Summer's Sumptuous Sizzle

It’s summer—time to head outside to savor the warm weather, good friends and some grilled meat because as Homer Simpson says, “You don’t win friends with salad.” Here are some of our top picks for outdoor grilling.

1. Grilling is a social event. Enjoy the good times around the Jamboree Island barbecue’s raised bar and prepare meals with the four burners. $2,999 at Barbeques Galore
(San Rafael). 415.453.0261,

2. The sleek, stainless-steel Charmglow Gas Grill features porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates, a wire warming rack and a dual lid perfect for simultaneous grilling or keeping food warm. $299 at the Home Depot (San Rafael). 415.458.8675,

3. The perfect burger is within reach. The Mini Burger Press is an easy way to instantly shape bite-size patties. $26 at Williams-Sonoma (Corte Madera). 415.924.6799,

4. Take the party just about anywhere with this Portable Barbecue Pit, which has wheels and a handle for easy transport. The slow-cooking feature will caramelize meat on the outside while keeping it tender on the inside. $400 at Sur La Table (Corte Madera). 415.945.0112,
— S.F.


Words of Wisdom

When it comes to serving up fall-off-the-bone, tender and tasty barbecue, no tool is going to replace expertise. Frank Mead, aka the Grillmaster, has been serving up some of the finest BBQ fare for nearly 20 years here in Marin. Here’s his take on some basics.

Cook it fast or slow? The Grillmaster always recommends slow-cooking of all your meats. Cover when possible.

What is your favorite marinade? One of the best marinades is What’s-This-Here-Sauce made with Worcestershire, brown sugar, garlic and cayenne.

When is it done? Cooking is like making music; you know it’s done when the song’s over. If you can’t hear the music, use a thermometer.

Want to sample his magic in person? Frank is opening a new location at Ignacio Center in Novato, along with his regular appearances at the San Rafael farmers’ market—or just hire him for your own party. Check out for more info. — M.T.