By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO

It’s that time of year again: time to fire up the grill, sit on the patio with friends, and enjoy the sunshine. You don’t have to be a grill master to enjoy some delectable burgers or shish kababs, but a few tips go a long way. Here are some of our top tips:

(Keep reading for some great recipes!)

Grilling with Charcoal

Grilling with Charcoal

Many people prefer the authentic charred flavor that comes with grilling over charcoal. This method, however, can be much more finicky than grilling with gas. Here are some quick tips for getting it right:

  • Make sure your grill is clean (blocked vents make fire control difficult)
  • Use additive-free charcoal: search for charcoal without chemicals to prevent toxins from getting in your food or in the air
  • Skip the lighter fluid. It only gives your food a chemical taste. Your natural, hardwood charcoal should light just fine with a little newspaper and a match. You can also try using a chimney starter.
  • Give it time: wait for your charcoal to look a little ashy before placing your food on the grill (usually about 15 minutes)
  • Want to try cooking on indirect heat for a slower char? Push your charcoal to the side before lighting and cook on the opposite side.

Grilling with Gas

Grilling with Gas

Grilling with gas gives you an extra measure of control because you can adjust the temperature according to what you’re cooking. And, if you’re looking for that smoky, charred flavor, wood chips can help you achieve it.

  • Preheat your grill: Give it at least 15-25 minutes to warm up before you start to cook. That way, the grill will be the correct temperature to kill bacteria and it will sear your meat, which gives it a caramelized outer layer that is crisp and flavorful.
  • Prevent food from sticking. Before you start your grill, oil the rack with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel
  • Invest in a grill basket (These things are awesome! They hold veggies or smaller cuts of meat that would otherwise slips through the slats).
  • Use aromatic wood chips to add a smoky flavor to you meats.
  • If you’re using a sauce, such as BBQ or other cooking sauces, grill the meat about halfway and then brush on the sauce. This prevents the sauce from singeing or over-browning the cut of meat.
  • Always have an extra fuel tank on hand! There’s nothing that will kill a party quicker than a group of hungry people waiting for the grill to be refueled.

 

And now, for some great grilling recipes! We put together a menu that you can use for your next summer get together

The “Main Event:”

Grilled Tuscan Chicken

Grilled Tuscan Chicken with Rosemary

 

The Vegetarian “Main Event:”

Grilled Portobello Burger

Balsamic Portobello Burgers with Bell Peppers

 

Sides:

Zucchini on the Grill

Grilled Zucchini with Garlic and Lemon Butter

skewered grilled potatoes

Skewered Grilled Potatoes

 

Grilled Dessert:

peach melba

Grilled Peach Melba (with Ice Cream)

 

Make the most of your summer this year. Get out the grill and start cooking!

For more great ideas for your home, follow our blog.

Samantha Grose, Associate AIA, Allied ASID Designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO

Author: Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.

Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.

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Written by Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the...
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