Choose the right grill: While propane gas is the most time-saving method of grilling, Whalen prefers the charcoal and wood smoking style grills. “My favorite is the Lynx infrared grill,” says Whalen. “It’s the Rolls Royce of grills.” Whalen also recommends Traeger wood pellet grills and the Big Green Egg, a ceramic charcoal grill.
Don’t murder the meat choice: Here’s Whalen's burger secret — use ground chuck instead of ground beef. Ground beef dries out quicker. For steaks, like many chefs, Whalen’s personal favorite steak is a ribeye. “It has almost equal parts protein and fat,” he says. For larger, thicker bone-in steaks, Whalen suggests a grilling time of 16-18 minutes.
Find the hot spot: Every grill has one. It’s normally in the middle section of the grill’s cooking surface. “The grill face will turn white at the hottest spot,” says Whalen. He suggests keeping veggies on the grill’s top shelf, and lubricating the grill surface with cooking or olive oil to prevent meats from sticking.
Don’t flip out: The most common mistake backyard grillers make? Flipping their burgers and steaks too many times. Let them cook for about 10 minutes for a burger and 15 minutes for a steak, with minimal flips. “People fidget too much,” says Whalen. “Always grill with the lid closed and don’t ever cut into a steak to see if it’s done…that makes me cry.”
Change it up: Grilling isn’t just for landlubbers. While grilling fish requires paying a little more attention, salmon, sea scallops, tuna and halibut are all relatively easy to prepare with a dash of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. “My wife and I love lavraki, a Greek bass,” says Whale. He recommends 3-5 minutes for scallops and 7-10 minutes for most other fish.