Mastering the Art of Grilling
We have some fantastic recipes below that we think are both easy, not too time-consuming, and deliver fantastic meals on the grill. No culinary school here, just good old-fashioned grilling.
It used to be, grab the old Weber, add charcoal, spray on some lighter fluid and start grilling. Not anymore!!! Yes, there are still the old favorite charcoal grills, but now, gas grills, propane grills, ceramic Kamado ‘egg’ grills, and even pellet grills are in the picture.
There are so many ways to grill now beyond the standard grilling like using a smoker, side warming areas, searing zones, adjustable height cooking grates, and even the cooking grates themselves.
For the record, I have a propane gas grill, (no warming areas or adjustable height cooking grates).
Recipe from simplyrecipes.com
It may not be the first thing you think of when heading out to the deck/patio to cook, but this is a simple recipe that is ready in about 10 to 20 minutes. (Really, no more than 20 minutes).
Before we get started, toppings are a personal choice. From pepperoni and cheese, to pesto, with spinach and tomato. I topped my pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and calamata olives. Add your own personal favorite toppings or try a few new ones.
- Pizza dough
- Some flour to prevent the pizza from sticking when preparing.
- Your personal favorite topping.
- Olive Oil
Directions – (Looks like a lot of work but it is not, and includes some personal notes)
- You can either make pizza dough from scratch or use prepared dough. I used prepared dough of course as I never have made my own fresh dough.
- Shape the pizza dough by flattening it with your hands on a lightly floured surface. Either use your fingers to stretch the dough out, or hold up the edges of the dough with your fingers, letting the dough hang and stretch while working around the edges of the dough. Once you've stretched the dough, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then push out the edges with your fingers again, until you have a nice round shape, about 12-inches in diameter. Do not make a raised rim, it will interfere with the grilling process. (I could not get my pizza into the shape of a perfect circle…mine turned out to be the shape of some small country. So don’t get frustrated trying to make it geometrically perfect).
- Once the grill is hot, dip a few sheets of tightly folded up paper towels in olive oil and use tongs to wipe the grill grates. (I forgot the tongs and just used my hands on several sheets of paper towels being careful not to touch the grates with my fingers).
- Place the formed pizza dough round on a lightly floured rimless cookie sheet. Let the dough slide off the cookie sheet onto the hot grill grates. Close the lid of the grill and let cook for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, open the grill and check underneath the dough to see if it is getting browned. If it is not beginning to brown, cover the grill and continue to cook a minute at a time until the bottom has begun to brown. It should only take a couple of minutes if you have a hot grill, and the top of the dough will start bubbling up with air pockets. (For me, this took about 3 minutes).
- Once the pizza dough has browned lightly on one side, use your cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill. Use a spatula to flip the dough over so that the grilled side is now up. Keep the grill covered so it retains its heat for the next step.
- Once again paint the grilled surface of the grill with some olive oil on the paper towels.
- Now, take 1 ladle of your favorite tomato sauce — no more, or the pizza will end up soggy. Sprinkle on your toppings. (I used mozzarella, pepperoni, and calamata olives).
- If you are using a gas grill, reduce the heat slightly. If working with a charcoal grill, close the vents on the cover almost all the way. Close the lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the bottom begins to char and the cheese is bubbly.
- Gently slide the finished pizza off the grate with a spatula onto a cutting board or other flat surface and let rest for a couple of minutes before cutting into slices.
Slice and serve. (This was my first attempt at grilled pizza and it was AWESOME!!)
Grilled Italian Sausages with Peppers and Onions
Recipe from seriouseats.com
A more traditional grilling option that provides a great deal of flavor in about 45 minutes. We don’t just throw the sausages on the grill. If you throw sausages directly on the grill chances are that the outside will be charcoal flavored in order to get the inside cooked thoroughly.
It is also likely that if just putting the sausage directly on the hot grill, the casing of the sausage will burst causing the sausage to become dry, and could lead to grill flare-ups. It is definitely worth the little bit of extra time to get a moist, more-flavorful sausage.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used a bit more oil and used extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 large onion, sliced into 1/4-inch strips (about 2 cups)
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 green bell peppers, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage (Fellas prefer the hot sausage)
- Optional: One bottle of your favorite beer for a little ‘essence of marinade’
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Remove from heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. (if using a charcoal grill). When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. If using a gas grill, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.
- Transfer the onion and pepper mixture to a 10-inch-square disposable aluminum pan. (Alternatively, construct a tray out of a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, 10 inches square, with sides about 2 inches high, which is what I did). Carefully place sausages into the onion and pepper mixture. (I also added some beer to provide a bit of a marinade, to give the sausages some additional flavor, this is not required…but is ’fellas’ recommended).
