Guy Fieri Shares His 5 Tips for the Perfect Summer Barbecue

Guy Fieri
Guy Fieri Gary Miller/Getty Images for Carnival

Guy Fieri has some pointers for when you’re ready to fire up the grill!

Us Weekly spoke exclusively to the celebrity chef just hours after he opened his newest restaurant — Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse aboard the Carnival Horizon cruise ship — and the Guy’s Family Road Trip star shared his five tips for the perfect summer barbecue.

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Take It Slow
“Barbecue is going low and slow. Barbecue is cooking a slower temperature with a seasoning, a dry rub, and then letting the meat get really worked by the heat and break itself down,” the 50-year-old said. “Grilling is another thing, that’s where we’re going hot and fast and searing the meat.”

Try Barbecuing Some Chicken
While beef and ribs are most often thrown on the barbecue, Fieri likes to experiment with other meats and is partial to roasted chicken, which he calls “one of the greatest things you can have in barbecue.”

“You take the chicken and you give it a nice brine. Equal parts of salt and sugar, a little bay leaf, and some peppercorns and chili flakes. Maybe some thyme and some garlic and you brine that chicken,” he advised. “The beautiful thing about it is that when you’re cooking something and you’re getting the bone, the fat, the skin, all of the pieces coming together, that’s what’s all adding that really deep rich flavor to that barbecue.”

Guy Fieri
Guy Fieri Gary Miller/Getty Images for Carnival

To elevate your chicken even more, Fieri then suggested making a sandwich out of it. “Take that roast chicken and pull it fresh from the chicken and mix some white meat and dark meat,” he said. “Throw it on a garlic bread toasted baguette and hit it with a little bit of your favorite hot sauce — Frank’s, or Durkee’s or whatever it might be — and a little blue cheese dressing. You get all of your crunch out of the toasting of the bread and don’t have to worry about it being the fried chicken element. You really get to taste the chicken.”

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Pick the Barbecue Sauce That Suits Your Taste
Seeing as the number of available barbecue sauces can be easily overwhelming, Fieri had one simple piece of advice to keep in mind when picking a topper — choose a sauce that matches your taste, whether it be sweet, tomato-based, spicy or whatever else. “Then you start making it from there,” he explained.

Remember the Sides
While the meat or protein tend to be the star of any summer BBQ, Fieri also suggested cooking up some tasty sides as well, such as a flavorful take on pasta salad like one he makes at Spaghetti House.

“We make mac salad at the Spaghetti House and it is an experience,” he said. The flavorful dish calls for finely chopped celery, onions, carrots, pepperoncinis and olives, which are then mixed with pepperoncini juice and an array of spices.

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And Vegetables, Too
With the meat and sides set, Fieri’s last pointer is to remember those veggies as well. ”I know everybody likes to make the protein the center of the plate, [but] to me, what really is the exciting factor is where are we going to take the vegetables?” he said. “My veggies are usually what speaks to me about where I’m going to take it [a meal.]”

With reporting by Marc Lupo

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