Our Updated Guide to World-Class Grilling | Expert Grill Tips

Our Updated Guide to World-Class Grilling | Expert Grill Tips

When you’re a branch of the most award-winning custom kitchen design firm of the 21st century, the way you cook is very important. And when summer at the shore is your favorite time (and place) of the year, “getting your grill game” up to par is a must!

5 steps to becoming a better grill cook this summer! (Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)
5 steps to becoming a better grill cook this summer! (Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)

Making the leap from “throwing a few things on the barbecue” to becoming a grill master seems daunting. But like any journey worth taking, you shouldn’t look at it as a “leap” at all. Every skill is learned and mastered over the course of thousands of baby steps. It’s the same lifelong process that led Peter Salerno (CMKBD) to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a master craftsman and artisan. From his father’s cabinetry business in Sicily to Peter’s award-winning custom design firm in America, Peter’s journey to becoming a master wouldn’t have happened if his father hadn’t taken the first step so many years ago.

Using the Salerno backstory as inspiration, let’s break the journey to becoming a grill expert into smaller steps and look at what YOU can do to become a better grill cook this summer!

Expert Grilling Step 1: The Proper Grill

Peter Salerno is an avid grill enthusiast, with stellar grill equipment at his home, beach house, and award-winning showroom in Wyckoff, New Jersey. From Weber grills to Miele grill tops to La Cornue rotisseries, Peter understands that world-class grilling begins with world-class grill appliances.

Regardless of your budget, there is generally a ‘best option’ at most price points for grill hardware. Whether you choose gas, charcoal or pellet is entirely up to you and your personal taste; there are reputable reviews and ratings of every style readily available online. But whether you inevitably choose Weber, NexGrill, Kenmore or another brand, the type of grill is every bit as important as the brand.

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You’re going to get a much different taste experience off a pellet grill, for example, than you would off charcoal. That doesn’t make one better than the other; it’s simply about your preference. Do you like the woodsier taste a pellet grill may provide, or the traditional smoke of a charcoal grill? Do you prefer the clean efficiency of a gas grill? There is no right answer to those questions – the only “correct” answer is what suits you best.

Each type of grill brings its own perks and its own unique cleaning and maintenance regimen; make sure you read up on these as well!

Expert Grilling Step 2: The Proper Ingredients

All else being equal, a great steak is going to taste better than a mediocre one. (Obviously, you can foul up a great steak as easily as a poor one, but let’s focus on the upside here!)

There really isn’t a ton to say here. It’s worth buying better quality raw ingredients. Spring for the fresher, in-season vegetables. Spend a few more dollars on the right cut of meat, or the higher-quality seasoning.

Expert Grilling Step 3: The Proper Technique

Learning how to grill properly is the most intimidating step in this process; don’t be scared! The Internet has made the journey from novice to expert grill cook so much simpler.

Start with the Epicurious Guide to GrillingWe love it. It’s a soup-to-nuts (or in this case, burger-to-chop) guide to grilling techniques and ingredients, from some of the best amateur and professional grillmasters today.

Get yourself a great Bluetooth or WiFi thermometer. Seriously. There are some amazing Bluetooth applications out there that gauge the temperature of your grill AND the internal temperate of what you’re grilling. Whether you’re cooking with the grill top open or closed, you can monitor the process of your meal no matter where you are. Gone are the days when you had to hover over your grill like a vulture, out of fear you’ve over-cooked!

We love the Weber iGrill 2 Bluetooth Thermometer; unless you’re on a smaller budget, it’s currently our favorite product on the market. If you’re looking for a WiFi-based alternative rather than connecting to Bluetooth, we suggest the ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer

Expert Grilling Step 4: The Proper Accompaniments + Sides

Don’t just slather a ton of sauce on your beautifully grilled meat, vegetables or vegan substitutes! The right sides, dressings, dips and garnishes can make or break your summer grill meals.

