Getting Ready to Fire Up the Grill? Make Sure You Read These Tips From a Master Butcher FIRST

by Jeanine Asencio 6:13 PM, May 19, 2017

Aired July 31, 2017

Cooking meat on a grill seems pretty straight-forward, right?

You fire up the grill, throw the meat on and hope for the best.

Well… we hate to break it to ya, but it’s actually quite a bit more complicated than that. Think of grilling as an art. It’s so easy to accidentally overcook the meat making it dry and tasteless (click here here to see some gadgets that could help with that problem), but with these helpful tips from master butcher Ray Venezia, you’ll be grilling like a pro in no time!


“If you’re dealing with anything frozen, you don’t want to thaw it out completely,” says Ray. “You’ll lose too much of the moisture that way… so you only want to thaw it about three quarters of the way through, with the exception of your burgers.”

According to Ray, burgers lose a lot of moisture during the meat-grinding process, so once they’re frozen, throw them on the grill frozen.

READ: Save Money This Grilling Season with 7 Tips


Ray says the best way to keep flavor in chicken is to make a quick brine. For four pounds of chicken (whole or parts) all you need is two quarts of water and a half cup of salt. Refrigerate for two hours then take it out and bring to room temperature. Pat it dry, spray the grill down with a little oil and cook it skin-side down to start.

By following these steps, Ray says you’ll get a “really succulent, juicy chicken.”


Ray says that by bringing fresh beef to room temperature before grilling, it’ll cook quicker and the juices in it won’t evaporate too quickly and will have a chance to absorb into the meat.

“With thicker pieces like London Broil, you actually want to use a dry rub, not a liquid marinade,” says Ray. “Liquid marinades don’t penetrate enough, that’s how you get that ring around the piece of meat after it’s cooked because it doesn't go all the way through.”

Same deal with spare ribs (especially if you’re going to smoke them -- see this neat gadget Ray used to that here) -- he says that you should use a dry rub because if you use a marinade, the smoke won’t penetrate the meat as well.

Well, there you have it!

WATCH: Pat LaFrieda's Budget Grilling Ideas