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Grilling tips for Father’s Day

Forget the tie this Father's Day and treat dad to an outdoor feast by grilling some steaks, seafood or veggies. You can make a simple holiday meal a gourmet event on the barbecue.

But before you break out the charcoal and the funny hat, here are some things to consider from some leading gourmet experts:

* Marinades: The longer something sits in a marinade, the stronger the flavor. Marinades with an acid content like citrus or tomato juice act as a natural tenderizer. Therefore, dense meat like beef benefits from overnight marinating, whereas seafood, being porous, should marinate only about 20 minutes. Any marinating time over 15 to 20 minutes should be done in the refrigerator.

* Never leave a grill unattended, as it will get very hot and can cause burns. Flair-ups are common and could start a fire. Always keep a fire extinguisher handy.

* Before you start, clean the grill with a long-handled wire brush on a heated surface.

* Fire up the grill in advance. When the charcoal is hot it will have a thin white ash coating.

* While it's heating, prepare your food. Make sure it's at room temperature before cooking (but don't let it sit longer than 20 to 30 minutes), and trim any excess fat off the meat.

* As a general rule, cook thin pieces of meat at a high temperature and fast, grill thicker pieces slowly on indirect heat so the inside can cook completely.

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