Grilling Tips For Mastering Your Outdoor Kitchen

December 7, 2022 Outdoor Cooking

No outdoor appliance has more versatility than the grill. But with so many grills to choose from, you may be experienced in one type but have no experience with another. While we’ve previously covered each grill’s pros and cons, here are some tips and tricks to prepare you to cook in no time.

Charcoal Grills

  1. Avoid Lighter Fluid

While charcoal has great flavor, lighter fluid brings a much less desirable taste. If you’re looking for a different way to light your charcoal grill, electric or chimney starters are great ways to heat your coals before grilling. Or, if you’re in a pinch, traditional firestarters for kindling, like paper and cardboard, work well.

  1. Be Patient

It’s easy to throw food on the grill before the temperature is hot enough, but you’ll have a much easier time cooking when you let your grill surface get hot. Less experienced grillers may also flip their foods too early, preventing their food from cooking all the way through. Patience, patience, patience.

  1. Let Your Meat Rest

Although you’re hungry and ready to go, give your meat a few minutes before slicing. This allows the meat to absorb all the juices possible, giving you the perfect bite of steak paired with the perfect red wine.

Gas Grills

  1. Leave Some Room

Although saving time and throwing everything on the grill makes sense, it might lead to uneven cooking. When you give your meats a chance to breathe, you have a much better chance of evenly grilling your food all the way through.

  1. Here to Sear

For the perfect seared meat, get your grill as hot as possible. Put the meat on the grill, then wait a minute or two. Then flip, repeat, and turn the heat down as you allow the meat to continue cooking. This helps caramelize the outside of the meat for that great seared taste.

  1. Grill Indirectly

If your gas grill has multiple burners, use the heat by grilling smaller items like veggies on the side or allowing your seared meats to continue to roast. This allows you to multitask and finish whole meals in one fell swoop.

Flat-Top Grills

  1. Oil Your Surface

Like a painter with their tools, ensure you’re taking proper care of your grill, and the grill will treat you well in return. Oiling your flat-top grill with canola, avocado, or olive oil gives you a non-stick surface to work your magic.

  1. Add Some Pans

Use the flat surface and throw pots, pans, or skillets on the grill. This keeps you from going back and forth from the indoor stovetop to the outdoor grill.

  1. Trap Your Grease

You’ll start accumulating grease while you’re cooking, which is normal. Just make sure you’re cleaning while cooking, taking time to scrape the grease off the griddle with a scraper into a disposable drip pan. This saves you time and effort when your food’s good to go and you’re ready to eat.

Smokers

  1. Fuel Wisely

Regarding wood smokers, less wood can mean more when cooking. Putting too much wood in your smoker can cause too much smoke, turning your perfect steak into beef jerky. Even though a lot of smoke can make you look like you know what you’re doing, it can turn south quickly.

  1. Keep A Good Airflow

Most smokers have vents at the top for a reason. It’s best to allow your smoker to ventilate the entire time, if possible, for maximum taste and even cooking. 

  1. Low And Slow

This tried-and-true method has been treating grillmasters and hungry families well for decades. Cooking at around 225-250 degrees over a longer period gives the meats a better opportunity to retain and absorb their juices, making for the perfect, tender bite.

No matter which you’re using, you’ll be ready for your next gathering in no time.

Recipes of the Month: Summer Lovin’

July 29, 2021 Outdoor Living

When the sun’s OUT and sizzlin’, these recipes are IN! Enjoy what’s left of summer with these tired and true seasonal favs!

Summer Tomato and Burrata Salad

Cucumber and Hummus Boats

Rustic Tomato Pie

Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

California Roll Wraps

Grilled Chicken and Mango Skewers

Key Lime Pound Cake

Sweet Cherry and Cream Parfait

Fizzy Peach Shake

Watermelon and Blackberry Sangria

Rosemary Strawberry Daiquiri

Margarita Floats

Recipes of the Month: Gathering Goodies

May 27, 2021 Outdoor Cooking

Texas is starting to get back to normal, so this summer is sure to make a splash with pool parties, weekend gatherings and fun for all. At the heart of every good party is fabulous food, so this month we are featuring goodies that are great for gathering!

