Andrew Zimmern grilling asparagus

Fire up the grill because this week we’ve teamed up with celebrity chef and host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre FoodsAndrew Zimmern for our Twitter chat!

This week’s theme is all about summer grilling and we want to hear about how you’re planning on marinating, barbecuing and cooking up delicious recipes this season. Tweet us your grilling #Pinspiration questions to @Pinterest and @andrewzimmern this Wednesday, June 25th, between 10-11am PST.

We’ll be talking about fire pits, seafood, barbeque sauces and other meats to prep and toss on the grill. We got a chance to chat with Andrew on how he’s heating up his grill this summer:

Andrew Zimmern holding corn.

Hi Andrew! With summer on the way, can you share a few easy tips for grilling?

It’s kind of Grilling 101, but most people don’t realize using spray oils is really handy for both cleaning your grill and for applying a thin coat of oil to the grill grates before you put a piece of fish or chicken down. I use PAM Cooking Spray or canola oils all of the time when I’m grilling. Then I usually give a quick spritz of olive oil or some other vegetable oil on top of the pieces when they first go down, so when I flip them over I have another micro-layer of oil between the food and the grill.

Most people don’t keep two-gallon Ziploc bags around. They will have quarts and some people buy gallons, but they make a two-gallon Ziploc bag. I go through boxes and boxes in the summer. I love to grill, so I end up grilling three or four nights a week. When I’m washing up from dinner, I will prep the next night’s dinner. Just last night I put 10 or 12 chicken pieces into a bag with some yogurt, a little garlic, oregano, lemon juice, olive oil, and when I get home tonight, it’ll be a 20-hour marinade. It makes the difference between good grilled food and great grilled food.

Stone fruit like plums, peaches and nectarines, often times are on sale in commercial super markets because they are kind of crappy. They have some mealy-texture issues. Those are the ones we rub with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice. Then we put them on the side of the grill and let them just roast and get crispy and yummy. Put them in a bowl with vanilla ice cream for a really simple dessert.Food map of 31 Meals to try before you die

From Austin’s best barbeque to Sydney’s fish market, here’s Andrew’s picks for 31 Meals to Try Before you Die

I save all of my pork, lamb, and beef scraps in Ziploc bags and freeze them for making kabobs.

Everybody is obsessed with cooking over oak or mesquite or all kinds of different hardwood charcoals, etc., but my favorite thing to use when I’m grilling is vine cuttings. You can find them in springtime in stores because vineyards are clearing out all of their vine cuttings. There’s just something about vine cuttings, especially if you soak them in a little bit of wine before you put it underneath a lamb leg on the grill, that is unbelievable.

Use a thermometer. You’ve got to. There’s no replacement. People who have been grilling for 30 years can touch a piece of meat and tell whether or not it’s done, but for most people it’s the best tool to tell you when your food is cooked to your liking.

Most people buy a grill that’s too small and doesn’t leave them room for doing indirect cooking. Even if you’re buying a traditional kettle grill like the conventional Weber, get one size up from the one you think you need because it allows you to do indirect heating. With propane one side can be lit, with charcoal the coals can be pushed to one side, food can be placed on the other, covered or uncovered.

Do not take the skin of your fish especially if you love to grill. Skin becomes, in some cases, the natural barrier to create a lovely crust between the heating surface and what you want to eat. Taking the skin off a fish makes it stick. A well-oiled grill and a well-seasoned and oiled piece of fish will never stick on a hot grill.

Please remember that cooking on the bone always imparts more flavor. More so with grilling than any other cooking technique. Bone-in steaks taste better than steaks cut off the bone. They take a little longer to cook and it allows you to maintain more time spent with the food connected to the heating source. Two nights ago I grilled chicken thighs and they were bone-in. They took 15 minutes to cook as opposed to 12 minutes with boneless. It allowed for the char to develop. I was able to go a little slower. It works out better.

As a world traveler and chef, how has Pinterest helped you discover recipes and plan your next adventure?

One of the most obvious benefits of Pinterest is that you’re able to flip through and see recipes, travel tips, design ideas, home photos, pets…you name it! You’re able to see all of that as fast as you can use your mouse pad. As a bright shiny objects person and someone who is always trying to learn as much as he can about the world, I can see more of it faster with tools like Pinterest than I can any other way.

 

Thanks for showing us how to heat things up on the grill, Andrew! Don’t forget to join us on Twitter this Friday and share your summer grilling #Pinspiration with Andrew and the Pinterest team. Also, be sure to check out his website and Pinterest boards for more recipes and inspiration. See you Wednesday!