How to barbecue better: Grilling tips from Peter Kaminsky


Published July 04, 2014

How to barbecue better: Grilling tips from Peter Kaminsky

Get your grill fired up with these super charged tips.

Use charcoal.

Charcoal is widely available and really can’t be beat for the smoky, woody flavors it gives to your grilled ingredients. Briquettes or gas just won't produce that same char-grilled taste.

Brine to keep dry cuts juicy on the grill.

Meats like pork chops and white meat chicken can get dry quickly on the grill, so brining is a great way to make them more juicy and flavorful. When I was thinking about pairing a pork chop with Terrazas de los Andes Malbec, I decided to use a double-cut pork chop and brine it with a mixture of water, salt and maple syrup before I put it on the grill. The result was delicious and impressive looking as well, the red fruit and smoky flavors in the Terrazas Malbec went perfectly with the tender meat.  To brine, you can soak meats in the brining solution overnight in the refrigerator, or for a pro tip, you can use and injection briner (available in cooking stores) and speed up the process to just a few seconds.

The bigger the cut, the lower the heat.

This is true for the double-cut pork chop or any meat. Americans have a tendency to fire up the grill and char away, but especially for large cuts turning down the heat is essential to get a perfectly done and tender protein.

Use a griddle or frying pan.

In Argentina they often use a plancha, a type of griddle, which gave me an idea for a fantastic burger recipe to pair with Terrazas Malbec.  I created a ground pork burger with pimenton (smoked paprika), and pressed chopped onions into the burger before putting it on a skillet on the grill.  I wanted the onions on the outside of the burger, so they would have direct contact with the heat and get that sweet, caramelized flavor that would go so well with the wine.  If I put the burger on the grill directly, the onions would have fallen off.

Use a thermometer.

If you want to be a grilling pro – get a digital thermometer it’s one of the most important tips I can recommend. The chefs in Argentina grill almost every day over huge charcoal fires, so they’re masters at knowing when their meat is cooked to perfection, but that comes with years of practice.  A thermometer really makes it easy to get the best result from your grilling.

Remember the sauces and sides.

To finish a grilled meal, it’s easy to grill seasonal vegetables and finish the meat or fish with a made-in-advance sauce or chutney.  For my pork slider, I created a bacon jam that really pulls the flavors together deliciously with the Terrazas Malbec, for the pork chop I made a Malbec Marmelade that would be great on lots of different meats.