Grilling and Chillin' 101

grilling tips and BBQ cooking

Ahhh...BBQ cooking. My whole family enjoys grilling and smoking, and we've come up with lots of BBQ cooking recipes. There are few better ways to relax after a hard day at work than to pour yourself a cold drink, have a seat on your deck or patio, and cook dinner…Huh? Cook dinner? I know what you’re thinking: cooking is not relaxing – it’s a chore! Cooking can be very relaxing and even fun when it’s done outside on the grill, and with a little imagination, you can cook an entire meal at the same time. Hopefully, after reading these suggestions, you’ll be grillin' and chillin’ in no time!

Mankind and Outdoor Cooking

Roasting meat over an open flame or coals, which we now refer to as BBQ cooking, is the oldest cooking method known to man. The fire meant food, warmth, and protection from wild animals. Gathering around the campfire is a tradition that is permamently etched in our DNA. I think that's one reason so many of us love grilling. Of course, food cooked over coals also has a wonderful smoky taste and aroma, and besides - grilling is just plain fun!

The Great Grilling Debate-Challenge

A fellow teacher and I were discussing grilling at work during lunch one day, and he made the mistake of expressing the opinion that grilling was just too much trouble because you had to cook part of the meal outdoors and the rest of it inside on the stove or in the oven. The rest of our lunch mates agreed with him. I, of course, super BBQ cooking expert that I am (lol), responded by telling him that practically anything can be cooked to perfection on a gas or charcoal grill. And so began the Great Grilling Debate of Tift County High School.

For the next few days, my assertion was challenged repeatedly. A colleague would mention a food, and I’d tell him or her how it could be done with BBQ cooking. I’ll give you the shortened version; it went something like this:

Cheap, Tough Cuts of Beef

You can turn an inexpensive piece of beef into a tender, juicy meal by tenderizing it first. Pierce the steaks and rub with a commercial meat tenderizer or baking soda. Marinate the meat overnight in an acidic liquid like red wine. Before grilling, add some type of fat to the steaks: olive oil, canola oil, Italian dressing, etc. Small, thick steaks like chuck-eyes can be wrapped in bacon slices before grilling.

To learn more tricks about tenderizing meats, click here.

 

Cured and Smoked Pork

 

Oh, c’mon’, guys – challenge me! Thick cured ham slices are awesome on the grill, especially when marinated in pineapple juice first. Smoked pork chops can be grilled just like they are – they’re so inherently flavorful that they don’t need no steenkin’ spices!

 

Oysters

Oysters are great roasted on the grill! First, clean the shells. Then place the oysters on a medium grill and cover them with a wet burlap bag. We always use the bag the oysters came in for this. Close the lid to the grill and check the shells after a few minutes. When they pop open, your oysters are ready to eat. If you want them more “done,” just leave them on the grill for a few more minutes.

For some great tips on topping your grilled oysters, along with my secret sauce recipe, click here.

 

Shrimp

Easy – thread the shrimp on a skewer and brush with melted butter, olive oil, or your favorite salad dressing. Larger shrimp can be placed individually on the grill. For a real treat, wrap jumbo shrimp in bacon and grill. For my recipe, click here.

Shrimp can also be steamed on a grill. Just place them in a metal or heavy aluminum pan with a little water, butter, and seasonings. Close the lid and cook until the shrimp turn pink.

 

Scallops and BBQ Cooking

BBQ cooking for scallops? Thread large scallops on a skewer or place individually on the grill and brush them with butter or oil. Sprinkle on some herbs or spices and grill each side. Even better, wrap each scallop in bacon and grill!

If you’re cooking smaller bay scallops, place them in a foil packet with butter, herbs, and spices. Leave the pouch open at the top to get some smoky flavor into the flesh.

Crab

My friends thought they had me on this one. Grilling crabs and crab legs is often overlooked, even by grilling enthusiasts, but it can be done with excellent results.

For whole live crabs, have a heart and kill the crabs right before grilling. I tell you how here. Dip the crabs into a mixture of melted butter or oil, vinegar or white wine, and herbs and spices. Place on a medium-hot grill and cook about 5 minutes per side.

For crab legs, punch holes in the legs with an ice pick and soak them in melted butter and spices. Cook on a hot grill, turning once. Crab legs have already been cooked when you buy them, so you just want to heat them and add a little smoky flavor.

Soft-shell crabs should be cleaned first, then dipped in melted butter. Sprinkle on the herbs and spices as the soft-shells cook.

