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Creative Recipes and Ideas to Spice Up the Summer with Your Grill

Updated on September 3, 2014

Grilled Food is Great- Try Some of These Creative Grill Ideas

The Grill Isn't Just for the Meat!

Don't just fire up your grill to cook your burgers, hot dogs and sausage. Start cooking the whole meal on the grill and experience bold new flavors cooked in a healthy way.

Vegetables taste great when they are cooked on the grill. Some of the best vegetables to try grilling include broccoli, squash, zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, tomatoes and even wedges of lettuce!

But don't stop there. If you have a favorite vegetable and are already using the grill, throw it on and see how it turns out! You may be surprised to find new veggie lovers in your family!

Grilling Tips for Beginners to Pros:

  • Never place a grill against the wall of a building or under low hanging trees
  • Outdoor grills should be used outdoors. That does not mean in a garage, in a sunroom, or anywhere else but outdoors
  • If you own a charcoal grill, NEVER put starter fluid on coals that are already hot
  • If you use wood in your grill, don't ever use wood if you don't know where it came from- wood used for builing or other construction work can be coated in hazardous, flammable chemicals that can explode or combust when lit
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher handy when using your grill

Don't Stop at Vegetables, Start Grilling Your Fruit!

After trying out some grilled vegetables, throw some fruit on the grill for a new, fresh taste that is sweet and refreshing.

Almost any kind of fruit works well on the grill, but as a general rule, the firmer the fruit, the better the results. That means that fruits like apples, pears, pineapple and greener bananas grill easier than softer fruits like watermelon, peaches, plums and ripe bananas.

Soft fruits require a lot of attention and tend to grill quickly. To help control the amount of heat that reaches the fruit, place them around the edge of the grill to get a nice burn that isn't too intense.

The skin of the fruit can be left on while grilling, and actually works well to trap the juice of the fruit. The result can be very tasty!

How Hot is the Grill?

Length of Time it Takes to Feel Heat (when you place your hand safely above the grate)
Estimated Heat Level
Approximate Grill Temperature
10 seconds
225 degrees
8 seconds
Low to Medium
250 degrees
6 seconds
300 degrees
4 seconds
Medium to High
325 degrees
2 seconds
375 degrees
This is a general rule of thumb you can use when you need to heat your grill. This is not exact, and it is always recommended to use a meat thermometer while grilling.

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Turn Grilled Fruit Into Dessert

Do you like grilled fruit? If so, you have to try this indulgent take on the idea!

To make a quick dessert on the grill, brush some cut up fruit with melted butter. After you coat the fruit, sprinkle some sugar, some cinnamon, and some brown sugar on top. Place the fruit on the grill.

Keep your eyes on the grill the whole time because fruit grills quickly, and sugar speeds up the grilling process, so depending on the fruit chosen, your dessert can be done in no time.

If you find that the fruit is grilling too quickly, you can pre-mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and coat the fruit towards the end of the grilling process instead of before the fruit goes on the grill.

Grilling Ideas: Kebabs and Skewers

Make Your Own Signature Grill Sauce!

Nothing says it's grilling season like delicious barbecue sauce! Did you know however that making your own sauce for the grill isn't that hard at all? Try it out and see what happens!

Sweet Whiskey Sauce Recipe:

  • 2 cups of bottled barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1.4 cup of whiskey
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder

Mix the ingredients in a pot as you simmer over medium heat. Add in a quarter cup of water and stir for 10 minutes.

Jazz Up the Grill with More than Just Burgers

Use a Dry Rub for Your Meat

Dry rubs are seasoning blends that you use to coat meat before you grill it. There are many kinds of dry rubs, ranging from the wide assortment available pre-made in the store to the thousands more available online.

Here is a recipe for a dry rub you can make at home:

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
  • 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl until they become a paste like consistency. Coat your meat in the blend and either let it rest, or place it on the grill. Enjoy!

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Cooking Chicken? Try a Brine!

Have you ever heard of a brine? If not, you are missing out on a juicy and flavorful way to jazz up your poultry dishes!

A brine is a salt and sugar water wash made for poultry that creates a richer and bolder flavor. To brine poultry, simply boil water on the stove, add salt and brown sugar and stir until they both dissolve.

(The amount of salt and sugar you should add depend on personal preference.)

After the salt and sugar dissolves, add over ten cups of water to the original mix, then submerge the poultry in the water. Cover the pot and place it in the fridge.

After about four hours, it is time to grill the flavor-packed poultry, so fire up the grill and get eating!

Try a Fruit Kebab as a New Take on the Grilled Skewer

Using Wood to Enhance the Flavor

Wood can be used not just as fuel for the fire but also as a way to add flavor to your grilled meat. However only certain wood should be used to grill or smoke meat.

These types of wood include Alder, Apple, Beech, Blackberry, Birch, Cedar, Cherry, Corncob, Grapevine, Hickory, Maple, Mesquite, Mulberry, Oak, Peach, Pear, Pecan, Pimento, Seaweed, Walnut, and a plank grilling board.

Harder woods are better to use than softwoods because hardwoods burn longer and provide more heat. These types also add more flavor to foods because of the aromatic smoke that is produced as the wood burns.

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal


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    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal 3 years ago from Bridgewater

      I don't like fish, I wish I did cause it is so good for you but I just don't like it! It actually upsets me lol.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I like to grill as often as possible. I like fish on the grill, too. I make a boat out of aluminum foil, put the fish in it and add butter and lemon or whatever strikes my fancy. You have no grill clean up because the fish doesn't stick to the grate and the boat doubles as a serving dish.