Grilling isn't just about fire and meat. 

Peter Kaminsky, author of "The Essential New York Times Grilling Cookbook," knows a thing or two about getting a great cookout going. His Outdoors column has appeared in the New York Times for more than two decades and he has authored over 25 cookbooks, including "Bacon Nation" with Marie Rama. The chef and author has also penned recipes with some of the biggest names in food, including Daniel Boulud, Michel Richard and Sheila Lukins.

But when it comes to grilling he believes you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment-- just the right tools and fresh ingredients.

“Like most cooks, I get most of my ideas when I look at ingredients, so whatever is fresh in the market is usually a good start,” Kaminsky told “Sometimes thinking outside the box will yield great results.”

Are you a seafood fan? A whole fish on a the grill is surprisingly easy, says Kaminsky and you shouldn't get intimated. Check out this recipe for Whole Grilled Fish With Lemon and Tarragon.

Preparation is also key when cooking for a crowd.  Kaminsky suggest cooking meats like ribs or chicken thighs because they don't dry out so quickly. Sliders are also a great to way to quickly serve up a hungry crowd.

Recipe: Pork Pimenton Sliders

And if you’re throwing a party, don’t forget about sides that can hold up in the heat.

“Use whatever vegetable is in season, it is usually great on the grill, or in a skillet or griddle placed on the grill,” Kaminsky said. “ Baked beans are always a crowd pleaser. Corn on the cob, German potato salad, because it has no mayo to go bad in the sun.”

He also recommends whipping up a tart and tangy coleslaw with red cabbage, Valencia oranges, cumin or celery seed and a little salt and pepper.

Recipe: Bacon Jam

To top it off, choose a great wine that goes will with your meat. For red meat, Kaminsky recommends a full-bodied Terrazas de los Andes Malbec to compliment smoky flavors with a little bit of char.

Read on for Kaminsky’s ultimate summer grilling tips and get ready to impress some hungry guests.