Chef Dale Talde Shares His Best Tips To Make You A Grill Master - Exclusive

While Dale Talde's eclectic cooking style may be hard to nail down, one thing that's abundantly clear about his culinary repertoire is his passion for grilling. The restaurant chef and TV personality will be the first one to tell you how much he loves it. "It [goes] to your roots ... It's fire and cooking, and there's something so back-to-basics about it," as Talde put it to Mashed.

For Talde, every day is a good day to grill once the spring is in full bloom. "Once the temperature outside is above 70, and once my windows are open, that's when I'm grilling," he said. But he also acknowledges that not everyone gets as much joy from cooking over an outdoor flame as he does, and "it's something that people find challenging." So he has made it his mission to encourage more home cooks to get to know their grill – not just as something used on select summer holidays, but as your new best friend and extension of your indoor kitchen.

He's already working towards that goal with "All Up In My Grill," which just premiered its second season on Tastemade. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Talde shared his best advice to make firing up your grill go from off-putting and overwhelming to easy and exciting.

Master the mess first

Let's face it — no one likes cleaning the kitchen. Making dinner can feel daunting enough when you've got dirty dishes and counters to deal with afterward; adding a grill to the mix seems almost laughable. Who wants to deal with that kind of cleanup

"One thing people are always intimidated about is, 'How do I clean my grill?' Especially a gas grill," said Dale Talde. But we've got it all wrong. "The easiest way to clean a gas grill [is to] just turn it on," he said. "Get that thing so hot that nothing will live on it ... that's going to make it really easy to clean." Once the grill reaches a certain temperature, everything inside will burn off and turn to ash that can be easily wiped off.

Another trick to stay on top of the mess when you're grilling? "Have a landing spot" for everything before you start. "Get a plate and have a garbage can ready ... If you're putting something on the grill, it's got to come off it at some point. Where are you putting it after that? Those are the things you have to think about," Talde explained. 

Many of us already have a trash can outside. "You always use it when you're entertaining ... just have it out there and then change it," said Talde. Habits like these will help "integrate your outside kitchen into your everyday [routine]" and make grilling feel less like an intimidating chore.

Vegetables are your key to grilling greatness

If you don't have a lot of grilling experience, throwing down some steaks or a batch of chicken wings might not be the way to go. If you want to master the basics, Dale Talde said, "Start with vegetables. Stay away from proteins ... just [put the] vegetables you love on the grill." Not only are they "the easiest thing to start cooking," but it's a great way to be more sustainable.

Talde pointed out that grilling season also happens to be "spring and summer, that's when vegetables taste the best." Whether you're new to grilling or not, he said, "You should start your meals with what vegetables you are eating and then supplement it with protein." Talde cooks that way for himself at home. "I have a garden ... When my tomatoes and my eggplant and my chilies are all popping, that's what I'm cooking with."

Bottom line? Talde said your fastest path to grilling success is to "cook the vegetables that are in season because it's going to be the easiest, and those are the things that are actually meant to be cooked over the grill."

New episodes of "All Up In My Grill" air on Tastemade's streaming network — available across platforms like YouTube TV, Samsung TV Plus, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, The Roku Channel, Comcast Xfinity X1, and more — and on the Tastemade+ app.