Michael Chiarello's grilling style is all about flavor – getting smoke into just about everything. His order of fuel preference goes "wood, then wood charcoal, then regular briquettes, then gas." Cooking times and techniques are the same for all four (every recipe here calls for a "medium-high" grill, one you can hold a bare hand over for no more than three seconds), but wood imparts a more complex flavor. Drop a few hundred bucks on a fire pit from Home Depot or just burn logs in your Weber. Chiarello says fire pits are also easier to gather around: "Too many guys position their grills so they end up with their backs to the crowd." If nothing else, pull that Weber away from the wall.
Credit: Photograph by Cedric Angeles
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