We found an awesome treasure trove of Grilling Dips & Sauces courtesy of Patricia C. Wilson. We strongly encourage you to jump over to Patricia’s site and take a look at her grilling dips and sauces; there are some really unique, simple preparations that are going to ‘wow’ your dinner guests!

There’s also a wonderful piece on the Williams-Sonoma blog courtesy of their Test Kitchen chef, Belle English. Belle encourages us to “just buy the sauce or rub” – sometimes, there’s no reason to over-think the process! Belle does go on to provide some highly valuable advice on what sauces and rubs to pair with different types of meats, and how to incorporate them into your meal’s preparation.

Expert Grilling Step 5: The Proper Company

Well-prepared food is like any beautiful creation; it’s best when shared with others and consumed by people who will appreciate it! Expert grilling is meant to be shared with family, friends and loved ones.

So now that you’ve taken the first steps to improving your “grill skills”, it’s time to gather the people you care for around a big table, spread out some big family-style dishware, and have a summer grill celebration to remember!

Delish Features Memorial Day Recipes To Drool Over

Delish Features Memorial Day Recipes To Drool Over

Avid readers of “Design Your Lifestyle” know that 2 recipe blogs make us salivate like none other – Delish and Epicurious.

Since our inception, we’ve relied on Delish and Epicurious more than any other sources for food tips, recipes, drink recipes, and seasonal menus that always fit the bill and ‘hit the spot’. And boy, has Delish delivered once again with its Memorial Day Recipes feature page.

BBQ in style with Delish's Memorial Day Recipes!(Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)
BBQ in style with Delish’s Memorial Day Recipes!(Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)

From the Delish team:

We wanted to make a space that was for everyone — people who liked to eat more than they actually liked to cook. We created a place that was as much about delicious, easy recipes as it was about food as a fun lifestyle and cultural phenomenon. We produce nearly 200 recipes a month, but we’re also creating videos about our favorite brands, restaurants, and stores, or celebrities and their eating habits. Plus, we’re all about telling the crazy food stories you won’t find anywhere else.

How could we not love that mission statement? (And if that’s not enough, check out their Pinterest page – we dare you not to get hungry and make a recipe immediately.)

The thing we love most about the Delish Memorial Day Recipes feature is that it’s drawn from the real world. We’re not saying that some people don’t adorn their Memorial Day dinner table or cookout table with “deconstructed crawfish etouffee” or “artisanal curated something-or-other with lemongrass foam”. We’re just saying that most people eat burgers, hot dogs, salads and sides.

BBQ in style with Delish's Memorial Day Recipes!(Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)
BBQ in style with Delish’s Memorial Day Recipes!(Photo: Gyfjonas via Wiki Commons)

And this is precisely the foundation of the Delish Memorial Day “menu” of recipes. The splashy lead article, 43 Insane-Slash-Brilliant Things To Do With Hot Dogs“, hooked us from the beginning. Simple summer pastas, summer salad recipes, kebabs and homemade condiments follow the charge, and soon you may find yourself like us…

(“Did I really just spend 52 minutes looking at Memorial Day recipes? Yup, I sure did.”)

Vegetarians and vegans, fear not – Delish has you covered for Memorial Day as well, with grilled veggie recipes that are more than satisfying.

So if you’re at a loss for Memorial Day cooking ideas and need some recipes for inspiration, head over to the Delish Memorial Day Recipes site and get searching! (We’ll give you a call in a day or two if you get carried away.)

July 2016: Celebrate National Grilling Month in Style! [PART 1]

BBQ Lovers Rejoice! July is National Grilling Month

Barbecue lovers and grill masters, it’s officially YOUR time to shine! July 2016 is National Grilling Month in the United States. That means it’s your chance to break out the brisket, sharpen your best knives and heat up those hot dogs – and it’s time to grill in style!

July 2016 is National Grilling Month! (Credit: Elena Chochkova, Wiki Commons)
July 2016 is National Grilling Month! (Credit: Elena Chochkova, Wiki Commons)

Yes, we know many of you don’t associate “barbecue” with “style”. From the grease to the heat, tacky aprons to messy stains, getting back to your backyard grill is often a down-and-dirty experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Great barbecue chefs and grill masters know that, if approached with the proper tools and mindset, an average summer cookout can become an extraordinary culinary occasion!

