Red Lobster Chef Michael LaDuke Grilling Tips

If warmer weather has you craving fresh, grilled food or natural flavors at your next meal, Red Lobster’s Executive Chef Michael LaDuke has some helpful tips for you this grilling season. And, if you prefer to eat from the experts be sure to come into Red Lobster to taste our delicious seafood and non-seafood menu items, prepared by trained Grill Masters!

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1. Clean Reigns Supreme. Whether grilling fish, steak or chicken, a clean grill is a must. Start by scraping the grill with a wire-bristled brush to remove any remnants from previous grilling. Then, using a non-aerosol product such as a towel, coat the grill grates with a light coat of vegetable or olive oil to prevent food from sticking.

2. Use High-Quality Meats. Select fresh, high-quality seafood and meats to throw on the grill. By using high-quality seafood and meats it’s a virtual guarantee against flame flare-ups and makes cleanup easier.

3. Don’t be Shy with Seasoning. Whether you’re using a dry rub or wet marinade, don’t be bashful when it comes to the amount you layer on.

a. For steaks, Red Lobster recommends “the big four”: combine salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, mix and shake on your protein.

b. For chicken use a wet marinade, be creative with ingredients and give it a kick by combining salt, pepper, ketchup, molasses, Worchester sauce, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and for a bit more fire, add hot sauce.

c. For seafood, use something light and simple to bring out the flavors: combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

4. Marinate Gradually. Let your meat marinate in a refrigerator for up to two hours before cooking to infuse the flavor. Set aside an extra dish of marinade just for basting while cooking to avoid spreading any bacteria. Finally, before putting your meat or seafood on the grill, drain off the excess marinade or sauce and pat dry.

5. Identify the Hot Spots. Check the grill for hot and moderate temperature zones. We do this at Red Lobster by briefly running a hand about three inches above the grill. It should be at least at 500 degrees for meat and fish. For even cooking, place thicker foods at the center of the grill, smaller pieces toward the edges, and leave one inch of space between each piece of food.

6. Check the Clock. Steak, fish and chicken do not have to be grilled at different temperatures, but do have to be grilled for different times. Fish, depending on thickness, should be cooked for about two to three minutes on each side. Steak, depending on preference, should be cooked for about four to five minutes on each side. For boneless chicken, cook for about four to five minutes on each side. And for bone-in chicken, cook for six to eight minutes and always use a meat thermometer to ensure a proper temperature of 165 degrees.

7. Grill ‘Marks’ The Spot. The Red Lobster Grill Master secret to great looking steak, fish and chicken is perfect grill marks. When meat or fish is nearly 60 percent done, set in one place on the grill for two to three minutes without turning. Then, rotate a quarter turn (90 degrees) on the grill and cook for two to three minutes longer on the same side. Flip to other side and repeat.

For additional grilling tips and seafood recipes visit www.redlobster.com.

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