Grill Tips from Texas's Best: Arnie Segovia

Comal with three tortillas on a grill
Arnie Segovia grinding spices in a molcajete

 If you’ve ever poked around YouTube in an attempt to learn more about barbecue, grilling, or even Mexican rice, chances are you’ve stumbled across — and become enamored with — Arnie Segovia aka ArnieTex. And while you may have come for his extensive knowledge, you’ll stay for his avuncular charm. This month's Chef en Residencia shares his top five tips for grilling like a pro.

#1 Have Fresh Spices & Seasonings Ready
For most people, grilling isn’t a daily thing, so rubs and seasonings can clump up, dry out, and lose their flavor over time, so opt for fresh spices and rubs you grind yourself.

#2 The Right Tools for the Job
Tongs: I love to use longer restaurant-style tongs for hot cooks. Don’t forget to clink them three times for good luck!
Knives: A sharp knife makes the job so much easier. This will help you make even, precise cuts in the trimming phase, and once you’re ready to slice for serving, you can do it seamlessly and quickly.
Fuel: Briquettes like Kingsford and wood like mesquite can add that extra layer of flavor to the food while providing lasting fuel for the fire.

#3 It’s All About Mise-en-Place
This French phrase roughly translates to “putting everything in place.” The prep, cooking, and serving process is smoother, more efficient, and on-time when you put in the extra work needed to prepare everything ahead of time. Your friends and family will thank you, and you will feel like a pro.

#4 Timing is Everything
Start your longer cooks like charro beans or brisket way earlier in the day. Then, work on your quicker cooks like guacamole and fajitas closer to the arrival time of your guests. Have a big ol’ bowl of pico de gallo ready ahead of time as an appetizer for the hungry guests. The bottom line: start earlier than you need to!

#5 Ask For Help
You don’t have to do everything alone! Ask your tía nicely to bring her famous Mexican rice. Maybe your grandma can help with the homemade tortillas and your uncle can show up with the hard-to-find chiles
de monte. A carne asada is all about the community gathering, sharing of fun times, and creating great memories.