Facebook

Tony Keely provides grilling tips for a successful and safe July 4th cookout

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Enlarge photo

'Having everybody out and around, you're outside, everybody's having fun, you see kids playing, just make it fun and don't overcomplicate it.'
Tony Keely
 
 

Amy Clifton Keely Photography

'Having everybody out and around, you're outside, everybody's having fun, you see kids playing, just make it fun and don't overcomplicate it.'

Tony Keely

 

 



Enlarge photo

Amy Clifton Keely Photography



Enlarge photo

Amy Clifton Keely Photography



Enlarge photo

Amy Clifton Keely Photography



Tony Keely has been cooking all of his life.

The Executive Chef at Northampton Wines Cafe in Greenville knows his way around a grill.

This July 4th holiday, Keely wants you to have fun while enhancing your skills at the grill as well. Keely spoke with GreerToday to offer some of his best advice on how to make you a better outdoor chef at your next family cookout.

GreerToday: One of the biggest questions people ask is, charcoal or gas?

Tony: That's a tough one. I use gas because of convenience but if I have time I would like to do charcoal. You want to make sure you use charcoal bricks that have no additives to it. You have to let it burn for a while. The flavor from charcoal is really good. I use gas mainly because of convenience but I do have a place to add wood chips to add a little bit of flavor.

GT: What is the difference in how each method (gas or charcoal) cooks the meat?

Tony: There is a difference. You want to get it slow. You want to get your grill first of all heated up. Gas is going to take about 15-20 minutes to let it go. Charcoal, you're going to have to let it burn for a good 30-45 minutes to get the coals all ready. A lot of people are in a rush and they want to throw that meat right on there so give it time and be simple. With the meats, just salt and pepper and maybe a little olive oil. With vegetables like squash, cut it in half with a little salt and pepper, throw it on the grill and get the char on the side. It's a perfect, simple dish. You don't want to make it too complicated.

GT: What advice and tips do you have for people cooking chicken?

Tony: Cooking chicken, you can brine it. It will dry out, especially if you're using white meat. The brine is usually one cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of salt, and about a gallon of water. Then you can add whatever you want, herbs, citrus, and let it sit overnight. When you pull that raw chicken out (of the brine) pat it dry so you don't get a flame up. That will give it more moisture. The sugar and salt will penetrate the meat and keep it moist.

GT: In your experience, which type of steak is the easiest to grill?

Tony: It depends what you're looking for. In a rib eye you've got that nice marbling through it. People say it's fatty, but you get a lot of flavor coming through there. If you want something a little less, then maybe a New York strip where it has a fat cap on the side but it's a little leaner. The main thing I would do is talk to the butcher or whoever is behind the counter and say hey, what is this? I want to grill what you have. Use your resources.

GT: What are your tips for cooking a steak exactly how you want it?

Tony: Use a thermometer. It's a really good way to keep you're steak how you want it. 120-125 degrees is rare, 130-135 is medium rare, 140-145 on up is a different degree. When you see where you want your steak, temp it and then that's where you want to bring it every time. Let it rest for 8-10 minutes after you bring it off the grill and don't flip-flop. Cook one side, let it go, then flip it over so you don't lose your juices.

GT: Can you give some safety tips for those who might be grilling this 4th of July?

Tony: Have a garden hose around you. Have some kind of water. Make sure debris isn't near you. Sparks and ashes can float a long way so pay attention to your surroundings and make sure you have backup in case something happens.

Tony's biggest message about grilling is one he wants everyone to read.

"It should be fun," said Keely.   "Having everybody out and around, you're outside, everybody's having fun, you see kids playing, just make it fun and don't overcomplicate it. Try new things. You're not going to hurt anything. There are no rules."

Want to sample Tony's cooking?

Northampton Wines Cafe

211-A E. Broad St. Greenville

Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m., Saturday lunch 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

864-271-3919

On the web.

Share



Leave a Comment



Trending: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Obituaries, Chon Restaurant, Allen Bennett Hospital