Summer of Grilling

Whether gas or charcoal, come Memorial Day weekend everyone will start firing up their grills for summer. Anyone can toss premade burgers or hot dogs on the BBQ, but how many of us are truly confident to prepare a New York strip, perfectly-cooked grilled veggies or a fresh fish fillet? If you aren’t already thinking to yourself “Yes, I can do that,” then read on for a lesson in grilling basics so you and your family can enjoy delicious, masterfully-grilled foods all summer long. 

Let’s start with the obvious: Beef, Chicken and Fish.

Beef; it truly is what’s for dinner, and also one of the most popular choices for grilling. Grill-perfect cuts include the rib eye, New York strip, sirloin cuts and flank steak – or skirt steak for fajitas. (Tip: pound out flank and skirt steaks first to tenderize and help them cook faster.) Stay away from bottom round cuts, as they will over-cook fast and become very dry. Depending on how you like your beef cooked will determine how long you leave it on the grill top. You can use a thermometer or the finger method to test the doneness of your meat.

Whenever we talk about beef, we can’t leave the good ole American staple, a hand made, juicy grilled burger. If you’re looking to prove you can make the juiciest burgers, try the “Best Ever Juicy Burger” recipe from Hellmann’s® (SPOILER ALERT — mixing the mayonnaise into the burger patty before you grill it will make it the juiciest!)

Chicken can be pre-marinated for a delicious flavor. Another tip: if you can marinate overnight that works even better! Allowing the chicken to soak allows the marinade to fully saturate the meat. You can grill legs, thighs and wings with delicious results. Chicken breasts—if pounded beforehand— grill up very nicely as well. Always make sure to fully cook the chicken; you should not be able to see any pink when you cut it open. To stay on the safe side, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (or near the bone if your cut has it) to make sure its internal temperature has reached the minimum 165°F.

Fish should be cooked on high, even heat. Choose either a really well-greased grill, or for best results, cover the grill with aluminum foil or use a grill pan. You’ll have the best results with thick, meatier fish like salmon, swordfish or cod. To prevent fish from sticking to the grill, try searing the fish on a high heat first. In our family, we love to steam fish in a hand-pinched aluminum pouch (like an envelope) with cilantro, Serrano peppers, lemon, salt, pepper and garlic.

Vegetables: Corn, artichokes, peppers, sweet potatoes — even avocado; if it’s in season, it can go on the grill. When it comes to grilling vegetables there are a few techniques you can use: slice into thick, even pieces and place them straight onto a well-greased hot grill, steam them in a hand-pinched aluminum pouch with seasonings, or take sliced, sturdy vegetables and skewer them to create colorful kabobs. Serve your veggies as sides, or even make them the stars of your meal— (hello, stuffed Portobello mushrooms!)  Try these delicious recipes for Balsamic Portabello Burgers, Buttery Grilled Corn and Grilled Avocado with Scallops, Corn and Tomatoes to get you started.

Pork, lamb and bison are also fantastic options when it comes to grilling as well, and are a refreshing change to your traditional menu items.

Pork: From bone-in chops to boneless country-style ribs, pork can be a great addition to your grilling menu. Overwhelmed by the options and don’t know where to start? Try this recipe for Smokin’ Succulent Grilled Pork.
 
Lamb: The right cut of lamb can turn an outdoor grilling-under-the-stars night into a 5-star flavor experience. If you’re going for impressive, there’s nothing quite like a beautifully grilled rack of lamb. Or for more casual fare, pick up some lamb sirloin — it makes for delicious kabobs.
 
Bison: Nothing says exotic like a bison burger! If you have never had one, it’s worth a try. Grilled bison can be prepared similarly to a beef burger in terms of temperature (medium-high heat). It’s best not to eat Bison rare, but be sure not to overcook either; a perfect bison burger is cooked when it reaches a temperature range of 135° to 155°F.
 
Are you hungry yet? The summer of grilling is upon us and now you are ready to make your summer delicious!! 
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