11 Grilling Secrets from Curtis Stone

11 Grilling Secrets from Curtis Stone
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11 Grilling Secrets from Curtis Stone

Read on for 11 cookout ideas from chef Curtis Stone.

Image Courtesy of Curtis Stone

Look to the Sea.

"I love grilling seafood actually," explains Curtis. "There are so many ways you can do it. I could be really cliché here and say you can throw shrimps on the barbie but you can, by simply marinating shrimp with garlic, chili, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil and then throw them onto a grill."

Lobsters grilled with garlic butter are also delicacies and using a paella pan filled with mussels, clams and cockles over the grill is definitely a crowd pleaser.

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Experiment with Lamb.

"We love lamb in Australia: lamb racks, lamb chops, a whole leg of lamb, which I marinate and open up and drop that on the grill," says Curtis.

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Choose Your Marinade.

"I usually go one of two directions—blend some cilantro with green onions, soy sauce, palm sugar and sesame oil and take it in an Asian route, or I go entirely in the other direction, which is garlic, thyme, olive oil, sage and rosemary and keep it very European and very simple," explains Curtis. "Depends on what I’m serving it with."

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Reach for the Vegetables.

While most think about meat when it comes to grilling, Curtis reminds us that grilled vegetables are truly delicious! "You can grill asparagus, zucchini and summer tomatoes. It gives a really nice charred flavor to [the vegetables], which I think really elevates [them] from what [they] would be if you just boiled [them]. If you boil something you are adding water to it, but when you char something, you are dehydrating it a little, which means you are concentrating the flavor."

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Make a Memory by Grilling Bread.

"Breads are beautiful on the grill," explains Curtis. "What a fabulous way to start a party, too!"

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Get the Sides Out of the Way.

"If I’m grilling, it is usually because I am having people over, and if I do that, I want to stand around with a beer in my hand and have some fun with them," shares Curtis. "I take care of all the sides the day before."

A few sides Curtis loves to make ahead are mac and cheese, cole slaw and salad replete with its dressing.

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Try an Aussie Favorite.

For summer, Australians often make a dessert called pavlova, a meringue covered in sweetened chantilly cream and topped with in-season fruits (peaches, nectarines, passionfruit, raspberries or strawberries). "It is a pretty special dessert to serve during summer," Curtis says.

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Get Prepared Before Grilling.

The biggest mistake Curtis sees people make when grilling is that they don't get prepared. "They think the big job is the grilling. They start grilling and the grilling actually happens quite fast, then all the sudden, you have this platter of meat and nothing to eat with it. By the time you get plates, the knives, the forks, the condiments, whatever, the meat has gotten cold."

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Skip the Ketchup.

"I actually think a tomato relish is so much nicer than a pre-bought ketchup," says Curtis. "I think sometimes ketchup can suck the life out of the food a little." While he doesn't recommend buying ketchup for your barbecue, he finds store-bought mayo to be a great option.

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Pickle Veggies Yourself.

"Pickling is something that is really easy to do," assures Curtis. "Sugar, a little salt, vinegar, a little water and you can literally bring that to a boil and pour it over sliced carrots, sliced cucumbers or some green beans. You can pretty much pickle anything and then you get that delicious salty, acidic flavor."

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Make Your Home Friendly.

When you are hosting a cookout, make sure to think about the atmosphere. Curtis recommends choosing nice music and spreading blankets out on the grass. To keep guests outside, try filling a cooler or bin with drinks and leaving it outside. It is important to leave clues to the structure of the barbecue as well. "The best way to feel when you go to someone’s barbecue is that you kind of know the structure," he says. "There is nothing wrong with setting up a nice buffet style table and even making a sign on a chalkboard and sticking it up there so people know where [they are] going to go once lunch is served."

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Try out Curtis's top grilling tips this Father's Day. Accompany your great meal with something else that'll make him smile: a personalized recipe that shows what you love about him!


Australian chef Curtis Stone does more than toss some shrimp on the barbie (although he likes to do that too!). The owner of Maude restaurant in Beverly Hills is also big on grilling vegetables and lamb, making his own tomato relish and entertaining guests at his home.

Check out the slideshow above for brilliant marinade ideas, the ultimate cookout dessert and so much more!

Then, get great Curtis Stone recipes for summer, find out how the son of a top chef eats and how Curtis became interested in cooking in the first place.

You can also create a simple, last-minute and free gift for Dad!

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