Throughout the year, there are certain cooking techniques and processes that you may engage in more often. In the winter, we may opt for slow cooker stews and soups that simmer for hours. In the summer, it’s all about getting outside and firing up the grill.
Whether you’ve got your own grill out on the deck, share one with your neighbors or get those classic grill marks with a grill pan from right on your stove, spring and summer are the perfect times to get that classic grilled taste and look.
You may consider yourself a grill master already. Or, you may just be learning how to not burn the meat you put on the grates. Either way, there’s always something new to try or an ingredient you can try out on the grill.
The art of grilling can be a fun and entertaining cooking technique that gets people outside, gathered around and appreciating the process of food preparation. Not to mention how grilling can often be associated with activities like outdoor barbecues and backyard get-togethers.
As you kick off your spring and summer with this classic and outdoorsy cooking technique, we’ve got some great tips and recipes to share.
No matter the make, model or age of your grill (or grill pan), there are some helpful tips and tricks you’ll want to keep in mind as you kick off grilling season.
A clean grill is a happy grill. Be sure to use a grill brush or other cleaning tool to get the grates cleaned and free of whatever meat or veggie you had on the grill the previous time. Typically, cleaning grates is easier when the grill is warmed up, so be sure to give it a brush either right after your food is done cooking or as the grill is preheating for the next round of food.
You may have grilled a flank steak fifty times or a marinated chicken breast every week. But to ensure your meats are fully cooked to a safe temperature, go with a meat thermometer. A thermometer helps you take the guesswork out of knowing if that steak is just a bit too pink or that pork tenderloin still needs a few more minutes. It can also help you prevent overcooking your meat, which leads to less than appetizing bites.
Before hearing that classic sizzle on the grill with that piece of marinated chicken, let the chicken warm up a bit too. If you’ve got something marinating in the fridge and are ready to grill it, let it sit out a bit so that the meat isn’t too cold. This will greatly help the cooking process and ensure you don’t lose out on flavor or moisture.
Want meat with maximum flavor and juiciness? Let your meat have a rest before cutting into it. Pulling the meat off the grill when it’s just done or slightly undercooked and letting it rest before enjoying helps it continue to cook while holding in all that delicious flavor. Waiting another five to fifteen minutes to bite into that burger or slice that steak will be well worth it!
Grills come in many sizes and cooking techniques, not to mention their additional features and gadgets. Whether you have a gas, charcoal or electric grill, it’s important to know how your grill typically treats foods. Some grills may cook food a lot faster than others. Some, like a charcoal grill, bring in additional smoky flavors that can affect the overall taste of your food.
Resist the urge to flip your meats, veggies or fruits too often. Doing so can alter the cooking process and may prevent those classic grill marks. You can also establish different cooking zones if you have a large enough grill. With this approach, you can keep one side of the grill really hot for cooking food and the other side at a lower temperature to either keep food warm, slow down the cooking process or grill foods that may require a lower temperature.
Often when we think of grilling, ground beef burgers, marinated chicken and juicy T-bone steaks come to mind. But with a cooking technique as versatile and flavor-enriching as grilling, there much more you can throw on the grill than just proteins. Use a grill tray and try grilling peeled asparagus instead of tossing it in the oven. Bring in a new flavor to sliced pineapple and serve over ice cream. With something as fun as grilling, go ahead and try something new.
With those key tips in mind, firing up the grill can be a fun and social cooking technique. Whether you consider yourself a carnivore and try to grill any kind of meat you can or are looking to expand your grilling techniques beyond proteins, you can find it all on the grill. To help you get started, here we share some top grilling recipes to enjoy out on the deck or on a grill pan.
Transform your meats and proteins into instant summertime bites by preparing them on the grill.
Grilled BBQ Pork Tenderloin - Bring in a sweet addition to grilled pork with a homemade barbecue sauce.
Grilled Fish with Fruit Salsa - Choose your fish and sweeten it up with a Persian Lime and Habanero Agave Agrodolce topping. Paired with a fresh fruit salsa, this recipe will have you singing of summertime.
Grilled Pork Steak - This grilled take on “the other white meat” brings in rich flavor components thanks to the Worcestershire sauce, Michigan Apple balsamic, Iron Fish Honey vinegar and a rich wholegrain mustard.
Grilled Steak and Vegetable Skewers - Sometimes, food just tastes better on a stick. These Asian-inspired skewers are flavored with a vibrant dressing made of Ginger & Honey balsamic and Japanese Sesame Oil.
Go beyond the meat with these tasty veggie and fruit recipes that also take you to the grill.
Catalan Grilled Vegetable Salad - Mix up some bright and healthy veggies like zucchini and tomatoes and toss them on the grill. Serve them with a bright, flavorful dressing to bring all the flavors together.
Grilled Asparagus Bowl - Peel this popular spring veggie and toss them on the grill for a bold flavor. This recipe also brings in cured eggs and a watercress dressing to make this side a great meal.
Grilled Corn and Peach Pizza - Ever grilled a pizza before? The pizza peel really comes in handy in transferring dough to a hot grill. What results is a crispy crust that’s rich in flavor and gives your oven a rest, too. This recipe also brings in double the rich grilled flavor by bringing in corn and peach that’s also spent time on the grates.
Grilled Pineapple with Whipping Cream - Amp up the fresh fruit flavor by bringing in a grilled component. This pineapple recipe incorporates fresh fruit flavor from both a Pineapple and Michigan Apple balsamic vinegar.
Grilled Vegetables - Whatever fresh produce you can find at the farmers’ market, chances are, you can throw it on the grill. Try out things like eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes and asparagus to create a colorful assortment on your grill.
Grilled Stuffed Peppers - Take your stuffed peppers up a notch with these creamy, indulgent pockets of veggies, hummus and steak.
Grilling is a cooking technique that often comes with summertime memories and conversations on the back deck or patio. The classic grilled flavor often reminds us of warmer temperatures and fresh produce. Whether you consider yourself a grill master already or are just starting out in this versatile cooking method, there’s always something new to try in firing up the grill.
What are you grilling this season? Let us know in the comments or on our social media pages!
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