In the words of the Fresh Prince, “the weather is hot and girls are dressing less.” In my words, summer has arrived! My favorite things about summer are beach trips, afternoons at the pool, long days of sun, Vitamin D, and grilling! Oh, the grilling. We’ve spent just about every night out on our patio enjoying the warm weather and having lazy conversations while my husband grills up the simplest of meals like tenderloin with asparagus and chicken with zucchini.
If you’re a fan of grilling like we are, here’s short guide to summer grilling, just in time for all those nights spent on the porch!
- Pre-heat the grill and have a simple appetizer ready for guests. This way you can wait to start cooking the meat until they arrive.
- The more tender the meat (like shrimp) the less time you need to marinade. Steak is tougher and will need a longer marinade time.
- When forming a hamburger patty, press a thumbprint into the middle. This will prevent the dreaded bulge.
- Bring meat to room temperature (about 20 minutes) before cooking. This will help them cook evenly.
- Don’t flip the meat constantly! Let it cook until it’s seared (brown grill marks) on one side, then slip to the other.
- Glaze the meat about five minutes before the meat is finished cooking. This will give it time to caramelize without burning.
- After removing the meat from the grill, let it sit for a few minutes before cutting. This will allow it to finish cooking and keep the meat tender.
- Don’t wait for the grill to cool down before cleaning. It’s easier to clean when the leftovers aren’t dried on.
The best part of grilling is that it forces you to keep your combinations simple. One person mans the grill, another whips up sides, salads, or sauces. Keep everything simple and you’ll have a relaxing dinner outside. Here are some of my favorite combinations:
- Steak + Sauce + Grilled Potatoes
- Peppercorn Pork Loin + Asparagus
- Chicken + Fruit Salsa+ Â Zucchini
- Shrimp + Potatoes + Corn
- Fish Tacos + Herb Salsa + Corn
- Kebabs + Rice
- Burgers + Fries
- Hot Dogs + Chips
To see a list of over 40 recipes, perfect for summer cooking, check out ourÂ Summer Grilling Board on Pinterest!
Tips taken from the June 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine.