Feeding the Flames: Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction

Bobby Flay gives Food Network Magazine a behind the scenes look at his new show, Barbecue Addiction.

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

Photo By: Dave Lauridsen

It takes a lot more than a bag of charcoal to grill on TV, and no one knows that better than Bobby Flay, who's headed into his 18th year on the air. We stopped by the office to see what goes down.

Catch the chef's new show, Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction, Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.

Location scouts spend a month finding the perfect rental home for shooting. This one, for Grill It!, had a pool, though the busy crew never had time for a dip.

One gas grill and one charcoal grill won't cut it for a big production. "The task of getting all of Bobby's grills was a tall order," producer Jill Gibbs says. On his new set for Barbecue Addiction, the chef has three smokers and seven grills, including specialty ones like a Greek rotisserie and an Argentinian parilla. The culinary team keeps 12 more grills backstage for recipe testing—including three or four just for keeping hot charcoal at the ready.

Every series that Bobby shoots requires hundreds of dishes, linens, utensils, platters and bowls; they often fill an entire room of the rental house (in this case, for Grill It!, a bedroom).

After years of working with Bobby, prop stylist Jennifer Barguiarena knows the chef's taste (big, bold colors) and his plating techniques: He likes abundant, family-style barbecue feasts.

Barguiarena keeps plenty of options on hand to match any dish.

A dedicated grocery runner typically spends 10 hours a day shopping for the show—and that's on top of the meat and produce delivery that arrives on set each morning. Everything is stored in five fridges and on shelves in the rental-house garage.

Each season, Bobby's prop department orders 10 fresh sets of pots and pans, plus extra cast-iron and copper ones to mix up texture and color on camera. "We can't be waiting around for one pot to be washed and returned if the same one is needed for a later act," sous chef Miriam Garron says. "It's all about efficiency."

For every 30-minute episode, the crew tapes about eight hours' worth of film (that's 7,950 minutes per season!). Bobby cooks in real time, even through commercial breaks, so he knows that the timing is accurate for every dish. "I want to make sure everything is right," he says. "There's no fake food. It's the real deal."

Bobby has to keep the troops happy, so in the middle of a long shoot, he will sometimes run out and get the crew a treat. Here, it was cupcakes from Big Man Bakes in Los Angeles.

Even on a sunny Los Angeles day, the set requires lots of lighting, so the crew hauls in lights that mimic natural sunlight. "The sun is constantly changing positions, so our lighting team is constantly tweaking the lights, silks and nets that hang overhead so the show looks the same, no matter what time of day it is or where the sun happens to be," producer Jill Gibbs says.

More than four dozen people work on a show; the crew usually sets up at 7:30 a.m. and tapes two episodes before wrapping by 6 p.m. At the end of the day, everyone feasts on the piles of leftovers. "These are the people I live and die with every day," Bobby says. "When my crew eats the food, I want them to be happy."