If you’ve spent even a single summer in America, you know how integral the outdoor cookout is to American culture. In fact, grilling has woven its way into American history for centuries. For some, grilling isn’t just about having fun and roasting weenies; it’s about developing the perfect recipe.
As a cookout host, you know how much pride comes with sharing a unique and tasty grilling recipe. Many of us have daydreamed about making plates for our guests that they talk about for years to come.
Now is your chance to do it. As we shake the covers off of our grills and prepare for a summer season of outdoor fun, it’s time to start coming up with your best grilling recipes yet.
Read on for our tips on how to make a recipe for grilling that all of your guests will be asking for.
Get to Know Your Grill
Before you can mastermind a recipe, you need to master your tools. If you’re starting out on a new grill this summer, make sure that you understand how it works, from its basic functions to its particular quirks.
Not sure what type of grill to start out with? There’s a big learning curve that comes with a pellet grill, which uses burning wood chips as a heat source. Charcoal grills are easier to use but when it comes to modern technology and an even cook, it’s hard to beat the gas grill.
Shop on elitepatiodirect.com to get great deals on top-of-the-line gas grills for your summer cookouts.
Learn the Basic Cook Temperatures of Different Meats
When you take on the task of grilling meat, it’s important that you keep food safety in mind. While some meat is safe to eat raw (or close to it), other types of meat need to hit a minimum temperature to be considered safe for consumption. Beyond food safety, cook temperatures can help you control things like tenderness, flavor, and overall effect.
When it comes to hitting a minimum temperature, chicken is a big one to look out for. Chicken breast needs to hit a minimum of 165 degrees while ground chicken needs to hit a minimum of 170 degrees.
Take a look at this guide to meat and poultry temperatures and pick up a meat thermometer to start practicing your skills.
Make Your Own Barbeque Sauce
We all know a good grilling recipe isn’t just about the meat. It’s got a lot to do with the flavors you infuse or layer onto the meat. When it comes to American grilling, barbeque sauce is the reigning king of flavor, and making your own knock-out barbeque sauce is a great way to impress.
What are some of the ingredients you’ll find in barbeque sauces? Start with a base of vinegar, tomato paste, or mayo, and start adding in liquid smoke, mustard, black pepper, or molasses.
Keep in mind that different regions favor different flavor profiles. For example, a Texas-style barbeque sauce is going to be heavy on the tomato paste but heavier still on the spices. A Kansas City barbeque sauce is going to let the molasses sing to really instill a sweetness.
Throw Some Fruits and Veggies on the Grill
If you’ve mastered the art of grilling meat and poultry, it’s time to try something new: grilling fruits and veggies. You don’t have to worry about internal temperatures and you can play around with adding a light flame to a heavy char to different varieties. With a little salt and pepper, grilled fruits and vegetables add a punch of flavor to any dish.
What fruits and veggies taste delicious when thrown on the grill? In the fruit department, think peaches, pineapple, watermelon slices, tomatoes (yes, they’re a fruit!), and pears. In the veggie department, think corn, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and zucchini.
How can you decide for yourself which varieties are grill-ready? Make sure that whatever you choose has enough firmness to keep from disintegrating over the heat. For smaller varieties, like mushrooms or onion slices, use a grill plate or create a foil packet so that nothing falls into the pit.
Prioritize Post-Grilling Steps
Great grilling recipes don’t start with the grill. You have to prep, and that includes slicing, dicing, tenderizing, and marinading. Don’t assume that great grilling recipes end with the grill, either.
Some garnishes and final touches retain their flavor and integrity when they never touch the heat. For example, while all those veggies we listed above work magic when grilled, greens don’t. If you want to add lettuce, arugula, or even a dollop of coleslaw, wait until your dish is plated.
You can also add a final boost of flavor by squeezing fresh lemon or lime juice over most dishes once they’re plated. A sprinkle of cheese (think feta, cotija, or fresh mozzarella) will also do the most work for you when you add it in at the end.
Use These Tips to Make Your Own Legendary Grilling Recipe
Everyone wants to come to the cookout bearing cookout recipes that receive praise and attention. Use this guide to get your wheels turning and develop a new grilling recipe that everyone will ask for. As long as you have the right tricks up your sleeve, your recipe is bound to win over your guests.
Thinking of putting your new grilling recipe up on your blog? Putting together great content is almost as hard as coming up with a new recipe. Take a look around for blogging tips and inspiration that will help you get eyes on your best ideas yet.