Chef David Burke’s Tips for City Grilling

Just because you’re a city dweller doesn’t mean you can’t grill

The chef shares some of his secrets to city grilling.

With all of the new technologies and gadgets being released today, it’s getting easier than ever to fire up the grill in the city, whether it’s on your balcony, roof deck, or in your townhouse’s backyard. While a George Foreman grill and your building’s permission to cook over open flame may be all you need for city grilling, many people still shy away from it, fearing that their small city dwellings won’t be able to handle the heat.

I admit, city grilling can be intimidating, but it’s really because it poses two obstacles that can become a problem when you’re cooking in either confined or public spaces — flare-ups and smoke. Here are four tips for how to avoid them when grilling in the city:

Click here to see the Lemon Pepper Rub Turkey Burger Recipe

  • If you’re working in a small space and you want to avoid smoke, skip the marinade and use a rub, like the lemon pepper rub I use for my turkey burgers, instead. The acid and oil found in a marinade can cause flare-ups and excessive smoking, while a rub can impart just as much flavor without the fireworks.
  • Grilled vegetables are an easy and healthy way to enjoy the grill in the city, as they do not have fat and will cause the grill to smoke less than meats. Another great stand-in for meats is fish, because they require little oil for grilling.
  • For crispy, grilled chicken, remove the skin from the chicken breasts and bake them in the oven. Grill the skinless breasts while the skin is cooking and combine the two before serving. This way you’ll still give the chicken a charred, grilled flavor without the smoke and flare-ups that come from grilling fatty chicken skin.
  • Fruits are another great food to grill because they require very little time on the grill and are less likely to cause your grill to smoke. My grilled peach and arugula salad is a great recipe to try out on your city grill.
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Click here to see the Grilled Peach, Feta Cheese, Arugula, and Dandelion Green Salad Recipe