From the perfect grill approach to the perfect knives, bold new recipes to flavorful complimentary grill dishes, we have you covered for the summer as National Grilling Month (July 2016) draws near!

Make sure you keep checking back to our blog so you can Design Your Lifestyle with the grill in mind. Let’s start this National Grilling Month series off in style, with your perfect accessories for the perfect backyard BBQ.

National Grilling Month: Best BBQ Knives & Accessories

EDGES Custom Cutlery

If you’ve been to our blog before, you know how in love we are with EDGES custom cutlery. Handcrafted by artisans and steel barons here in the USA, every EDGES knife is handcrafted to your unique specifications – ensuring every single piece of EDGES cutlery is one-of-a-kind, never to be duplicated!

EDGES BBQ knife, custom built for every order. (Credit Peter Salerno Inc.)
EDGES BBQ knife, custom built for every order. (Credit Peter Salerno Inc.)

Just in time for National Grilling Month, EDGES introduces their custom BBQ knife, which by our standards is the very best on the market. The EDGES BBQ knife (pictured above) comes equipped and ready for grilling action, with 6″ AEB-L blade and your choice of handle.

EDGES custom cutlery also delivers one of the finest paring knives on the market, perfect for meal preparation for the best barbecue of the summer. To order your own custom EDGES BBQ knife, paring knife or other fine custom cutlery, contact Peter Salerno Inc. at (201) 251-6608.

Grillbot: Automatic Grill-Cleaning Robot

If you’re a tech junkie who wants a state-of-the-art way to clean your grill, then the Grillbot is perfect for you. An automatic grill-cleaning robot, the Grillbot saves you valuable time and energy – not to mention does a better job than virtually any human could!

The Grillbot automatic grill-cleaning robot is one of our favorite BBQ gadgets!
The Grillbot automatic grill-cleaning robot is one of our favorite BBQ gadgets!

Simply turn on your Grillbot and let it go to work, and spend more time with family and loved ones enjoying the barbecue meal you worked so hard to create.

The Grillbot offers push button start for easy use, and a built-in CPU chip regulates its speed and direction. It also alerts you when the job is done, and comes with an on-board timer. Talk about easy cleaning!

Keep visiting our blog in the coming weeks as we continue to celebrate National Grilling Month (July 2016) in grand style!

Father’s Day 2016: Epicurious’ Perfect Backyard BBQ Menu!

Father’s Day 2016: Epicurious’ Perfect Backyard BBQ Menu!

The Perfect Father’s Day BBQ For EDGES’ Perfect BBQ Knife

In our last article, we gave you the inside scoop on the exclusive EDGES custom BBQ knife, the perfect 2016 Father’s Day gift (available exclusively for order from Peter Salerno Inc.). Now that your Father’s Day shopping is squared away, and you’ve placed your order for your one-of-a-kind EDGES BBQ knife, there’s only one thing left to do… grill the perfect meal!

EDGES BBQ knife, custom built for every order. Perfect Father's Day gift for 2016! (Credit Peter Salerno Inc.)
EDGES BBQ knife, custom built for every order. Perfect Father’s Day gift for 2016! (Credit Peter Salerno Inc.)

When Peter Salerno Inc. looks for the perfect menu for any event, the search tends to end at Epicurious. Epicurious – which, for our money, is the best food blog on the Internet – is a one-stop source for recipes, tips, full meal menus, and the perfect companion for the discerning home chef.

The Epicurious menu we’re featuring for Father’s Day 2016 is “A Backyard BBQ Menu“, a 5 recipe menu that has you covered from drinks to entrees to dessert. Whether you’re using your new EDGES BBQ knife to entertain new guests, family and friends, or giving dad a chance to try out his world-class EDGES cutlery, you’ll leave this meal feeling refreshed, invigorated, and very (very!) full.

