No matter how hot it is, summer grilling is always thrilling! Most often barbecues are used for cooking prime cuts of steak and chicken as well as the traditional meats such as hot dogs and hamburgers, but did you know your outdoor grill has many other uses? Given our extensive background in the outdoor kitchen manufacturing industry, we have perfected our own culinary techniques when it comes to grilling. And, we wanted to share five new ways to use your grill this season.
1. Grilled Bruschetta – a modern twist on a traditional Italian recipe. Select a ripe beefsteak tomato as well as a sweet onion; cut both ingredients into thick slices. Heat grill to 400 degrees, and coat the rack with a non-stick spray. Cook until lightly charred. Toast slices of bread (we like French bread), and top with mozzarella cheese. Add slices of tomato and onion. Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar on top, and garnish with shredded basil.
2. Grilled Pineapple – a quick and easy summer dessert. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of honey, one teaspoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of fresh lime juice, and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Cut one ripe pineapple into ½-inch slices. Heat grill, and lightly coat rack with cooking spray. Position pineapple slices four to six inches above the flame. Lightly brush pineapple with marinade; grill for three to five minutes. Flip, and repeat the process. For an added treat, top with caramel-flavored ice cream.
3. Grilled Fish Steaks – light but filling; perfect for summer. Select a sturdy white fish, such as halibut. Pre-heat grill to 350 degrees. Coat a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil (approximately 16-inches) with cooking spray. Lightly season with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Place fish fillets on top of the foil and transfer to the grill. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Add a mango, lime and avocado salsa on top to complement the flavor.
4. Glorified Grilled Cheese Sandwich – a winter recipe made for summer. Choose a hearty, sturdy loaf of pre-sliced fresh bread (sourdough or French bread are good options). Layer one side with sliced brie cheese, tomato and ham; season with salt and pepper. Brush the outside of the bread, on both sides, with melted butter or olive oil. Heat grill to 300; coat with non-stick spray. Cook on both sides until the outside is a golden-brown color. A side of macaroni salad will pair perfectly with this dish to make a complete meal.
5. Ratatouille – use as a main course or a side dish. Cut zucchini (two), yellow squash (two), eggplant (two), red bell pepper (two), yellow bell pepper (two), and red onion (two) into thick chunks. Place all vegetables, along with a pint of cherry tomatoes, into a grilling dish. Coat vegetables with ½-cup of olive oil as well as salt and pepper. Place on heated grill (350 degrees) for approximately six minutes, stirring halfway. Remove tomatoes, and cook for another two minutes. Remove vegetables from heat and dice on a cutting board; leaving tomatoes whole. Add mixture to a new bowl, drizzle with two extra tablespoons of olive oil, three cloves of chopped garlic, two tablespoons of finely chopped oregano, and ¼-cup of chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Summer outdoor cooking can be fun; it allows you to expand your palette beyond the traditional grill recipes. What is more, if you find yourself spending more time outdoors, a typical grilling station might not be enough to satisfy your culinary needs. More and more homeowners are investing in full outdoor kitchens that have the same amenities, in both style and functionality, as interior kitchens. This includes amenities such as refrigerators to hold everything from beverages to fresh fruits and veggies; extra drawer and cabinet space to house cutlery and crockery; a pull-out trash can to avoid messy trash bags; and much more.
So why not go the whole nine yards this summer? Fill out the contact form to find out how you, too, can maximize your exterior space by implementing an outdoor kitchen.
This article is based on industry knowledge and research by outdoor kitchen design professionals, including our in-house experts and engineers with decades of experience.
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