For the details about grilling crabs and crab legs, read my article.

Fish

Whole dressed fish and thick, firm fillets can be cooked right on the grill grate. Brush with oil or butter and season first. More delicate fillets should be cooked in a wire fish basket on the grill. If you're grilling whole fish, tuck some herbs and spices into the cavity before cooking.

Fillets can also be wrapped in foil packets and grilled. This really intensifies the flavors of the herbs and spices you use with the fish.

 

Vegetables

 

Our favorite veggies for grilling are zucchini, yellow squash, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, bell peppers, and eggplant. Slice the vegetables lengthwise or across into half-inch planks. Asparagus and mushrooms can be grilled whole, and bell peppers should be cut in half. Brush with butter and garlic and cook on a medium-hot grill.

 

Try wrapping a whole, peeled Vidalia onion in heavy aluminum foil. Remove the core first and fill it with butter and a beef bullion cube.

 

Any vegetable or vegetable medley can be steamed on the grill in foil packs, too. Just add a small amount of water and some butter and seasonings and seal the pouches tightly.

 

Corn

Corn-on-the-cob and grilling go hand in hand. Ears of corn can be cooked in the shucks, wrapped in foil, or placed “naked” on the grill. Butter and seasonings can be added beforehand, or the ears can be brushed with olive oil, melted butter, Italian dressing, or sundried tomato dressing as they cook. I devoted an entire article about cooking corn. You can read it here.

Tomatoes

 

Tomatoes are another often overlooked food item when it comes to grilling, and that’s a shame. This tasty fruit (have we decided once and for all it’s a fruit?) is wonderful after just a quick stay over the coals.

 

Slice the tomatoes in half and top each half with bread crumbs, basil, and cheese. Place on a sheet of foil on the grill and cook until cheese has melted.

 

 

Potatoes

Slice potatoes or sweet potatoes into wedges or planks and coat with oil. Place on cooler parts of the grill and cook until tender.

Sliced or diced potatoes can also be cooked in foil pouches to which butter and seasonings have been added. Get the details about grilling potatoes here.

 

Fruits

Fruits like peaches, apricots, baking apples, and pineapple can easily be cooked on an outdoor grill. Cut the fruits into halves or thick slices first. With pineapples, cut them into half-inch-thick rings. Brush fruit pieces or halves with canola oil before grilling.

Core tart apples and fill with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, or Red Hots candy. Wrap in heavy foil and grill for 35-40 minutes until tender. Yum!

Check out the video below to learn how to make mixed fruit kabobs:

Breads

Brush thick slices of barbecue bread, Texas toast, French bread, or Italian bread with butter and garlic or your favorite seasonings and cook until grill marks are left. Of course, whole loaves can be wrapped in foil and heated on the grill, too. You might want to drizzle them with melted garlic butter first.

Desserts

Too easy! Cut frozen pound cake or another type of dense cake into cubes and thread on skewers with peaches and whole maraschino cherries. When hot, brush with a mixture of melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pound cake can be grilled in slices, too.

Any grilled fruit can be turned into a dessert by topping the cooked fruit with a liqueur, the brown-sugar mixture mentioned above, caramel sauce, or a blend of rum, sugar, and butter. Finish these off with ice cream or whipped topping for a truly decadent dessert!

Speaking of ice cream, have you ever considered grilling it? Yes, dear reader, it is possible! Check out this recipe for grilled ice cream cake.

For another great grilled dessert, watch the following video:

Jell-O

Okay, I conceded on this one. I still haven’t figured out a way to successfully grill Jell-o…but give me a few weeks to work on it!

Chillin' to the melancholy bagpipes.
Chillin' to the melancholy bagpipes.
Chillin' and grillin' with Bobby on the guitar.
Chillin' and grillin' with Bobby on the guitar.

More BBQ Cooking

In case you haven't figured it out yet, my family and I LOVE BBQ cooking! We engage in these activities on a regular basis with friends, and sometimes we have our own cooking contests. Hubby and I enjoy hosting cookouts, luaus, oyster roasts, fish fries, and low-country boils. We almost always have informal live entertainment in the form of singing, guitar playing, banjo picking, and even bagpipes. How 'bout that for grilling and chillin'?

Outdoor grilling is a wonderful way to entertain. All the guests, along with the hosts, mingle and visit around the grill while the food cooks, so you're not stuck in the kitchen by yourself. If you'd like to get more ideas about grilling, smoking, and other methods of outdoor cooking, follow the links below!

