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Food & Recipes

4 Classic BBQ Recipes Made Better With Tips from Celeb Chefs Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis, the Pioneer Woman, and More


With grilling season in full swing, giving some of your favorite dishes an upgrade can produce yummy results. These celebrity chefs reveal their quick-prep tricks for some delicious hot off the grill, BBQ recipes made better!

Guy Fieri’s Barbecue Pork Ribs

BBQ Ribs

The Food Network star infuses barbecue sauce with tequila to ensure these ribs are extra tender!

Active time: 20 min. Total time: 3 hrs. Serves: 8

  • 1⁄3 cups barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder 
  • 2 racks pork baby back ribs (5-6 lbs.), thin membrane removed
  • 1⁄3 cup tequila

1. Prepare grill for medium-low indirect-heat cooking. In pot, combine barbecue sauce and tequila; over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until thickened, about five minutes. Let cool.

2. Combine spices and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Rub over all sides of ribs. Grill, covered and flipping occasionally, until tender, about two hours, brushing several times with 2⁄3 cup sauce during last 20 minutes of cooking time. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

Guy’s key to flavor-packed ribs: For stand-out ribs every time, Guy recommends pulling off the tough membrane on the underside of ribs before adding the rub (it blocks flavor). To do: Use a sharp knife to loosen one edge, then pull across to remove it in one sheet.

Giada De Laurentiis’s Grilled Pizza

Grilled pizza

Sausage pizza is Giada’s specialty — and this pie is a cinch to put together, thanks to precooked seasoned chicken links.

Active time: 25 min. Total time: 1 hr. Serves: 4

  • 1⁄2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup seedless strawberry jam 
  • 3 links fully cooked chicken sausage 
  • 1 (15 ounce) pkg. store-bought pizza dough 
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 cups mixed greens 
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries

1. Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking. In bowl, mix sauce and jam. Grill sausage, turning, until lightly browned, 5–7 minutes. Slice.

2. On lightly floured surface, stretch dough  into 13 inch round. Brush with two teaspoons oil. Place on grill oiled side down; grill until browned, 2–3 minutes. Brush with remaining oil. Flip; grill until toasted, 2–3 minutes. Reserve 1⁄4 cup sauce; spread remaining over crust. Top with greens, sausage, cranberries, and reserved sauce.

Giada’s key to perfect pizza crust: You don’t have to be a pro to make pizza like one: First, flatten dough slightly, then roll it out, starting from the center, until it’s 1⁄4 inch thick. Next, try this trick Giada learned from her grandfather: Drizzle the dough with olive oil before adding the toppings. This will ensure the crust stays moist inside and crispy outside.

Ree Drummond’s Pulled Pork

Pulled pork

Adding pan juices to bottled barbecue sauce is the Pioneer Woman’s easy secret to this low-and-slow cooked meal.

Active time: 20 min. Total time: 7 hrs. Serves: 10

  • 1 (5 lb.) bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tablespoon. brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 onions, halved 
  • 1⁄2 cups barbecue sauce

1. Prepare grill for low indirect-heat cooking. Rub roast with sugar, spices and 1 teaspoon salt; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Place onions in roasting pan; place pork on top, fat side up. Place roasting pan over indirect heat; grill with lid closed until meat is very tender and meat thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 195 degrees Fahrenheit, about six hours. Transfer pork to plate; slice onions. Skim and discard fat from pan juices; stir juices into barbecue sauce. Using forks, shred meat; add onions. Serve with sauce.

Ree’s key to fast shredded pork: For a pop of extra yum, Ree likes to roast her pork with onions. As the meat cooks, the juices flavor the veggie and make a delicious sauce. Once cooked, remove excess fat from the pork, then press onions into the roast and, using two forks, pull in opposite directions to shred the meat.

Curtis Stone’s Steak with Herb Sauce

Steak with herb sauce

The Aussie chef says you can make the brightly flavored sauce ahead — just cover, chill, then bring to room temperature when ready to serve.

Active time: 15 min. Total time: 1 hr. Serves: 6

  • 1 lemon 
  • 1 cup fresh parsley 
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil 
  • 1⁄2 onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 (12 ounce) boneless beef strip steaks

1. Prepare grill for medium-high direct-heat cooking. Grate one teaspoon zest and squeeze two tablespoons juice from lemon. In food processor, combine parsley, cilantro, oil, onion, garlic, pepper flakes, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, lemon zest, and juice. Pulse until finely chopped; reserve.

2. Sprinkle steaks with 3⁄4 teaspoon salt. Grill, flipping once, 3–4 minutes per side for medium rare or until desired doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with sauce.

Curtis’ key to well-seasoned meat: To ensure your steaks are evenly seasoned all over, take a cue from Curtis and sprinkle the salt and spices from 12 inches above the meat. This will give you more control over where the granules fall, resulting in perfect flavor with every bite.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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