A Backyard BBQ Menu” starts with an outstanding recipe for Plum Limeade, which combines sweet and savory into one delicious beverage the whole family can enjoy. Two options for meat courses follow, as Spicy Turkey Burgers and Grilled Salmon with Basil Aioli are on the entree menu. Epicurious pairs these dishes with our favorite recipe on the menu: Grilled Zucchini with Black Olives and Mint. For dessert, nothing tops off a great BBQ menu quite like Honey-Glazed Grilled Pineapple.

We can’t stress enough how much we love this menu from Epicurious! For more tips, recipes and menus, be sure to log on to Epicurious for all your cooking needs. And for the best in world-class knives and cutlery, look no further than the EDGES collection. Each knife is handcrafted and guaranteed to be a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. The EDGES cutlery collection is available exclusively from Peter Salerno Inc.

Best Memorial Day 2015 Recipe: Epicurious Beef and Andouille Burgers with Asiago Cheese

Best Memorial Day 2015 Recipe: Epicurious Beef and Andouille Burgers with Asiago Cheese

The Best 2015 Memorial Day Burger Recipe. Period.

Since Peter Salerno and the team at Peter Salerno Inc. are all about the extraordinary and providing the very best in award-winning kitchen design, we’re always on the look out for the best recipes for every occasion. So with Memorial Day 2015 right around the corner, we had to find our choice for the best new, unique burger recipe online.

Memorial Day burger recipe. Beef and andouille sausage burger with asiago cheese recipe. Photo by Mark Thomas, courtesy of Epicurious.
Beef and andouille sausage burger with asiago cheese recipe. Photo by Mark Thomas, courtesy of Epicurious.

Leave it to Epicurious to once again provide us with the most delicious burger recipe for Memorial Day 2015. Nothing says Memorial Day weekend like a barbecue cookout or BBQ grill experience with family and friends, enjoying the beautiful weather with a cool drink and a burger. But which unique, delicious burger recipe fits the bill?

We found this outstanding recipe on Epicurious for a Beef and Andouille Burger with Asiago Cheese. Sometimes, a meal is so good you’re not left with many words to describe it. These smoky, mildly spicy burgers left us with very few words – most of them were simply “Wow!”.

The mix of smoky grilled onions and spicy Andouille sausage (built right into the burger patty) was outstanding, and the added tastes of roasted red peppers and shallots takes these beefy burgers over the top. It’s no wonder this recipe has a 98% approval rating on Epicurious and a perfect 4 out of 4 review.

But believe us – you need to try these beef and andouille burgers for yourself to truly understand their unique, delicious appeal. This recipe yields 6 servings, enough for you and your family and friends to enjoy. (Next time, we’re doubling the recipe!)

Thanks to Epicurious for the recipe and Mark Thomas for the original photo.

Favorite Memorial Day 2015 Recipe: Beef & Andouille Sausage Burger with Asiago Cheese

yields 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces andouille sausages,* cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef (15% fat)
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 6 large sesame-seed hamburger buns
  • 6 1/3-inch-thick slices red onion
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Asiago cheese**
  • 1 7- to 7 1/2-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained

Preparation

Finely chop sun-dried tomatoes in processor. Blend in mayonnaise and mustard. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Finely chop andouille sausages in processor. Transfer to large bowl. Add beef, shallots, salt, pepper, and crushed fennel seeds. Stir with fork just until blended. Form mixture into six 1-inch-thick patties.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill hamburger buns until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to platter. Brush onion slices with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until golden, about 7 minutes per side. Grill hamburgers to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Sprinkle cheese over top of burgers.

Spread cut sides of hamburger buns with sun-dried-tomato mayonnaise. Top bottom halves of buns with hamburgers, then red peppers. Top with onion slices. Cover with top halves of buns and serve.

*Smoked pork-and-beef sausages, sold at specialty foods stores and supermarkets. Kielbasa can be substituted.