Top 5 Foods You Love to Grill
Now that summer is officially here and the kids are out of school, what plans do you have for the summer? Are you a family who frequents restaurants for many of your family meals? Or, are you like my family who love to use our outdoor grill to create masterpieces of culinary perfection on a regular basis? There are so many different types of grills on the market these days and you can do virtually anything with them. This grill-availability creates scenarios that are limited only by your imagination! So, what are the top 5 foods you love to grill? Let’s talk about my favorites.
This top 5 food is probably the first thing most men will think of what you mention cooking on the grill. They are imagining a thick and juicy T-bone or Porterhouse steak with all of the trimmings. Cooked to each individual’s chosen perfect doneness, steaks can be the ultimate opportunity for you to show off your grilling expertise. There really aren’t many grilling foods that I can think of that need closer attention than cooking each person’s steak to his or her exact doneness standard and there are none that taste as awesome as a steak that is perfectly prepared! I can tell you from personal experience, when you order your steak medium rare and the steak that you are ultimately served is well done – well suffice it to say that your meal is ruined beyond repair! There is truly a rare skill at work here that goes way beyond slapping the meat on the grill and flipping it once or twice. How well are your grilling skills honed?
The next top 5 food we’re going to talk about is ribs. They can be pork or beef and they can be cooked to a juicy and brown perfection with a bit of grilling skill. I have found in my personal experience that pre-cooking the ribs in the house for a period of time, grilling them a bit for the grilled flavor and then finishing them slowly in the oven creates some of the most tender, juicy and mouth-watering ribs on the planet. Of course, the sauce that is used is extremely important and should not be skimped upon. I prefer to take a bottle of a commercially prepared barbeque sauce to use as a base and then “modify” it to suit my own tastes. This creates a sauce that is uniquely yours and, because you use a little of this and a pinch of that, most likely will vary in taste each time you prepare it. I know some folks who can use a smoker grill and create some of the tenderest and juicy ribs by just slowly smoking or roasting them. If you like ribs, you really need to develop your own grilling technique to make them just the way you and your family like them best.
This top 5 grilling food, in my opinion, doesn’t get enough credit. Many people prefer chicken to beef and pork and I have had the pleasure of eating some chicken dishes that are truly amazing. Grilling chicken, whether you use chicken breasts or wings or legs or thighs, can present some interesting grilling issues. The primary issue is getting the chicken fully cooked to the appropriate safe internal temperature without incinerating the exterior. I have found personally, and have talked with others who agree, that pre-cooking the chicken pieces by either boiling or microwaving them and then grilling them greatly reduces the opportunity of serving and, subsequently, eating under-cooked chicken. A great piece of grilled marinated chicken will compliment any salad, pasta dish, or casserole you can throw together and your family will love it. Many people prefer to cook chicken wings that have been cut into sections while others prefer to use the meaty white meat of the chicken breast. Regardless of the type of chicken you prefer to eat, grilling it will greatly improve the flavor, texture and eye appeal of the meal.
Hot Dogs, Bratwurst, Burgers
Our next top 5 food category is hot dogs, brats and burgers. Not everyone can afford the thick, juicy steaks and ribs for their grilling experience – or maybe the kids just won’t eat any of that. I never met a kid that didn’t like hot dogs and burgers especially when they’re cooked on the grill! There is such a variety of hot dogs on the market these days; if you don’t want all the various meats found in the “all meat” variety, you can choose chicken, beef or turkey dogs for your grilling pleasure. Burgers can be found in the vegan style as well as made with beef or turkey. Bratwurst is another grilling favorite of mine. The dark brown grilled casing of the brats is so appealing – and that’s before you cut into the sausage link and watch the juices run out of it! It is great with sauerkraut and maybe a little mustard nestled in that hoagie or hot dog bun. Grilling doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be fun. Don’t forget the marshmallows for toasting after the fire dies down and dinner is eaten. There is a bit of child in all of us that probably remembers many wiener and marshmallow roasts in years past. If you have some of those fond memories from your childhood, be sure to help your kids make some of their own.
Veggies, Potatoes, Corn on the Cob
Meat isn’t the only top 5 food that you can grill. One of my favorite sides when I grill is to cut up onion, peppers, squash and mushrooms and sauté them over the coals. You can use a screen type grill pan to place the veggies into and put the pan on the grill racks or on the coals for the juiciest, crisp-tender veggies you will ever want to eat. Potatoes, either white or sweet, can be wrapped in foil and placed either on the grill racks or into the coals for some really excellent grilled “baked” potatoes. You can do the same thing with corn on the cob. You can husk the ears of corn and wrap them in foil to grill the same way as potatoes or you can remove the corn silk and leave as much of the husk intact to replace the foil for grilling on the grill racks.
As you can see, the food combinations are endless – limited only by your imagination. I’ll bet you can add a few suggestions of your own. How about it? Do you have your own top 5 favorite foods to grill?