Wolfgang Puck's Essential Charcoal Grilling Tip

Few things are more fundamental to summer than grilling. Indeed, we love to light up the ol' grill, throw on some good music, crack a cold beer, and enjoy the sunshine. But while it's unquestionable that grilling is awesome, there are many debates about the best ways to do it. Some prefer gas grills, while others enjoy charcoal; Many rely on lighter fluid, but some like to go with the chimney starter. Elsewhere, cooks just light a big bonfire and hang food over it like Argentine chef and master griller Francis Mallmann.

If you're going with a charcoal grill, there are certainly a lot of aspects to consider. Food & Wine warns that lighter fluid can impart undesirable flavors to your food; Instead, they recommend using a chimney starter — a large cylinder that you place your charcoal in to heat it up. Weber concurs about chimney starters, pointing out that lighter cubes can also be a good alternative.

Give charcoal briquettes plenty of time to heat

Lauded Austrian chef Wolfgang Puck revolutionized Californian cuisine, so it's safe to say he probably knows a thing or two about grilling. He shared some tips for grilling with Michelin, claiming that one should light charcoal briquettes at least an hour before they begin grilling — that way you're only grilling over red hot coals, and not any direct flame. This can be crucial for not overcooking or burning your food, whether it's meat or vegetables.

Weber offers further advice about controlling the temperature of your grill, saying that cooks should create multiple heat zones by placing 75% of their coals on either side of the grill. The article also suggested that the more open the vents on the grill are, the hotter the grill will be. When timing your cooking and trying to make sure your food is cooked thoroughly, being in command of the grill's temperature is absolutely essential. 

But if you start with heating your coals for an hour in a chimney, distributing them smartly within the grill, and using the vents to your advantage, you should be in good shape.