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6 Grilling Secrets Bobby Flay Can't Show You On TV

Delish logo Delish 2017-06-12 Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo

Bobby Flay Reveals His Game-Changing Grilling Hacks © Bobby's Barbecue Addition Bobby Flay Reveals His Game-Changing Grilling Hacks

Bobby Flay is, hands down, Food Network's reigning grill master. The professional chef has penned seven books and hosted six television shows dedicated to the topic - plus opened eight restaurants and racked up six Emmy awards. We sat down with the Culinary Hall of Famer to get his best tips for dominating the grill.

1. Always choose charcoal.

While the debate rages on about whether charcoal grills or gas grills are better for barbecues, Flay is setting the record straight: "If you have the time and conviction, charcoal is better," he says. "It's purer; it's the old-school way to do it." Plus, he says, hardwood charcoal gives your food a more pronounced grill flavor.

Despite this, he admits, most people are still choosing gas grills nowadays. "It's totally fine," he says. "But you can flavor the food more with charcoal."

2. Drop an Andrew Jackson on a chimney starter.

"It's the best $20 investment you'll ever make," he says. "The thing people are most concerned about with charcoal grills is that they can't get it lit well." The chimney starter, a metal cylinder that lights your charcoal faster and more evenly, completely resolves this woe.

Simply stuff the bottom with crumpled newspaper and fill the rest with charcoal, then light it up, and let it get to work. After poking around online, we actually found a number of options for $15 or less. Score!

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GET YOUR GRILL GOING: Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter, $15; Amazon.com

3. Learn the brick trick.

Flay recommends that you take a page from traditional Italian cooking and use a brick - wrapped in foil - to compress chicken on the grill. "It's called al mattoneand it makes the skin crispier," Flay says. "People think you want high heat to char the skin, but it's actually the opposite: The grill should be medium-low and the chicken should cook slowly."

Don't have a brick laying around? A cast-iron skillet works, too.

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4. Stop flipping out.

According to Flay, one of the biggest grilling mistakes people make is tossing and turning their burgers, steaks, chicken thighs, and whatever else they're barbecuing. "There's a lot of flipping and turning," he says. "There's a common misconception that you need to always be at the grill to flip everything. In fact, you should leave it alone and let the grill do its job."

That means you should place set your steak or burger down and don't touch it again until a crisp crust develops and it begins to come away from the grill grates. "You only want to flip it once," he stresses. "Otherwise, if you keep flipping it, you're going to get a grey burger or steak - because it will steam as opposed to searing and getting nice and crispy."

5. Give your burgers a little crunch.

Once you grill them to perfection using Flay's famous thumbprint hack, top off your perfectly pink patties with potato chips. It's a trick he's been doing since childhood.

"I always used to like when the American cheese would melt off your burger into the potato chips," he says. "I would always eat those chips first and then one day I decided I was going to put them in the burger." Flay loves the combo so much he's even added a potato-chip patty to the menu at Bobby's Burger Palace.

6. Expand your BBQ horizons.

There are plenty of surprising foods you should be grilling - like pickles, pineapple, and even pound cake. But there's one thing that Flay (who's grilled everything from lamb chops to mangos) thinks you need to try ASAP. "I think people are intimidated by fish on the grill," he says. "My advice is to use a filet that's more steak-like."

More specifically, he suggests tuna or swordfish, which won't flake or fall apart the way salmon or red snapper might. Just dress it lightly in olive oil, sprinkle some salt, and place it directly on the grill grates. Again, let it be. "If you get nervous and try to move it too early, it will fall apart," Flay warns. "Let it cook and form a crust that will pull away from the grill. After that it's like magic."

You make it all seem so easy, Bobby.

SLIDESHOW: 34 Totally Awesome Ways To Grill Steak

caprese-steak: <p>Take a break from <a href="http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/g2729/best-burger-recipes/">burgers</a> and <a href="http://www.delish.com/entertaining/g2180/grilled-chicken-recipes/">chicken</a> and grill up some steak.</p><p>Can't get enough steak? Check out our <a href="http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/g2991/weeknight-steak-dinners/">weeknight steak dinners</a> and <a href="http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/g2859/steak-sandwiches/">best ever steak sandwiches</a>.<br></p> 34 Totally Awesome Ways To Grill Steak

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