Grilling suggestions for extra mild this 4th of July weekend

With Independence Day there's plenty of grilling, chilling, making friends and fireworks, which means now is the perfect time to get your grill ready with these must-have grilling tips for fun and flavor.

Successful grilling requires a clean cavity, the right amount of heat, and marinating techniques that can't go wrong. Stephen Coe, nationally recognized award-winning chef and owner of the New England-based Lobsta Love Food Truck, known for beating Bobby Flay at his own game on the Food Network show "Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay" and also a four-time Chopped Champion shares his expert tips for making your 4th of July BBQ one to remember!

First, let's prep your grill for 4th of July success. When preparing a grill, Chef Coe shares a few grilling tricks to get your cooking cavity clean, oiled and ready to go.

How to clean your grill

  1. Start by preheating the grill to about 400°F for about 15 minutes.
  2. Once the grill is hot, add some canola oil and a rag, then wipe down the grates and any other items that come in contact with the food. Canola oil is great for this as it has a high smoke point, so you can use it on hot surfaces without leaving a bitter taste on the grates.
  3. Next, before grilling, brush the grill grates thoroughly to remove any residue left on the grill. The last thing you want is dirt on freshly cooked meat.

CHEF'S TIP: Coe, host of the Food Network show Dangerous Eats, has become a big fan of using heavy-duty, bristle-free nylon grill brushes after cooking on hundreds of grill types. These style brushes get in all the right places and clean well without leaving metal parts behind.

Barbecue tips for the best fire for cooking

If you have a charcoal style girl, Coe recommends using a briquette style charcoal instead of the classic charcoal. This is because it is chemical free and made from real wood.

From there, Coe likes to add a few water-soaked wood shavings, as the wood shavings add a little extra fun to the smoke. #ChefsKiss

Dmitry Lobanov / Shutterstock

How to prepare your meat: seasonings and marinades

Unmarinated Meat:

Coe explains that when preparing an unmarinated steak, it's best to keep it simple and use a nice semi-crushed salt and pepper and a touch of dry garlic.

  • For the salt: Pink Himalaya, kosher
  • For the pepper: Szechuan pepper, a three-pepper mix.

For the dry massage:

Once you're comfortable grilling, "dry rubs are a great way to spice up your meat," says Coe.

However, you should make sure that the grill is not set too high. "This allows the rub to add flavor without burning," he explains.

How one: Remove the meat, season or rub to taste, and let sit for about 20 minutes. This allows the protein to warm up and temper. Coe thinks this allows the protein to accept the friction better, resulting in a better flavor profile and cooking experience.

Dry rub and marinade recipes from Chef Coe

Dry rub base for ribs:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Cajun Dry Rub
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp peppers
  • 1 tsp black pepper (ground)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix ingredients and apply to meat.

Coffee, chilli and cocoa rub

  • 2 tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp coriander (ground)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

Mix ingredients and apply to meat.

Citrus Spice Rub

  • 1 tbsp lemon powder
  • 1/2 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp paprika

Mix ingredients and apply to meat.


Chef Coe likes to marinate meat for at least 24 hours. This allows the marinade to soak into the protein and give it the flavor you want.

Chef Coe's favorite marinade

  • ½ tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and start marinating.

Chef Coe's chimichurri marinade is perfect for the 4th

(This recipe makes about 2 cups)

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 8 roasted garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon. kosher salt and more
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 TBSP. finely chopped oregano
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and start marinating.

A Must-Have Marinade Hack: A marinade can be reused at least once as long as the marinade has been properly refrigerated. Once you are done applying the marinade, place it in the fridge.

Stephen Coe grilling outsideStephen Coe

The "don'ts" when grilling

We've all made mistakes when grilling, but not this year, with these grilling tips!

  • Do not set the grill too hot - this will result in the food burning rather than cooking. Instead, cook the food slowly and on a low level.
  • Don't constantly touch the food - Place the food on the grill and let it cook. Once you see the color begin, flip it over.
  • Don't cut the food straight away - it's good to take the protein off the grill and let it rest. Letting the protein rest preserves the juices and flavor.

How to successfully grill a fish

When fish is on the menu for the 4th time, follow these tips to keep your fish from sticking to the grill while it cooks to perfection.

For a successful fish grill, Chef Coe recommends making sure your grill is hot, clean, and greased. "It gives you great grill marks without overcooking the fish and makes sure it doesn't stick," he says. Plus, those grill marks can give whoever is cooking it a boost of confidence.

Great fish for grilling

t every fish is suitable for grilling - for the best results choose swordfish, salmon, halibut, bass, grouper, mahi, snapper, lobster, trout, shrimp and scallops.

Keep these fish off the grill: White, scaly fish like cod and haddock.

Stephen Coe grills indoorsStephen Coe

If you don't have an outdoor grill, try these countertop grills for small spaces

Just because you don't have a BBQ (or even a yard) doesn't mean you can't enjoy the "BBQ" on the 4th. Take a look at these indoor grills that won't break the bank.

Proctor Silex compact grill

Proctor Silex compact grillGoal

Cooking and grilling food quickly and easily, this user-friendly grill is a perfect addition to your home, office or apartment, allowing you to enjoy the delicious taste of outdoor grilling anytime.

$21.99, at

Proctor Silex 2-in-1 Panini/Grill

Proctor Silex 2-in-1 Panini: GrillGoal

This sandwich maker doubles as a grill and is ideal for preparing burgers, chicken fillets and vegetables to perfection without taking up much space. Perfect for cooking up the 4th of July!

$33.99 at

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