Homefront: Some Like it Hot … And Grilled

As the days get hotter, so does your grill. Chef-owner Sean Weinberg, who serves most of the menu choices at Malvern’s BYOB Restaurant Alba straight from the wood-fired grill, shares tips on how to turn up the heat in your back yard.

THERE’S THE RUB Meats benefit from a marinade, says Weinberg. At the very least, he says, rub with salt and pepper. Chutneys, relishes, homemade ketchups and French mustards sweeten meat, and the brave can try coffee and brown-sugar rubs.

SIMMER DOWN “Never cook over open flames,” says Weinberg. “Always cook over coals or burned-down wood. It adds that smoky flavor without scorching the food.”

OCEAN GRILL Cook whole fish on the bone to keep it from drying out. Heartier steaks like swordfish won’t break apart on the grill, but if you want a delicate white fish, like tilapia, Weinberg recommends a fish spatula — a perforated, flexible spatula that allows you to get under fish without breaking it apart. “Williams-Sonoma’s Fish Lifter is great,” he says.

SPICE IT UP “Throw dried herbs onto your charcoal,” says Weinberg. “The food absorbs those nice, fresh flavors.”

DON’T FORGET DESSERT Grill some flatbread, mango and pineapple, then spoon fruit over flatbread, and top with fresh mint and a little confectioner’s sugar. Even better, rub pound cake or angel food cake with butter and add it to the grill. “It comes out buttery and crunchy.”

Restaurant Alba, 7 West King St., Malvern 610-644-4009; www.restaurantalba.com.