait until the next time you grill to clean it or the food will be dried on and it will take a lot more elbow grease to remove.”

“Grilling takes the formality out of entertaining. Everyone wants to get involved.”—Bobby Flay

Second, don’t be shy with your seasoning. “A lot of the seasoning falls off the meat, fish or vegetables when you put it on the grates, so season more than you think you should.”

For those who have graduated from throwing a couple of burgers and dogs on the grill, can bang out the perfect steak and have even mastered the art of cooking fish, your education doesn’t stop there. Your next mission? Vegetables. More specifically, according to Flay: Brussels sprouts. He suggests first cooking them in boiling, salted water before splitting, then coating them with canola oil and sprinkling with some salt and pepper. Grill the sprouts until they’re charred and golden brown. The key to lots of flavor is to toss them in light vinaigrette while they’re still hot.

Preparing food over a direct flame is our oldest method of cooking, and Flay’s attitude toward the grill is only a few modern steps removed from it. But a few simple rules will go a long way. Flay’s final tips are easy enough to follow for great results: “Remember to brush the food with oil and season well—and don’t overcook. You can always put undercooked food back on the grill, but once you overcook something, there is no going back.”

PHOTOS OF FOOD AND GRILL COURTESY OF BOBBY FLAY;
PHOTO OF BOBBY FLAY BY ROBERT JOHN KLEY.

About The Author

Originally from Chicago, where eating is a sport, Grace Bascos has honed her eating and drinking skills in Las Vegas since 2005. She keeps up with all the food that's fit to eat through her weekly Dishing with Grace column in Vegas Seven, as well as all things Sin City as a contributor to USA Today's Experience Las Vegas blog. When she's not dining in Las Vegas, she travels around the world in search of more good food and proper techno. You can follow her on twitter @gbascos.

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