Grill fests usually involve seeking out the fattiest, most celebratory cuts of meat we can find, then lathering on sugar-packed sauces and going for broke. But barbecue days don’t have to be cheat days.
“Grilling is actually inherently healthy because you’re taking away the fat and adding flavor with an open flame,” says Project Smoke author Steven Raichlen.
We asked Raichlen and Jamie Purviance, author of Weber’s New American Barbecue, to show us the easiest ways to grill what’s good for us.
First things first: The Expert’s Guide to Grill Heat
A simple Mississippi count is the best way to determine the temperature of your fire, says Raichlen. Hold your hand, palm-side down, four inches above the grill grate. If you can only hold your hand there for two to three Mississippis before you have to move it away, you’ve reached “high heat” (roughly 500°F). A medium-high fire is four to five Mississippis, and medium heat is six to eight.
Check out the best recipes and ways to grill your favorite foods: