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Grill Masters

August 15, 2017

Summer means many things – warm days, vacations and barbequing! Meet a few of Paso Robles Wine Country’s best grill masters!

Step behind the grill with Shayne Kline of SummerWood Winery & Inn,  Brigit Binns of Refugio, and Nixon Hazard of Paso Robles Vacation Rentals and learn some of the best grilling tips and tricks!

Shayne Kline, SummerWood Winery & Inn

General Manager

shayneWhat is your favorite thing to grill? Why? I’d have to say tri-tip; it’s super cliché to say when you live on the Central Coast but that also means you have to know how to do it.

What unexpected food is great on the grill? How do you grill it? Artichokes. After a quick steam or boil, cut length wise and coat with olive oil and garlic.  Place face down on a hot grill and flip around until they have the perfect char.

Favorite rub (or sauce) or rub (or sauce) recipe? I’m a big fan of the General Store’s salts with my favorite being Paso BBQ Salt.  It is super versatile, and I use it on beef, chicken, and fish.

The Central Coast is known for tri-tip- what is your secret to the best tri-tip dinner? For tri-tip, you can season or marinade many ways, I prefer Pappy’s seasoning for Santa Maria style but there are two things that you must do to make killer tri-tip.

After searing the tri-tip you don’t want to overcook it.  The middle (thickest part of the meat) should read about 125F on your thermometer.  As you move toward the end pieces (skinnier section of the meat) it will be more done.  This will ensure you have something for everyone.  I prefer my tri-tip seared on the outside and pretty red in the middle.  You also need to let it sit (rest) 15 to 20 minutes after you take it off the grill and before cutting into the meat or you will release all the juices right onto your cutting board.

The other secret to good tri tip is the way you cut the meat.  You need to determine how the grain is running and cut against it.  The grain on a tri-tip usually wraps around and is not consistent across the entire cut so it can be a little tricky.  If you cut with the grain you will have a tough and chewy piece of meat.

What wine do you drink while grilling, if different from above? This is an excellent question.  Most grill masters have a “while you are grilling wine” and a wine to go with the meal.  My go to while grilling wine is our Grenache Blanc, hands down.

Charcoal, wood, gas, other? Why? I actually own all three.  I’ve got a built in gas BBQ, a Santa Maria Grill, and an old school Weber.  I love my Weber, cook tri-tip on my Santa Maria grill and occasionally use the fancy built in gas grill.  Funny how that happens.

At your lodging property, can guests grill their own meal (or have a grilled meal prepared)?  We have had guest rent the entire Inn (9 rooms) for birthday parties and family reunions and often then will have us do a private dinner for them. We have done everything from grilled quail to tri-tip and even a gourmet burger bar.

Brigit Binns, Refugio


brigit binnsWhat is your favorite thing to grill? Why? A big cowboy steak using reverse-sear and then the “afterburner” method. (Google ‘em.)

What unexpected food is great on the grill? How do you grill it?  Nothing is unexpected for me since I develop recipes for Weber Grills and Williams-Sonoma. But wait until you try grilling “greens” like Romaine lettuce and radicchio.

What’s your secret ingredient or trick when grilling? Reverse-searing of meat (see above), spatch-cocking/butterflying poultry.

Favorite rub (or sauce) or rub (or sauce) recipe? I make an awesome “board sauce” by mincing a selection of aromatics (garlic, shallots), herbs (basil, Italian parsley), and fun stuff like capers, olives, or cornichons. Drizzle the whole thing with Paso EVOO, squeeze over a lemon, and mash together on the board. Slice the protein right on top, then swish slices together with the “sauce.” Yum.

What wine pairs best with your grilled insert your favorite? I love to sip chilled Grenache Blanc with my triple-garlic, wood-rotisseried Rinconada chicken!

Charcoal, wood, gas, other? Why? I have one gas grill, 5 charcoal grills, and a Santa Maria grill that burns oak. Oh, plus a pellet smoker. Gas is for sissies (sorry if Ive offended anyone), but it’s helpful as a back-up.

At your lodging property, can guests grill their own meal (or have a grilled meal prepared)?Down at Refugio we have a Weber Performer for guests to use. Also, if guests have experience with a wood-burning pizza oven and or a Santa Maria barbeque, they are welcome to use those as well. Call it Griller’s Paradiso.

For visitors to Paso Robles, what ingredients are quintessential Paso Robles? Pasture-raised meat and poultry, excellent local eggs, avocado, citrus, artichokes. I could go on, and on, and…

Nixon Hazard, Paso Robles Vacation Rentals


nixonWhat is your favorite thing to grill? Why? Favorite thing to grill are thick ribeye steaks.  There is just something about a well-marbled ribeye that other cuts of meat just can’t compete with on the grill.

What unexpected food is great on the grill? How do you grill it? Figs or peaches, just put them face down on the grill to heat up and get some grill marks.  When you take them off drizzle them with honey and pair with goats’ or fresh mozzarella. It is a simple dish that adds a lot of flavor to your meal.

What’s your secret ingredient or trick when grilling? Season the steaks early with salt at least 40 minutes, for best results leave the salted steaks in the refrigerator overnight uncovered. The salt will pull the moisture out of the steak which will create a dryer outer skin that gives you a much better sear.  I only add pepper after I cook the steak because pepper will burn when put on the grill.

Favorite rub (or sauce) or rub (or sauce) recipe? Salt and pepper are all that I use for steaks.  If I am doing some type of BBQ or smoking that is the only time I will use a rub, I do not have a favorite though.

The Central Coast is known for tri-tip- what is your secret to the best tri-tip dinner? It is a bit unconventional for this area but the reverse sear method in a cast iron pan is my favorite.

Salt the tri-tip at least 40 minutes before cooking, put it in the oven at 225-250 and bake it until it reaches at least 130 degrees (1-2 hours depending on the size of the tri-tip).  Pull it out of the oven, cover it and let it rest for at least 15 minutes, do not puncture the meat.  The 15-minute resting period is to allow the juices to be reabsorbed into the meat. If you puncture the meat, you will let it all run out. When getting to the end of the resting period take a large cast iron pan and pour in about 2 tablespoons of avocado oil, put the pan on the highest heat you can, once the oil starts to get close to smoking then carefully put the tri-tip into the pan.  Cook each side of the tri-tip for only a minute or two, just enough to get a good sear on each side but not enough to burn it.  To finish throw a tablespoon or two of butter into the pan and baste the tri-tip with the melted butter for a minute.  Remove the tri-tip from the pan, cover the outside with ground pepper, slice it against the grain and serve immediately.

Charcoal, wood, gas, other? Why? Wood is preferred when using a grill or BBQ but I am partial to cast iron cooking with oil and butter. Depends on what I am grilling and what kind of meal I am going for.

At your lodging property, can guests grill their own meal (or have a grilled meal prepared)?Every one of our properties that allows for a grill has one, we encourage our guests to enjoy our spectacular weather as much as possible while they are in town. Some guests do want to have a local chef cook for them at the property, which is something we love to accommodate for when requested.