July is National Grill Month. Who knew? But really, it makes sense. Summer IS the grilling season. And, with three out of four households owning at least one grill, it’s easy to see why the grill has become a cooking go-to for weekend get-togethers and as an easy, everyday solution for dinner.
Think about it––minimal clean up, and more time outside. The added bonus is you can do it with one hand! Beer in one hand, tongs in the other!
Before giving you some great grilling ideas, let’s talk methods of grilling, starting with the standards.
Propane versus charcoal is really a personal preference. It’s hard to argue the better of the two once the mind is made up.
First things first––propane is fast. Turn it on, (you’re good to go in about 10 minutes) and then throw it on. You’ll taste the flavor, not the burn. Without the smoky, charred taste, you’ll be able to get the full effect of your marinade, rub or sauce. But without any added flavor, you’ll just have warmed something up. Then there’s the cost savings. All in all, propane is less expensive and easier. Fill the tank. Grill. Repeat. Save yourself some frustration and buy a tank gauge. There’s nothing worse than running out of gas halfway through grilling a steak.
As for charcoal, sure, it takes a little longer, and coals are messy, but you can have a little more control of your heat and you’re guaranteed to get that true “charred” taste. Touted as the man’s way to grill, it does give a guy the certain satisfaction of being the provider. “I made fire. I cooked meat.”
For those with a little more time, and who want to get more creative, there’s the smoker.
Wood burners are definitely a time investment, best for weekends, but the results are well worth it. With a smoker, it’s all about the prep. Pre-soaking seasoned wood chips and finding a flavorful rub for your steak, chicken, pork, etc. is key. Then it’s all about cooking it low and slow. You’ll want to mop or spray your meat to keep it moist throughout the day. So, plan for six to 12 hours…time enough to watch a game, chill out with your buddies and keep your eye on the prize.
Beyond the backyard, where can you grill?
Anywhere that allows it. Think parks, campgrounds, the beach (portable gas or hibachi grills are great). And then there’s tailgating in parking lots…not just for football games. Think baseball games, summer concerts, the list goes on. You get it. Now go get your grill on.
What to Grill Now
You’ve got the grill. What will you put on it? Beyond burgers and dogs, steak and chicken, we’ve rounded up some recipes that are worth trying. At the top of the list: Beer Can Chicken. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/beer-can-chicken-recipe.html#!
Click here for more ideas: http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/search-results.html?searchTerm=grilling&form=global&_charset_=UTF-8