Every man believes he’s the undisputed king of the grill. But even the most dedicated outdoor cook can use a few tips from the experts. We asked three local chefs to share their wisdom as grilling season reaches its peak.


Timeless – An MHK Eatery

Nelson brings several decades of experience to the cooking of burgers, steaks, and seafood on the coal-fired grill at Timeless.

Preferred cut of meat: New York strip doesn’t need much prep, making it perfect for the grill.

Best fish: Salmon, the fattiness gives it a nice char.

Favorite vegetable: Zucchini is the best one that holds up on the grill.

Charcoal, wood, or propane: Wood produces a good high heat and imparts a bit of smokiness to food being grilled.

Useful tips for the home cook: Always dry whatever you are grilling  because the excess water creates steam which inhibits caramelization.

Most common mistake: Not having the grill hot enough; not allowing meat to rest before serving or cutting.

Preferred grilling beverage: Ice-cold New Castle


The Continental

Wicklander runs the kitchen at D’Amico’s The Continental, one of the area’s popular steak houses.

Preferred cut of meat: New York strip, a thicker cut so I don’t have to keep too close an eye on it.

Best fish: King salmon in season, as well as shrimp.

Favorite vegetable: Summer squash, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes

Charcoal, wood, or propane: Charcoal delivers a more consistent heat; throw on wood chips for flavor, if desired.

Useful tips for the home cook: Understand the cooking times of all your ingredients.

Most common mistake: Not using enough charcoal to keep the grill consistently hot enough to the finish.

Preferred grilling beverage: Ice-cold Summit IPA from Minnesota


Ridgway Bar & Grill

Ridgway has been supervising the grilling of steaks and chops at his restaurants, Ridgway Bar & Grill and Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar, for decades.

Preferred cut of meat: A 24-ounce center-cut prime New York strip

Best fish: Mahi grills up the best.

Favorite vegetable: Whole red onions, grilled slowly until caramelized.

Charcoal, wood, or propane: In a perfect world, charcoal; practically speaking, propane works great.

Useful tips for the home cook: For a thinner piece of meat, grill it when it’s very cold; for a thicker piece, bring it to room temperature before grilling.

Most common mistake: Walking away and realizing your food has burned up.

Preferred grilling beverage: A glass of sparkling wine or Champagne


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