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Chef's Table

How To Grill Like A Pro - A great cut of meat and a charcoal grill only go so far...

With Father’s Day celebrations this month we wanted to see if we could pick up some pointers on how to hone our skills and grill like a pro this summer. Joe & Meg Romano of Urban Kitchen make it look so easy, they were the perfect grill masters to ask…

“Mastering the steps is critical for grilling. 

The most important step is you gotta have Watermelon Margaritas for everyone. 

That way you can make as many mistakes as possible.” 

- Joe Romano

Let’s move on to the marinade. Season both sides of the meat. The longer you leave the marinade the deeper it penetrates the interior of the meat. If you want to be precise stick with “not too long but not too short.” Morning to afternoon is a good rule of thumb. 

Iconic Hot Sauce is a blend of 30 different chilis roasted to perfection. This unique combo is incredibly flavorful yet aims to complement rather than overpower meat so you can still taste all of the other ingredients of your meal. As master chefs and artists let’s take it from Joe and Meg, if you get this step down, you are off to a good start. Iconic Hot Sauce can be found at Wild West Market or Urban Kitchen.

Let’s talk about meat. Depending on what you’re looking for in steak, the right cut can make all the difference. It’s all about fat distribution and how you finesse that cut. Pro tip: Do not, under any circumstance, throw a steak on a grill straight out of the fridge. 30 minutes is the bare minimum to bring it to room temperature, and trust us when we say, this can make or break you. This June we went with a Flank Steak which can really show off your now superior skill set. Flank is the least marbled and has a good solid structure which matters because it absorbs the flavor of the marinade better. This cut you definitely want to infuse with a flavorful marinade because the acid of the marinade actually starts to tenderize the meat. Pro tip: cutting the steak with a sharp knife against the grain is what gives your guests the melt in your mouth texture. 

Now that you have the marinade and the meat down let’s talk about temperature. How hot should you go? Intrinsic to grilling is that due to the open air nature, the grill actually cools as it’s cooking. The answer is: As high as your grill will let you. Propane is a quicker option and can be used year ‘round with more even temperature variance. Charcoal is a labor of love and the flavor can’t be beat. No matter which you choose, preheating is an important step. Let’s start with Propane: Get your grill H.O.T. if you want a good char. Let’s rephrase that - You want a good char! So heat your propane grill up for about 20 minutes so you can burn off debris and clean off your grates. Charcoal will infuse your steak with the flavor of summertime and make your neighbors jealous but if you struggle with patience this is not the choice for you because you are cooking with the coals and those briquettes must be red hot. No matter which you choose the key is in the steps so don’t overcomplicate: Preheat and throw it down. 

Now you’re cooking with fire. Position and reposition at 45-degree angles on both sides so you get those pro-style hatch marks. If you have a one inch steak and you like the marks on both sides you probably have a mid-rare steak. The perfect mid-rare has spring back so there should still be a little give to the meat. Pro tip: Don’t close the grill. Watch the grill. Do not walk away from the grill. 

“You gotta milk it. It’s a rite of passage and it’s 45 minutes of peace. 

That’s the key to why you never leave the grill. 


- Joe Romano

Now it’s time to refill your margarita, rejoin your family, and let your masterpiece rest. Pro tip: uncovered for ten minutes.