Keep It Simple: Grilling Tips from the Los Angeles Times

Grilling Month has aroused us to flights of fancy involving very expensive wood-burning pizza ovens, high-end gas grills, and gadgets galore.

But in the end, you don't need any of that, says LA Times food writer Russ Parsons. After all, man has been cooking food directly over fire for thousands of years without the benefit of anything fancy. All you really need is a simple, inexpensive setup to make fabulous grilled meals all summer long.

He says:

I go home, light a little fire in my old kettle grill, and 20 to 25 minutes later I'm ready to cook something delicious: a butterflied leg of lamb marinated in yogurt and Indian spices, a whole chicken flattened and cooked under a brick so it's crisp and juicy, and even hickory-smoked spice-rubbed pork ribs so good they don't even need sauce.

Grilling is essentially a simple art, and the only thing all that fancy equipment does (aside from giving you flashy new toys to show off) is add a modicum of convenience.

Great! So how do we get started? Parsons continues with a helpful guide to equipment, charcoal vs. hardwood, rubs and marinades, and a tutorial on grilling ribs. There are also two slideshows of grilling recipes and basic (and not-so-basic) grilling equipment. There's even a video.

Very helpful, and great weekend reading!

Simplicity's the secret for perfect grilling at the LA Times.

Related: Video: Grilling Black Bass with Eric Ripert

(All images Robert Lachman and Mel Melcon for the Los Angeles Times)