Rule 1. No Holleration-
Grill Master Chris Pratt says, “No drama goes down at my backyard barbecue. If you’re in a fight with your girlfriend, don’t bring her. If you just broke up and you want to talk about it, call a family member. Barbecues are for fun only.”
Rule 2. Know Your Grill-
1. For the Couch Potato
Char-Broil Tru-Infrared 500 IR Porcelain Gas Grill, $399
A few years ago you had to drop Trump cash to get infrared, but Tru does it for less than the cost of a toupee. Three burners share 35,000 BTUs and bring super-high heat. Since gas grills maintain temp, we filled ’er up with steaks while playing Call of Duty.
2. For the Fetishizer
The Grillworks by Grillworks Inc., $3,975
To start this workman’s grill, you build a fire on the steel grates using sticks. It’ll take you back to your Boy Scout days—especially once the meat comes out. (Zing!) To change temp, crank the wheel, which moves the surface up and down. It’s like sex, but more delicious.
3. For the Multitasker
Napoleon Apollo 3 ’n 1 Smoker, $399
Most smokers are good at two things: slow-cooking meat until it barely requires chewing and making your ’hood smell like Texas. This convertible cooker does both with aplomb and acts as a traditional charcoal grill when you don’t have eight hours to cook dinner.
4. For the Purist
Weber One-Touch Gold 22.5-Inch Charcoal Grill, $159
Weber founder George Stephen created the original kettle in 1952 by cutting a metal buoy in half. From those badass beginnings, it’s only gotten better. Best new accessory: the cast-iron griddle. We laid bacon, burgers, and brats on it in a grease orgy unseen since Vaseline first appeared on a porn set.
Rule 3. Drink Beer-
We’re not gonna pretend that wine and cocktails aren’t good with barbecue. But for easy all-day drinking nothing beats a cold brew in a can. Our choice: Tecate. Light-bodied and mildly sweet, it’s the Corona of Mexico!
Grill Master Chris Pratt says: “Everyone must make His own beer pyramid. I get seven 30-packs. unless there are a lot of people, then I up it.”
Rule 4. Serve a Meat-Only Menu-
Break free from veggies drowned in mayo (we’re lookin’ at you, coleslaw). And if anyone whines? Says Texas chef Tim Love, whose annual July 4th barbecue has become “Meat Day,” “You complain at that party, you get kicked out.”
Tim Love’s All-Meat Menu
Thick-cut pork chops
Slow-roasted beef ribs
1 whole pig
2 whole fish
New York strip
Rule 5. ...Except for Pizza-
Why? Because it’s cool to make pizza on a grill, that’s why. Tony Gemignani, chef-owner of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco and nine-time World Pizza Champion, explains how.
1. You’ll need low, indirect heat. On a gas grill, set side burners to medium and middle to low. With charcoal, create a hole in the middle of the coals, light ’em, and put the rack on.
2. Get 8–14 ounces of room-temperature dough from your local pizzeria (or make your own)—enough for a small to medium pie. Flour and shape it into a 12-inch circle.
3. Flop the dough onto the grill for 20–30 seconds, checking for grill marks. “At that point it becomes like a tortilla,” says Gemignani.
4. Flip it over and add pregrilled toppings.
5. Close grill to trap heat and cook toppings, checking the bottom for burning. If it’s cooking faster than the top, slide pie onto a pizza pan or cookie sheet and leave for about two minutes.
Check out Tony Gemignani's Steak Pizza Recipe
Rule 6. Put your party on blast-
Know what’s not cool? Setting your sliver of a music player next to a few hamster-size speakers for your big party. Enter the TDK 3 Speaker Boombox ($499), a 26-pound middle finger to futuristic design. All ’80s on the outside—featuring two 10-watt fiberglass cone speakers with dedicated tweeters and a 15-watt subwoofer —the retro radio has modern functionality, with iPod and instrument inputs in addition to a digital AM-FM tuner. (Karaoke, anyone?) Sixteen-year-old LL Cool J not included.
Grill Master Chris Pratt says: “I like to start off with the Zac Brown Band, then go straight to Dr. Dre, then a little bit of reggae.”
Rule 7. Get a Motto-
Grill Master Chris Pratt says: “My motto is, ‘fat equals flavor,’ Both in grilling and lovemaking. that’s what I’ve been telling my wife anyway."
A man should live by a creed, and that creed should be singed on meat whenever possible. For that task, pick up a BBQ branding iron ($17, amazon.com), which comes with a Scrabble-like set of letters that’ll form any message you want. Ours reads: eat our meat.
Rule 8. Muzzle Backseat Grillers-
Know how dudes like to gather around the grill while you cook, pretending they’re just there to talk about their latest round of golf, but you can feel their eyes on your steaks with the intensity of a molester at a playground?
Then they pipe up with a brilliant tip: “Time to flip those.” We asked a few experts how to handle these know-it-alls with grace and class.
“Usually an open-handed slap to the face wins this fight. Or you can take a trick out of my dad’s book and flick hot grease on them from the spatula.”
--Grill Master Chris Pratt
“Most important is establishing seniority. An alpha griller takes control of the situation and never accepts input from anyone around him.”
--Tony Siragusa, Fox Sports NFL analyst and Maxim editor-at-large
“Send them for another beer. Or tell them you’ll come over to their house while they’re cooking."
--John Stage, founder of New York’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurants
Rule 9. Eat Your Mistakes-
Charred that meat beyond recognition? There’s a fix, says chef Tim Love. “Turn it into something else, like killer nachos. Lower the heat on one side and put the nachos there on tinfoil. Keep the fire hot on the other side, shut the lid, and now you’ve got a beautiful oven with smoke coming across the nachos. The chips will crisp up real nice and absorb some smoky flavor. And the meat will be good and flavorful, but since it’s pulled it won’t be so chewy.”
Rule 10. Listen to the Meat-
According to John Stage, the biggest mistake amateurs make is to flip their meat too much. You’ll go blind!
“You want to get that sear. Flip too soon—especially with hamburgers or fish—and it’ll break apart or stick. That piece of meat will let you know when it’s ready to be flipped. You have to let it release itself from the grill.” How Zen!
Rule 11. Pace Yourself, for Chrissakes-
Professional meathead Jeff Savell, Ph.D., professor of animal science at Texas A&M, tells you how to survive a day of flesh-eating fun.
“Treat it like a wine tasting, where you start with whites and end with the full-bodied reds. Begin with poultry, then pork, and end with heartier, more flavorful cuts. And eat spicy meats like sausages near the end so you don’t run out of gas.”
Try a Little Tenderness
“As the day goes on, your jaw will get tired, so save the tender cuts for last. Even if you’re fatigued, you can eat a filet mignon.”
Rest Your Gut
“An active man keeping up a 3,000- calorie-a-day diet could eat seven three-ounce portions in a day, with a minimum hour break between each serving. It’s better to start early and end by 8 p.m.; otherwise you’re going to have a hard time getting to bed.”
Don’t Bowel Out
“When eating this much protein, be sure to drink plenty of water. Try to stick to cuts with lower fat content so your gallbladder doesn’t go nuts trying to handle all the lipids. Also, because you’re loading up with dense products, one of two things will most likely happen: You will be very constipated, or it’ll turn into more of a diarrhea experience. It’s a 50-50 shot!”
Tony Gemignani's Steak Pizza Recipe
Guy's Guide to Summer
Eat to the Beat
Great American Bar Search
Maxim Beer Awards