Strawberry Corn Salsa

Pineapple-Papaya Slaw

Watermelon Shark

Mexican Street Corn Pops

Summer Salad

Tropical Island Chicken

Potato Chip Encrusted Chicken Tenders

Hot Dog Sliders with Mango Pineapple Salsa

Barbecued Chicken Pizzas

Coconut-Rum Mango Cake Pops

Mini S’mores

Mojito Slush

Strawberry Watermelon Lemonade

Grilling Gadgets for Dad

June 19, 2020 Outdoor Cooking

Just in time for dad’s day, we have a few grilling gadgets that will help heat things up! Summer is here and so are the social distancing patio parties! Check out these hot finds that will help your plans not go up in flames.

Wireless Bluetooth Grill Thermometer

Commercial Grade Food Probe Thermometer

Charcoal Electric Lighter and Firestarter

3-Sided Grill Brush

Ultimate BBQ Apron

Grilling Towel Set

Vegetable Grill Basket

Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mats

Himalayan Pink Salt Slab

3-in-1 Stuffed Burger Press

Recipes of the Month: A Little Bit of Everything

October 30, 2019 Outdoor Cooking

Because sometimes it’s just too hard to decide what you want to eat, so we chose a little bit of everything for this month’s featured recipes! As the weather gets cooler, soups, coffee, and cider are a good option and pumpkin spice is always nice! With mounds of candy leftover from Halloween, we have a dessert recipe that has no tricks, only treats. And as we head into the holiday season we have something healthy to keep you on track!

Smoked Coffee

Beaver Trails (we know… weird name, but stick with us on this one)

Green Chile Mashed Potatoes

Pork Chops with Smokey Apple Compote

Lemon Chicken with Broccoli and String Beans Foil Packs (this is the healthy one we mentioned)

Spiced Pumpkin Latte Cake Bars

Peanut Butter M&M Cheesecake with Brownie Crust

Homemade Apple Cider

Recipes of the Month: Smoked Masterpieces

April 27, 2019 Outdoor Cooking

Spring and summer are perfect for afternoons on the patio while enjoying delicious food and cocktails. Below are recipes tried and trusted, enjoy!

Smoked Scalloped Potatoes

Bacon Wrapped Keylime Jerk Green Beans

Hickory Smoked Chive and Cheese Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Herb Crusted Prime Rib

Skillet Tennessee Apple Crumble

Smoked Bourbon Pecan Pie

Smoked Berry Lemonade

Charred Citrus Margaritas

Recipe of the Month: Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions

July 30, 2018 Outdoor Cooking

 

This will be something that will really go the distance… Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions! Enjoy them on top of a steak with blue cheese, on chicken, on salmon, burgers, use inside a toasted sandwich or quesadilla. Simply use them when you just want to make something better!

Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions Serves 1 cup

Cook Time: 35 ­-55 minutes

Ingredients

2 large yellow onions

3/4 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. oil of choice

1⅔ cup sweet tea of choice

⅛ cup granulated sugar

 

Directions

Cut each onion into 1∕8 inch strips (follow the natural lines of the onion.) In a large bowl, add the cut onions, salt, pepper, and oil. Stir to combine all ingredients evenly.

Heat grill to medium. Lightly coat the cooktop with an oiled paper towel.  Take the bowl of cut onions and empty it onto the grill. Spread the onions evenly on the grill and do not touch them for about 5 minutes.  This will allow the natural sugars from the onion to start to caramelize. Stir the onions around a little to now caramelize the other side of the onions. Let them cook without touching for another 5 minutes. Once the batch of onions has evenly caramelized turn the outer burner off and adjust the inner burner to medium­/low.

