It’s finally time to move the cooking outside! Find your favorite apron, make sure you have all the tools you need, and start compiling new recipes. Here are a couple tips to incorporate into your grilling adventures this season.
- Try infusing meat or fish with bold citrus flavor along with go-to seasonings, or on its own if you prefer light and zesty. Grilled chicken is a delicious default; simply slice lemons, limes or oranges thick enough to hold up to a flame, and place them on hot grill grates before putting the chicken on top. To avoid the mess with salmon and other flaky fish favorites that can be a challenge to grill, place filets on a bed of sliced citrus and skip the grill scraping afterwards.
- Transform your grill into a smoker with a few easy steps. Wood chips from an apple or cherry tree will infuse red meats with a sweet flavor. Peach tree chips give poultry, pork and fish a nice fruity touch; and for vegetables, try smoking with cedar or mesquite. Only use wood chips approved for cooking. Soak them overnight before placing on aluminum foil, and then shape into a secure pouch. Create a few vents with a knife, and now you’ve got a makeshift smoker. Another option is to cook meat, fish or vegetables on wooden planks from fruit and nut trees. You can also pre-soak herb bundles to place on grill for similar, tasty results.
- Serve the fire-roasted pizza of your dreams without the risk of burning. Whip up your pizza however you like, and take it out to the grill to enjoy the weather. Simply use a pizza stone right on the grill grates. The pizza stone eliminates the worry of a blackened crust bottom, and it requires hardly any clean up. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a fire-roasted pizza with avocado instead of cheese.
- Simplify clean-up—no matter the meal—by preheating your grill for 20 minutes. Hot grates will more easily release built-up residue from prior use. This does require using a long-handled brush, but you can also make a disposable alternative: crumple aluminum foil into dense ball and use between metal or wooden kitchen tongs.
- Perfect your kabob game. To prevent sticking and to enable easy removal, generously oil metal skewers. If you’re using wooden ones, soak them ahead of time. Also, use two per kabob. This reduces the risk of delicious tidbits falling off on the grill, and you will have more control over thorough cooking. Finally, make sure pieces of raw meat are bigger than vegetables and that vegetables are larger than seafood to account for different cooking times.