Ree, what meals do you regularly cook ahead — or double and then freeze?
Brenda Erwin from Hurst, Texas
My Chicken Spaghetti recipe is definitely one of those casseroles I tend to double — and often triple — so I can have extra pans for the fridge. Lasagna is another one: If I’m going to cook up a big meat sauce and boil noodles, I might as well make twice the amount. The mess isn’t that much bigger and I get more bang for my buck. Some other things I love to freeze: sloppy joe mix, spaghetti sauce, taco meat and even pulled pork or beef brisket. If you wrap them carefully, they’ll do just fine in the freezer.
— Ree Drummond
Bobby, my dad thinks not cleaning our grill after a meal will give the food even more smoky flavor. Is this true?
Brianna Hoover from Madison, Wis.
No, you should always clean your grill. You want your food to taste like the food you’re actually cooking as opposed to the food you previously cooked. You should clean the grill and brush it when you’re done cooking. I have a grill brush, and that’s all I use. Make sure the grill is still hot — it’s easier to clean while the grates are warm.
— Bobby Flay
Robert, with your busy schedule on the road, how do you find time to work out?
Mike Altieri from Norristown, Pa.
Sometimes I have to use a hotel gym because I travel 345 days a year. Nine out of 10 times, I find a major gym next to the hotel that opens around 4 am, so I can exercise before the shoots. I work out six days a week, doing one body part per day: chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs. And I run and do abdominal exercises.
— Robert Irvine
Ina, I noticed you often go outside to your garden to pick fresh herbs for recipes. Do you have a method for preserving herbs like basil and cilantro? Drying doesn’t seem to retain the flavor.
Maggie Kadlecek from Austin
The only way to keep basil is to wash it, dry it well and put it in a plastic bag with an ever-so-slightly damp paper towel. For cilantro? I never use it because I actually don’t like it. I think it tends to overpower a dish — it’s such a strong flavor.
— Ina Garten
Michael, when grilling meat and fish, is it best to season before grilling or during? I was once told to season when the dish is half cooked.
Matt Dyment from Somerville, Mass.
Definitely before. I season my steaks and roasts the night before and my seafood about an hour before grilling. The seasoning makes for moist and much tastier food.
— Michael Symon
Have a question for a Food Network star? Write to us at FoodNetwork.com/Magazine.