Category Archives: Recipes

Using Dry Spice Rubs to Enhance Your Outdoor Grilling

Grilling meats whether flat on a grill or on a rotisserie is a whole different ballgame than baking or broiling meats in an oven. While grilling is the most similar to broiling, adding flavor and retaining moisture in meats while grilling is more difficult. The extra effort is worth it though, because anything cooked outdoors on a grill is more delicious.

Grilled Porkchops with Dry Rub

One of the problems when cooking on a grill is retaining added flavor to meats. Since grills cook through flame, it is easy to burn off marinades and spices. An easy and tasty solution is to use a dry rub marinade to flavor meats. You can flavor vegetables this way too, but they don’t absorb the flavor as much as meats do.

A dry rub is exactly what it sounds like: a dry mixture of herbs and spices that is rubbed into the surface of the meat. To create the juiciest piece of meat, it is best to first take your fish, chicken, turkey, pork or beef and rinse and clean the meat. Next, spray it lightly with an oil spray. (We like to use olive oil.) Pat the meat lightly with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Then take the spice rub in your hand – about a teaspoon at a time – and rub it into the surface of the meat on both sides. (Fish is the exception for this because you don’t need to turn it over on the grill.) With a dry rub, you can cook your meat immediately or let it sit in your refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes to absorb the flavor.

When you are ready to cook, grill as you normally would. The oil keeps in the moisture and the flavor rub stays on the meat and does not drop or burn off.

You can buy ready-made spice rubs or you can make your own from common herbs and spices. Remember to use dry herbs not fresh herbs for this grilling method. You will find that certain combinations of herbs and spices work better with fish while others work better with beef or chicken. You can vary the intensity of the flavor by using more or less of the rub. You can alter ingredients until you find the perfect blend for your taste buds.

Here is a recipe for you to try from Cooking Light:

Mexican Mole Rub


1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons instant
espresso powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt


Combine water and espresso powder in a small bowl, stirring until espresso dissolves. Stir in paprika, cocoa, cumin, olive oil, and salt.

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From Appetizer to Dessert

Pizza on the grill

As you break out the grill for the spring and summer season, creativity and a willingness to try new ideas will give you the opportunity to plan entire meals on the grill without leaving a mess in the kitchen.

Using new tools or gadgets that are already in your kitchen will give you the ability to move beyond hot dogs and hamburgers. In addition, you can get creative with a wider variety of ethnic and unusual ingredients available in the grocery stores. Grills and grill accessories have changed, and tastes have changed as well.

Some of the most popular tools to use on the grill are the griddle and pizza stone. These can easily be incorporated with a grill. A wok on the barbecue adds a new dimension for using it as a vessel for cioppino, soup, or steaming shellfish in white wine.

Cooking everything from appetizers to dessert on the grill gives you the chance to be outdoors more. You can grill marinated vegetables, shrimp, bruschetta or fruit. Peaches, nectarines, and other stone fruits develop a deep caramelized flavor that pairs with crème fraiche and drizzled honey for dessert.

In fact, desserts can be the most surprising option for the barbecue. With desserts, keep in mind that a grill with indirect heat works like an oven. You can prepare a berry cobbler and place it in the middle of the grate to bake while having dinner. Molten lava cakes bake well in muffin tins when placed in the barbecue with the lid down. It is a very impressive way to entertain friends.

Several tips will help you use the grill for an entire meal. It is best to set up two zones for heat, one direct and one indirect. In addition, to aid heat circulation, avoid overcrowding the cooking area. This might take a little planning or a larger grill. Finally, remember the lid. When the lid is down, the grate heats up better for searing and the food cooks more quickly and tastes smokier.

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Up Your Grilling Game with Accessories that Let You Do More

Rotisserie Chickens

You’ve mastered burgers, steaks, and even the occasional veggie dish on the grill … but you can up your grilling game even further and impress your friends and family by using gas grill accessories that let you make even more great meals outdoors. Here are a few of the best accessories for crafting delectable dishes that people will be surprised to learn you made on the grill.