In a medium sauté pan add the cooked onions, cup of sweet tea, and granulated sugar. Allow this to cook on the grill for about 25 min. Stir occasionally to assure no sticking. The liquid should be close to gone at this point. The onions are done, however now is the chance to really make those onions pop with flavor; if time permits, add the remaining 2∕3 cup sweet tea and allow that to cook for another 20 min. Place finished onions in a bowl and allow to cool.

Use hot or refrigerate for later use.

 

Recipes of the Month: Ooey Gooey Yumminess

June 18, 2018 Outdoor Cooking

June brings hot heat and lots of backyard BBQ eats!  June also brings National Cheese Month, Turkey Month and Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month, so we thought we would collide these to make a culinary creation.   Who’s hungry?

 

Ricotta Cucumber Tea Sandwiches (nice and light, and very tasty)

Feta and Shaved Asparagus Salad (sounds weird, but we think you’ll like it)

Crunchy Havarti and Pickle Hamburger (really just a fancy cheeseburger if you ask us, but still delish)

California Salsa Verde Chilaquiles (not sure what this is, but it was good… realllll good)

Baked Ziti with Summer Vegetables (because it has vegetables, it’s healthy… just trust us)

Honeysuckle Lemonade Cocktail (because by now you’re thirsty)

Watermelon Margaritas (still thirsty?… cheers)

Mini Monte Cristo Sandwiches (Your new favorite recipe, we promise)

Grandby’s Sour Cream Pound Cake (We don’t know who Grandby is, but he/she sure does know how to make a good cake)

Ooey Gooey Butter Bars (We have probably made these a thousand times and they are still everyone’s favorite)

And before we split out of here…

Banana Split Lasagna (don’t eat the whole pan, even if you want to)

Recipe of the Month: On the Grill

May 29, 2018 Outdoor Cooking

May is National BBQ Month, but really all summer long we should be firing up our grill and sizzlin’ up something delicious!  We thought we would do a mixture of savory and sweet, so that there’s something for everyone!

 

 

Charred Citrus Margaritas

Grilled Jalapeño Popper Potato Salad

Grilled Chicken Quesadilla Sandwich 

Raspberry Chipotle Pork Kabobs

Grilled Peach and Raspberry Parfait 

Smoky Chocolate Chips Cookies on the Grill 

Recipe of the Month: Grilled Pretzel Roll Ham Sliders

February 27, 2017 Outdoor Cooking

 

Who doesn’t love a good slider?  Our highlighted recipe for this month is versatile, feel free to change it up to your liking, but we have a hunch you may keep it just the way it is!  Meet this month’s mouth-watering, gotta-have grilling grub …

So what’s our secret?  See below …

Recipe of the Month

 

Ingredients

1 red onion

Extra virgin olive oil

Butter (salted) (secret #1)

Fine sea salt

4 pretzel rolls, about 3­in. in diameter (secret #2)

1 pound thick-cut ham

4 oz. Brie cheese, Cut into chunks

4 cocktail skewers

 

Directions

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat, about 500°F grill grate temperature. Slice the red onion into 3/4­in. thick slices. Oil both sides and season liberally with salt.

Grill the onion slices until translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the grill, brake the slices down into rings and set to the side.

Slice the pretzel rolls. Spread salted butter on each side (don’t be conservative, didn’t you hear? Butter is good for you now, so go ahead and take advantage before they change their mind on us again)!   Grilling the buns (especially these buns) will make all of the difference, trust us!

Brush each slice of ham on both sides with olive oil and season with salt. The olive oil will help form a crust on the outside of the meat. Grill ham, turning once, 1 to 2 minutes per side. After flipping the meat, add a large ring of onion to the top of each slice, so it sits neatly in a circle.

Add the cheese on top of the onion. The cheese will melt, almost into a creamy sauce, and the onions will help hold the cheese on top of the ham. While the cheese is melting, lightly grill the rolls.

Gently remove the meat when the cheese has melted and transfer directly onto the pretzel rolls.  Skewer each slider to hold it together.

Open wide and enjoy!

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