How to Throw the Best Summer Parties

By Leslie Goldman

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Charcoal grill
Blaine Moats

Play with Fire

According to BBQ expert Chef Forrest D. Waldo II, Executive Chef for High Plains Bison Co., the most common mistake is failing to let charcoal cook down sufficiently before grilling. Give it at least 45 minutes—the charcoal should look ashy gray. Gas grill? Allot 20-30 minutes for it to get hot enough for a nice flavorful char. "When you put meat on the grill, you should hear a sizzle," Waldo notes. "That helps sear in juices and gives you a sugary, tasty crust."

Feeling adventuresome? Bison gives you that red meat feel with hardly any fat (it's actually lower in fat than skinless chicken). Grill it for 5 minutes on the first side, 4 on the second, keeping it medium rare, and pair it with a fruity marinade or chutney.

Another fun grill idea: skewers. "Everybody loves food on a stick," says Koi New York executive chef Nick McCoy. Cook meat and chicken skewers for 4 to 5 minutes per side, fish for 1 to 2, and veggies for 2 to 4. Please carnivores and vegetarians alike with Lemon-Herb Lamb and Vegetable Kabobs.

Lemon-Herb Lamb and Vegetable Kabobs

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