Rotisserie Kits

Rotisserie kits let you produce a bird right on the grill that has juicy tenderness inside and a crisp outer crust. While chicken is the traditional meat of choice for a rotisserie, you can also use your kit to cook a perfectly grilled duck or a tender beef roast. You can also get a specialized turkey holder to prepare your holiday feast on the grill.

Griddle Plate Attachments

You probably haven’t considered making fried eggs or pancakes on your grill, but with a griddle plate attachment, you can easily prepare tasty breakfast foods and other griddle-friendly meals without having to head indoors. These handy stainless steel accessories attach to your grill surface or side burners to create a flat surface perfect for cooking everything from fried bacon to spicy fajitas.

Rib Racks

Your gas grill is great at cooking things hot and fast, but you can also slow things down with the right accessory and make slow-cooked ribs on the grill. Rib racks work by holding the meat high above the grill surface so the heat is less intense. You can cook a whole rack of baby back ribs or beef ribs on an easy-to-clean rack, or you can go exotic with venison or lamb ribs prepared in your own backyard.


Get That Wood Smoked Flavor On Your Grill

Looking forward to dinner

When you’re ready to step up your grilling game, it’s time to put out some smoked meats like the experts do. When smoked on your grill, beef, pork, chicken, or fish come out tender, juicy, and infused with that smoky flavor that you can get only from the grill. Smoking is economical and you can do it with almost any grill. Try it this spring and you’ll have the whole neighborhood coming over to see what’s cookin’!

Smoking: The Basics

All you need are some wood chips or chunks, something to hold them, and a good thermometer. Smoked meat is done at a low temperature for several hours. Even a tough cut of beef becomes tender when smoked this way.

Preparing the Wood Chips

Different types of wood give you different flavors. Mesquite and pecan are considered heavy woods and give you a strong smoke flavor. Fruit woods, such as apple and cherry, are lighter flavors. The most common wood chips used for backyard smoking are oak and hickory. You can find these at BBQ grill shops and many supermarkets. If you’re cutting your own chips, don’t use softwoods, such as pine, or pressure treated lumber.

The wood chips should be soaked in water for one hour. Let them drain for a few minutes then place them in a fireproof container. A smoker box is perfect. Your gas grill might have a smoker box made just for it that will fit down by the burners. You could also choose to use a small aluminum foil pan. If using the foil pan, place it on one of the grill grates.

Preparing the Grill

With the wood chips in place on the grill, turn the grill on high and close the cover. When you start to get a good amount of smoke coming out, reduce the heat to 250 to 275 degrees. Once the grill has cooled down to that temp, put the meat on the grill grates. You can cover the grates with your food of choice because they will cook from the overall temperature within the grill, not from the flames beneath. So pile on the chicken breasts, turkey legs, and spare ribs!

Smaller pieces of meat such as chicken legs and wings can cook in as little as four hours. Most larger pieces will require six to eight hours. It will be well worth the wait! Since smoked meat can have a pink color, but still be cooked throughout, use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s at the right temperature and safe to eat.

By the time you’ve tried various types of wood chips and cuts of meat, you’ll have a new set of favorite spring and summer grilling recipes. Be patient and you might find that smoking with your grill is your first choice for cooking outdoors.


Great Things to Grill for Your Housewarming Party


Moving into your new house is an exciting time and once you are settled, a housewarming party is undoubtedly in order to christen the new place and pieces of furniture with your closest friends. While there are a number of different types of housewarming parties, having a BBQ with an outdoor grill might be the best because there’s no better way to bond then over food cooked on the grill. Here are a few things that are ideal to grill for your housewarming party:


Get a couple great spiced kielbasas, or other types of sausage, and throw them on the grill, turning them every few minutes or so. Once they are cooked through completely, pull them off the grill and cut them into individual pieces that are bite-sized. You can put toothpicks in them and serve with spicy mustard or other great dipping sauces.


Chicken Drumsticks

Most butchers will sell individual chicken drumsticks by the pound and this is one of the best things to grill for any type of party. Drumsticks are easy to hold, easy to eat, and not too filling. Marinate them any way you like and then grill up a few pounds of them to be served and left out for people take one or two of whenever they get hungry.



