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Grill Up the Perfect Burger This Summer with Tips from Hilton Executive Chefs

Grilling at Hilton West Palm Beach
Hilton chefs share their best grilling tips, including the key to a perfect pattie

Summer is almost here, which means there’s no better time to fire up the grill. Whether you prefer meat, seafood, vegetables, or even cheese, there’s no shortage of ideas for dishes that can be barbecued.

We asked two Hilton executive chefs to share their best grilling tips and recipes. Read on to learn about the difference between using gas or charcoal, out-of-the-ordinary ideas for grilled dishes you can try this summer, and grilling tips most people forget about, including prepping, finishing and more.

Tips for Prepping and Finishing Your Grilled Dish

When it comes to grilling, two of the most important steps – what happens before and after the grill - are often overlooked. Guillermo P. Eleicegui, executive chef, Hilton West Palm Beach, shared that meat should always be brought to room temperature before cooking, not pulled straight from the fridge. And from red meat to pork to poultry, it’s also just as important to let meat rest after it’s done cooking.

“Let the meat rest for half the time that it cooked for: If it took 20 minutes to cook a beef tenderloin, it should rest for 10 minutes."

Hilton West Palm Beach - Executive Chef Guillermo Eleicegui

Guillermo P. Eleicegui

Executive Chef, Hilton West Palm Beach

Grilling the Perfect Burger

Patience is key to grilling the perfect burger, according to Eleicegui. “Once you put the burger on the grill, let it cook. The burger doesn’t need to be smashed or touched. Flip the burger once during cooking, be patient and let it cook until you reach the temperature you desire and enjoy,” he said.

Grilling: Gas or Charcoal?

Grilling novices may wonder the difference between using a gas grill vs. a charcoal grill. While using a gas grill will save time, charcoal will add more flavor, shared Pablo Ferreyra, executive chef, Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana. To add extra flavor to burgers, he recommends using walnut charcoal.

“The best way to grill is the charcoal grill, for the taste and the aroma.”

Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana - Executive Chef Pablo Ferreyra

Pablo Ferreyra

Executive Chef, Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana

New Grilled Dishes to Try This Summer

While meats and seafood are popular on the grill, don’t forget to try grilling fruits, vegetables and cheeses. Ferreyra recommends grilling hearts of palm for a superb side dish, while Eleicegui’s favorite is cheese. “In Argentina, we have a very traditional recipe for cheese on the grill called Provoleta. I use a very high-quality Provole cheese and place the cheese directly on the grill, boosting richness and creating a chewy texture. For perfect char marks without melting and creating a mess, use thick slices of Provole cheese,” said Eleicegui. “Drizzle the cheese with olive oil, then grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until grill marks form (1 minute per side for provolone). Serve with olive oil and oregano, bread, grapes, and preserves.”

The final tips both chefs shared are to have patience and enjoy the process. “Patience, a good fire is made slowly and with patience,” said Ferreyra. “Don’t rush the process, take your time and enjoy grilling. It should be a ceremony between the grill, smoke, wine, meats, friends and family,” said Eleicegui.

Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana - Churrasco

Prime Rib-Eye Grill Steaks, Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana

Makes 3 steaks



  • 3 Prime rib-eye steaks, each about 2 1⁄2 pounds and 1 3/4 to 2-inches thick
  • 2 heads garlic, cloves peeled
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the grill
  2. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature
  3. Season steaks generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Press the salt and pepper into the steaks. Set aside.
  4. Make the garlic paste: Trim the stem ends off garlic cloves.
  5. Place a small skillet over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons of the oil. Add the garlic cloves and bring the oil to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Strip the leaves off 2 sprigs rosemary and chop to make 2 tablespoons. Add the rosemary to the garlic and cook until the cloves are golden brown, about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally with tongs.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the garlic to cool in the oil.
  7. In a mortar or on a cutting board, mash the garlic into a paste. Mix the mashed garlic with the reserved oil and rosemary. You should have about 1/2 cup of paste.
  8. Place the meat on a hot grill and cook until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side.
  9. Cut 2 lemons in half and cut ends off. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the lemons on the grill with the steaks and serve with the steak.
  10. Smear 2 generous tablespoons of the paste over the first seared side of each steak. Place the steaks, paste side facing up, on the grill rack.
  11. Finish cooking on the cool side of the grill, with the lid on or in the oven until done to your preference, 10 to 12 minutes for rare (remove when an instant-read thermometer registers 120 degrees F
  12. Remove the steaks from the grill and allow the steaks to rest on the rack for about 10 minutes. Cover and keep warm while resting.