For Healthy Flavor, Try Grilling

Grilling is an American summertime tradition.

In his sixth cookbook, "Grilling for Life," The Early Show resident chef Bobby Flay describes it as "the most basic method of cooking there is. It dates back to the times of caveman: food plus fire equals good."

But, Flay's book says, "When it comes to healthy food from the grill, evolution has been slow, producing lots of nutritionally sound, but incredibly bland recipes."

That's where Flay steps in,

"Grilling for Life" is about getting the biggest, boldest flavor possible from food and fire, while making healthy choices all the way.

It's not your average grilling book, because it includes tips on the healthiest veggies, fish and other foods. Each recipe features a nutritional analysis.

To read an excerpt of "Grilling for Life," click here.

On The Early Show Wednesday, Flay kicks off a three-part series on healthy grilling with recipes for flavorful chicken and Portobello mushrooms.

Flay uses a gas grill in the demonstration. He uses both gas and charcoal, believing both have their pros and cons. But he stresses that, whichever you choose, you should keep the grill clean. Keep the grate "reasonably clean, not crusted over," he advises.

Flay likes gas because the fire is consistent and easier to control. He believes a charcoal grill requires more work, but "gives food a smokiness that gas can never imitate."

He also says that if you're using charcoal, you shouldn't use an instant-light charcoal or lighter fluid. Flay asks, "Is that what you really want your food to taste like?" He suggests that, instead, you take ten extra minutes and use a chimney starter for your coal.

Flay points out that other tools you need for grilling include tongs, metal spatulas, meat thermometer, and brushes for applying glazes, sauces, and oils.