- Add the beer (I used Sam Adams Boston Lager) for the marinade, place the tray on the hot side of the grill and cook until simmering, about 4 minutes. Slide tray to the cooler side of the grill. Cover grill, with vents over sausages. Cook with all vents open until sausages register 140 to 145°F (60 to 63°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- Remove lid. Using tongs, remove sausages from the peppers and place them directly on the cooking grate over the hot side of the grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until well browned and crisp, about 3 minutes total. Return sausages to onion, peppers and beer mixture.
- Serve sausages with buns and peppers/onion
Surely the burger recipe is next since it is one of the most loved grilling choices. Well, no, but we are almost there, hang on just a bit.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Recipe from wellplated.com
One of the most common main course meals prepared on a grill is kabobs. Before we go further, here is a fun fact: ‘Kabobs’ is spelled this way mostly in North America. The rest of the world, including the mid-Eastern countries and parts of Europe, spell the word ‘kebob’.
No matter how they are spelled they are a delicious option. They can be made with, beef, pork, or shrimp, but this recipe calls for chicken kabobs.
No matter how they are spelled they are a delicious option. They can be made with, beef, pork, or shrimp. For this recipe we prepared chicken kabobs.
- 1 – 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 or 3 breasts)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme or dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small red onion quartered into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small zucchini ends trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch coins
- 1 small summer squash ends trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch coins
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Canola oil for grilling
- 1 large lemon cut into wedges (optional but way better if it's included)
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces and place in a large zip top bag, shallow baking dish, or bowl.
- In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Pour over the chicken and stir to coat (or seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and “squish” to coat). Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours (do not let the chicken sit for longer or the vinegar will cause it to break down). If using wooden skewers, place the skewers in water to soak for at least 20 minutes.
- When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 375 degrees F). Brush the grill grates with canola oil or coat with a nonstick grill spray. (Once again, I used extra virgin olive oil).
- Thread the kabobs: Thread a piece of chicken onto the skewer (shake off the excess marinade before threading the chicken onto the skewer. Add alternating pieces of the red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper until you've reached the end of the skewer, ending with chicken. Repeat with the remaining skewers, then discard the excess chicken marinade.
- Grill the chicken until fully cooked through and the juices run clear, about 10 to 15 minutes, turning the skewers every few minutes so that each side has grill marks.
Transfer to a serving plate and squeeze the lemon over the top. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and feta. Serve warm.
Recipe from wellplated.com
Corn on the grill?? Of course!!! But should we leave the husks on? (YES). Should we leave the corn silk (the stringy hairs) on? (I usually peel down the husk and remove the corn silk before soaking the corn.)
OK, that may be an oversimplification, but for cooking, yes, just corn.
- Get the corn ready by trimming off the top of the corn, getting rid of the husk and corn silk hanging from the top of the corn. Then submerge the corn in cold water for at LEAST 10 minutes, preferably longer if you have time.
- While the ears of corn are soaking, preheat the grill to 350-400 degrees.
- Remove the corn from the water and place them on the grill. Grill for 15 to 20 minutes; (turn the corn every 5 minutes to cook it evenly
- Once done, remove the corn from the grill and place them on a serving plate for 5 minutes. The corn silks should have burned off but can be easily removed by wiping them with a paper towel. (Normally I remove the corn silks first. In this case, I did not remove this silk, first. But in the future, I will continue to remove the silk first, my preference)
- Then brush on any of the following
- For simple corn flavor while the corn is grilling, combine melted butter, with salt and pepper to taste.
- If you want to add a little zip to your corn, try melted butter with Cajun seasoning
- Or maybe Italian seasoning with Parmesan and garlic powder.
- For a Mexican flair try Chili Powder, with cumin, lime, and parmesan.
- Of course, if you have your favorite seasons brush them on
Wait!!! Where is the burger grilling recipe? It’s coming…but first, here is an important tip when forming the burger into a patty.
Gently form each patty about 4 inches across and one inch tall and make a shallow depression in the middle of the burger. This prevents the burger from shrinking up too much and puffing up in the center.
With this tip in mind, here is the link to our tremendous Whamburger. FINALLY!!!
Seafood lovers, we have not forgotten about you. The ‘fellas’ have done a lot of fishing for Mahi-Mahi in North and Central America. It is probably one of our three favorite fish to eat. And when done on the grill, it is AWESOME.
Here is the link to another one of our own recipes, for the perfect way to grill this tremendous fish, also known as dorado.
We could go on and on with other recipes, but we have not written our own cookbook, (at least not yet). Hopefully, we have covered a nice assortment of foods that will help expand your grilling experiences.
So, clean off the grill, get the spatula, tongs, and skewers ready, it is grilling time! And we’ve got all summer to enjoy spending time, flipping, marinating, and savoring our creations. And remember, grilling is best with a beer or glass of wine close by. CHEERS!!!
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