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Looking to get inspired to grill? From keeping your recipes healthy to eating with your hands, the benefits of a grilled dinner go on and on. Beyond steaks, burgers and hot dogs, nearly anything taste better grilled to perfection — we mean it, have you heard of grilled pineapple? We sat down with our Corporate Executive Chef, David Harker, to get the scoop on some delicious grilling inspiration for the summer.

Executive Chef Harker: Grilling Tips

Q: What grill do you have at home?

A: “Weber Genesis Grill, and an old Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill.”

Q: What’s your preference: Gas or Charcoal?

A: “Charcoal when I have the time or when I’m looking for a specific flavor. The key word here is time.”

Q: How often are you inspired to grill at home?

A: “When I’m home, at least once a week.”

Q: Do you grill wearing an apron?

A: “Not usually, unless we are entertaining and my wife doesn’t want me to stain my shirt or shorts, then I’ll grab an apron.”

Q: How do you prepare your grill?

A: “Always pre-heat the grill to the right temperature. I’ll also clean it with my grill brush and wipe it with an old towel and some beef tallow.”

Q: What’s your favorite food to grill?

A: “Burgers or any fish.”

Q: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever grilled?

A: “Pacu Ribs, from Pacu fish (also known as a Zombie Fish). It’s from the Piranha, and makes some killer ribs!”

Q: Pick your BBQ: Brisket or Ribs?

A: “I love good ribs on the grill.”

Q: What’s your favorite store bought barbecue sauce?

A: “Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue sauce is a great option. My wife buys it all the time and our family loves it. I always doctor it up a little bit though.”

Q: How do you season your burger patty?

A: “Classic Kosher salt and cracked pepper, I’m a simple guy.”

Q: How do you top your burger?

A: “Cheddar cheese, a fresh tomato from my garden, some shredded iceberg lettuce, ketchup, mayo, mustard and a dill pickle on the side. Also, I love a toasted bun on the grill.”

Q: What’s your perfect kabob?

A: “Chicken with Jerk paste.”

Q: What’s your favorite barbecue tool?

A: “A thermometer, especially when slow smoking meat like a brisket.”

Q: What’s the biggest mistake home cooks make while grilling?

A: “Overcooking chicken on the grill. It’s probably the easiest protein to screw up. You can easily fix this by lightly poaching chicken legs or chicken breast, then finishing it on the grill with a dry rub, some olive oil and a glaze of BBQ sauce so the chicken doesn’t burn or dry out.”

Q: Finish this sentence: “I never grill without…”

A: “…bourbon and time, it’s a simple game where you prep the food, cook it then eat it. Don’t try to over complicate it!”


Now get inspired to grill one of Executive Chef Harker’s favorite summer recipes, grilled Jerk Chicken.