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Comments 46 comments

rkhyclak profile image

rkhyclak 6 years ago from Ohio

Habee, I just love your cooking school and other cooking articles! I grill a lot during the summer-everything from the typical meats to our fruits and veggies. I recently started grilling cantaloupe and drizzling it with honey and serving with vanilla ice cream-delicious! Thanks again for a great article, and your cookouts look and sound like such a great time!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Habee, All that food looks great. This is a terrific hub. I want to eat all that food!


samboiam profile image

samboiam 6 years ago from Texas

I have got to quit reading your food hubs late at night or I am going to be as wide as the side of the house.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

How fun, love this Habee. Your pictures and writing are so fun. Great Hub


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

You tell me how to grill jello and you can win the grand prize... LOL


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

You lucky thing. I sit here and cover my goose pimpels and that is indoors. That weather really gets you. Thank you for your lovely hub and enjoy younr BBQ


judydianne profile image

judydianne 6 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

Loved this hub! Great, yummy pictures. Makes me want to take a trip to Georgia! LOL!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

I'd have to disagree with you on only one point. Cooking is not a chore at all. At least not for me. I absolutely love the challenge and adventure that comes with cooking. I'm one to always try new things so that eating or cooking never becomes "stale."

Just tried the corn cobs on the grill recently, and I'm a fan. Always saw it done, but never did it myself. I'm hooked. :)


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Your grilled fruit looks especially good; I'm going to try that this summer.


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

This all looks like fun! Am I invited to your BBQ?


msannec profile image

msannec 6 years ago from Mississippi (The Delta)

Fabulous hub! There's nothing I like better than a great cookout. I love grilled food, thanks for sharing.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Wonderful as usual - and I never allow bagpipers at my grill...they suck the air right out everything. What a kick! Super job!!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Yummy.....you make me hungry. Thanks for delicious information. Two thumbs up for you.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

Habee - I could barely read the hub with all the mouth watering pictures. You are making me drool with all these great recipes! :)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

I am not an accomplished cook, but I adore eating foods cooked on a grill. Seafood--shrimp, lobster tail, scallops, fish--all are awesome. My father loved cooking steaks outdoors when he was younger, and that was some of the best steak I had ever eaten. I agree that pretty much anything can be cooked on a grill, and I sure am hungry for it now.

Mike


charanjeet kaur profile image

charanjeet kaur 6 years ago from Delhi

Habee another knock out hub, with so many options for grilling the rainy season here sucks. I love the layout, the pictures, the content and everything. Rated it up dear. Cheers for many more mouthwatering hubs.


Teddletonmr profile image

Teddletonmr 6 years ago from Midwest USA

Grilling Jello, why would you want to anyway? Just because, come on guys. Bread it then deep fri it maybe. Great bub I love to grill year round, turkey for thanksgiving, ham for christmas, porkbutt for the forth of july, fresh corn on the cob straight from my vegetable garden, and anything else I can thing of, except JELLO...


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Y woild not have believed Oysters but I believe you Holly


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago

It all looks very appetizing! The scallops look top notch!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

When's the grill gonna be ready?? That's me in the backyard with the fork and plate !!!


pastella13 6 years ago

A great hub with some wonderful pictures. Making me hungry!


nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

Great hub. I didn't realize you could cook all that on the grill. We love to use the grill in the summer. I've got to try some of these tips.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Rkhyclak, we always have a great time grillin'!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for reading, Pam!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Join the club, Sam!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Glad you enjoyed it, Sunny!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Steph, it was a joke, but I bet it could be done!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

HH, it's been almost 100 degrees here all week!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Well, come on up, Judy!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Right, Jim, but some people hate to cook!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hope you like it, Sheila!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

The more the merrier, Sandy! Come on down!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for reading, Anne!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Buckie, I don't know if we can be pals if you don't like bagpipes...lol!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Many thanks, Prasetio!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

V, I made myself hungry! lol


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I agree, Mike - everything tastes better on the grill!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Charan, thanks for your kind words!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Teddle, it was kind of a joke about the jell-o!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Eth, oysters are great on the grill!


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 6 years ago from India

Your sweet hub made me hungry. Nicely done. Wow lovely photographs of Oysters and prawns. Rating it up, useful and awesome!!!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

thanks for stopping by, Nifty!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

chris, I wondered what the dogs were barking at!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Pastella!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Give 'em a shot, Nancy!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Wow! Thanks a bunch, Dinkan!

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