Fire up the grill. There are seven days to Memorial Day, the unofficial summer kick-off for thousands of Americans. Chicken is on sale. Watermelons are in season. Meteorologists predict temperatures could reach 80 degrees. It is a peak time to picnic.
Jim Stevens, agency manager at Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, takes the risk out of grilling. Smoking is the secret, he says, to perfect steaks, ribs and hamburgers.
Here are some "How To" tips from Stevens:
* Marinate, even if there is only an hour before the meat is supposed to hit the grill. One of Stevens' secret recipes is to cover both sides of the steak with Worcestershire sauce, then cover with a generous amount of garlic powder and steak seasoning. "The magic ingredient is to smoke it on the grill."
* Use a grill with a lid and vents. An open grill won't work.
* Put the charcoal in on one side of the grill and let them cook until white.