How Dallas Chefs Grill: The Tools, the Meat and the Techniques

Brian Luscher
We tracked down a few Dallas chefs to get a little insight on how a Memorial Day cookout in their backyard might look, taste and smell. From grills and smokers to favorite cuts of meat, plus some tips for the novice, let their words serve as inspiration as grilling season officially begins this weekend.

Grills, Smokers and More
From a simple, small charcoal grill to a DDP Fat 40 good for serving 200 people, minimalist to extravagance, it's all a matter of personal style. Although sometimes a stroke of luck plays a part...

Brian Luscher, The Grape: A custom trailer-mounted smoker: a Diamond Plate Pit, Fat 40 squared. It's the apple of my eye. I could easily cook for 100 people on this thing. I finally figured out the perfect damper settings; she'll hold 225 degrees for hours.

At home I have a smaller smoker - -an Oklahoma Joe's Horizontal model. They don't make 'em like that any more. Also have a Captain Cook four-burner gas grill. It's nice when you just want to throw something on the grill. I also have a little Lodge cast iron hunter's hibachi. I wish I cooked more on this one; it always looks like it's ready to go on an adventure.

Ryan Carbery, Bailey's Prime Plus: Weber kettle and a homemade steel drum smoker.

David Uygur, Lucia: Old-school Weber charcoal grill.

Janice Provost, Parigi: A few years ago I was driving by the Salvation Army on Inwood and I saw this beautiful, shiny Weber grill sitting out on display. I did a quick u-turn and picked it up for about $200. The guy who sold it to me said a wealthy lady who was getting a divorce had donated it. It had never been used

Mike Smith, The Common Table: Triple threat combo grill: propane side, charcoal side and hotbox for smoking.

Matt Balke, Bolsa: Since I live in an apartment, just a small Weber charcoal grill. I find it does what I need it to do.

Abraham Salum, Salum and Komali: Grill Master stainless steel gas grill.

Tre Wilcox, Marquee Grill: Green egg.

Next: Tips for the novice ...

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some smart ass
some smart ass

I'd like to hear more about this St. Lucie style ribs.  Is this something developed down in St. Lucie, Florida or is it somehow a tribute to Lucille Ball?  Until I get a recipe, I'm going to have to stick with my St. Lois style ribs.


Weber grill, lump charcoal.

That is all.


Propane is a shortcut you can taste.


This is a great story feature;  thanks for reporting. 

Jon from TJs
Jon from TJs

you didn't ask anyone about grilling of the easiest ways to prepare seafood.

Buy only fresh fish!

Fresh SALMON, SWORDFISH, SEA BASS, TUNAand HALIBUT all grill great!  Great grilling can't fix un-fresh fish.


Gimme some skin

Buy your fish"skin on" will hold together better and seal in moistness andflavor. Don’t like the skin? Don't worry, it will likely stick to your grill(if not, it will come right off after cooking.)


Clean your machine

Brush and oilyour grill after it is hot to ensurefish won't stick to the grill.


Never too late to marinate

Keep fish moist bymarinating it for 20-30 min. You never need to marinate fish longer than this.


For best dish, don't grill cold fish

When grilling, it'sbest not to grill cold protein.  So pullfrom the fridge and marinate at room temp (see above) 20-30 min before yougrill.


Feel the heat

Ignore yourgrill's temperature gauge. Put your hand an inch above the hot grill. If you can'tget your hand that close, it's too hot. If you don't have to pull away after 2-4seconds, it's too cold.


Honey, leave the lid up!

Grilled fishrequires one-directional heat. Closing the grill simply bakes your fish. Foronce, your wife will be glad you left the lid up!


Perfect timing

Most fish can becooked 6-7 min per side over medium heat ("feel the heat" for righttemp). Thicker fish add a min, thinner fish subtract a minute. For Tuna, 90 secper side should be perfect.


A ring of rocks; fire pit, steel grate, 1-1/2 inch think ribeye, scrounged oak firewood, bottle of Niro d'Avola, Commanche moon.........................Texas nice !


Thanks Jon. You're correct, sir. I should have had some seafood representation. I appreciate you offering it up. 


Hey Jon;  I would also add:

When  you bring your fish home, unwrap the fish and place on ice, uncovered (or lightly covered) !

Sitting wrapped in the referigerator destroys it's freshness!


oh yeah, and keep the ice fresh.  Don't let the fish sit submerged in melted ice water !!!

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