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This summer if you can’t stand the heat, take your kitchen outdoors. We’re looking at a long season of dog days and heat waves so don’t bother turning on the oven. Let’s celebrate being outdoors by making most of our meals al fresco. Read on for cookout essentials, tips and a multi-course grilled menu.
There are plenty of gadgets and gizmos for grilling. If you’re a newbie, invest in a charcoal chimney starter or an electric firestarter. As you get comfortable with the barbecue, experiment with different wood chips to add flavor and racks to cook more complex meals. That said, to make the most of your summertime meals, you do need cookout essentials on hand.
- Charcoal or Propane Gas
- Metal Tongs
- Metal Spatula
- Food Thermometers
- Metal Skewers
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Aluminum Foil
- Natural Bristle Pastry Brush
- High Heat Oil like Coconut Oil or Rice Bran Oil
Once you’ve got your grilling station loaded with the essentials, it’s time to fire up. When it comes to a cookout, you can pretty much cook anything on the barbecue. Whether it’s chopped veggies or sardines, all foods taste better with that smokey flavor. Sturdier foods can go directly on the grates. More delicate fare can be tossed into a skillet, wrapped in foil or pierced together on a skewer.
You don’t always have to prep, then grill. Consider grilling ingredients before mixing them together. Lightly charred strawberries add a deeper flavor to Strawberry Basil cocktails. Making a salad? Get some grate marks on your arugula before you chop it up. While you’re at it, blister cherry tomatos on a skewer then pop them off and toss them in your fresh salad. Lay heads of garlic and stalks of rosemary right on the grill before dicing them into your salad dressing.
Strawberry Basil Lemonade
Skewer some strawberries before blending them into this refreshing lemonade.
Grilled Pineapple Crush
Black pepper and white rum really make the grilled fruit in this drink recipe pop.
Creamy avocados warm from the grill make this guacamole too good to pass up.
Grilled Greek Salad
Toast hearts of romaine and skewer your toppings including croutons, red onions and olives. Check out the recipe on Chow.
Grilled Flatbread Pizza
When you’re feeding a crowd, it doesn’t get easier than a grilled flatbread pizza. Toss the oil-brushed pizza on the grill, layer on topping, slice and eat. Make it vegan-friendly, meatlovers, or a little of both.
In season asparagus is even better when grilled. Sprinkle parmesan cheese, drizzle olive oil or a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavor.
Quick marinades like this teriyaki recipe work wonders on grilled seafood.
Sweet and Savory Pineapple Slices
Basked in Amaretto, these pineapple slices are a surefire winner when it comes to grilling.
S’mores with Peanut Butter
When the fire dies down, lay out a spread of marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate, fresh fruit and peanut butter. Let your guests make their own s’mores.
What recipes are on your cookout menu?