The great thing about shish-kabobs is that you can have vegetarian shish-kabobs or meat shish-kabobs that can be thrown on the grill. Simply put whatever you want in each shish-kabob on skewers and then place these on the grill, turning every four to five minutes. The skewers can be metal or wood, though if you go with the latter it is a good idea to soak the wooden skewers for a little while, so they will not burn & so what is cooked on them will come off easily.


Marvelous Meat Marinades for Tasty Grilled Steaks

Marinated Steak

Plain steaks straight off the grill can be delicious, but if you really want to impress guests at your next backyard barbecue, add a marinade to the mix. The basic components of a good marinade are: oil, something acidic, and seasonings; the possibilities are practically endless. Here are some marvelous meat marinades you can try on your steaks to give them a bit of added flavor.

Basic Balsamic Marinade - Soak your steaks in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, and thyme to tenderize the meat and infuse it with classic flavor.

Beer Marinade – Your friends won’t be able to figure out the secret ingredient in this marinade, but they’ll be begging you for the recipe. Mix one bottle of a good Pilsner, a quarter cup of lime juice, a dash of olive oil, a bit of chopped onion, minced garlic, fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, and chopped jalapenos to taste. The result is a delicious Southwestern-inspired steak with a twist.

Asian Marinade – Look East at your next barbecue and try a teriyaki marinade made from a half-cup Japanese cooking wine, a half-cup soy sauce, and a third-cup granulated sugar mixed together. Add smashed garlic, shredded ginger root, honey, and wasabi paste to give the marinade even more flavor depth.

French Marinade - Whether you’re grilling a romantic steak dinner for two or showing off your burgeoning grill skills for an intimate dinner party, a French-style marinade is designed to impress. For this marinade, start with 2 cups of dry red wine and 1 cup of olive oil, then mix in about a cup of soy sauce and a third-cup each of Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, honey, and Dijon mustard. Add some crushed garlic, cumin, coriander, and black pepper to taste.

No matter which marinade you choose, make sure to keep your meat in the marinade for 2 to 24 hours before cooking it to get the best flavor. Keep the meat in the refrigerator while it marinates to avoid contamination.


From Pizza to Peaches: Five Unexpected Foods You can Grill

The polar vortex has moved on, and grilling season will be upon us quickly. Grilling the perfect steak is a skill we all strive to master. If you are looking to expand your menu options for cooking outside, try these unexpected foods that grilling makes great:


Intensify the flavor of meatballs by grilling them. Add grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, diced onion and shallot, and herbs de Provence to your usual recipe. Flattening the meatballs just slightly will prevent them from rolling on the grill. Serve in a pasta dish, meatball sub, or as the main course.

Pound Cake

Slice super-rich pound cake into thick slices and grill lightly over moderate heat for about two minutes. Top with sliced fruit and mascarpone or whipped cream for a tasty dessert after grilling main meal.


Start with homemade dough or a store bought pizza crust, top with pesto, sliced Roma tomatoes, and grated mozzarella cheese. Slide onto the grill and place the cover on. Cook for about four to five minutes until the crust is browned on the bottom and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately. Try different toppings such as feta cheese or sun dried tomatoes.


Grilling stone fruits such as peaches or nectarines will caramelize them and intensify the sweetness.

Slice the peaches in half and remove the pit. Brush the cut sides with lightly flavored oil. Grill the peaches with the cut-side down for about two minutes. Top with a reduced balsamic vinegar glaze, a pomegranate and merlot syrup, or almonds and whipped cream.


Eggplant prepared on a grill can go into many favorite dishes. You can substitute the eggplant on a hamburger for your vegetarian friends, layer it with other grilled vegetables and top with lemon vinaigrette, or make this super simple eggplant Parmesan dish:

Slice two eggplants crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Brush with olive oil and grill until just softened. Layer the slices in a cast iron skillet with sliced tomatoes, ricotta cheese, and pesto. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake in the covered grill for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and browned.


Cooking Up a Storm: How to Add Pizazz to your Next Cookout on your Gas Grill

What do you cook on your gas grill? Before you plan your next cookout, consider these ideas for some variety to jazz up your cookouts and cook up a storm!

  • Fresh Grilled Vegetables- Make some veggies on a stick basted in butter and wait for the compliments. This is an added treat for BBQ lovers and a deviation from the normal hamburgers and buns; veggie lovers will love it and it’s easy to do.
  • Corn-on-the-Cob-This is great on the grill and adds extra flavor to your cookouts. It easily complements your burgers and hot dogs and other grilled foods. Smooth some liquid or melted butter over the roasting ears as they grill and you’ll be in for a special treat everyone will love.
  • BBQ chicken- Instead of always fixing burgers, try throwing some BBQ chicken on the grill. This is great basted in BBQ sauce as it cooks. Your friends will love it!
  • Pork chops-These are great grilled with some Country Bob’s sauce or A-1. Finger-licking good. Get the best cuts for the best result. Pork chops can be tough so make sure you tenderize them before grilling.
  • Steaks- Bring out the big meat and please the meat lovers in your family – and on your block! – by fixing up a top-notch steak cut. The key here is to make sure you get good Grade A quality cuts at your local grocer and make sure the meat is fresh. Tenderize before grilling.
  • Fish- Please fish-lovers with an old-fashioned fish fry. Throw some catfish or trout on the grill and baste in lemon sauce and butter for a gourmet outdoor grilling experience.

You can find lots of recipes online to jazz up your next cookout and make it special. Family and friends will talk about all the different things you cook on your grill and they’ll wonder how you do it. So get creative before your next cookout and look up some killer grilling recipes online. Here’s a place to start for grilling recipes.


Grilling on the Road

Besides grilling outdoors, perhaps the other great pleasure that life has to offer would be travel. If you can travel in an RV, camper, or trailer, bringing your home with you as you hop from lake to campground to urban RV park, then all the better. Here are a few grilling ideas for those of you who like to do a lot of traveling:

  • Baked Potatoes

Potatoes make a great road staple for your daily starch because they hold so well in all sorts of temperatures. It’s very hard to make potatoes spoil. Poke a potato all the way through with a fork on both sides, wrap in foil, and bake on the grill until you can poke a fork into the potato without having to force it. Throw some butter, bacon, chives, or whatever you like on there and you have a great side dish.

  • Bacon and Eggs

Is there anything better in the morning, when you’re camping out, than the smell of bacon and eggs frying in the great outdoors? Don’t even bother spicing this one up. Just keep a skillet on hand, fry them up, add a little salt and pepper, and serve.

  • Campground Coffee

Get a kettle, boil some water in it on the grill with the coffee grinds right in it, and add a couple of rinsed egg shells to absorb the excess bitterness. Take it off the grill and let it sit for about five minutes. This will give it time to brew and the grinds time to settle. Pour slowly and you have authentic cowboy coffee.

Cooking outdoors is a lot of fun, especially when you mix travel and camping with fresh grilled breakfast, lunch, dinner … and every snack in between!


Even a Vegetarian Needs a Grill

If you haven’t bothered investing in a grill because you’re not a big meat eater, because you’re vegan or vegetarian, or just trying to cut back on excess protein, you’re missing out.

The real beauty of grilled food is the crispy skin that forms on the outside of the food and the way the grill marks form. The beauty of grilled food is the flavor, the texture, the heat. You can accomplish this with chicken, sure, but you can also accomplish it with any of these ideas:

  • Grilled Mushrooms

There are a few ways to do grilled mushrooms. A portobello cap can be oiled, grilled, and sliced up onto a salad for a hot-and-cold flavor, or stuffed with a favorite filling. You could also try sticking a kabob skewer through a half dozen button mushrooms and have a delicious seasoned vegetarian kabob.

  • Black Bean Burgers

You can make delicious burger patties out of black beans, bread crumbs, and seasonings of your choice. These burgers get that crispy, charred flavor you want without the meat.

  • Grilled Pineapple

Fruit needn’t be left out of the mix. Grilled pineapples are a great start, but you can also experiment with apples, pears, peaches, or anything else with nice, solid meat that will hold up to the flame.

Grilling is grilling. Whether you like meat or veggies, everyone who loves to eat would do well to invest in a grill, some seasonings, and a favorite BBQ sauce.