I really enjoy grilling. Really. When I meet someone and find out that they also enjoy grilling, I get all giddy and instantly spark up a conversation about recipes, techniques, and equipment (the grilling kind).
I’m often disappointed to find out that the extent of their experience is burgers, brats, hot dogs, and the occasional steak. Don’t get me wrong, all four of those foods are best cooked on the grill, but the source of my disappointment is hearing the excuses for not trying other things. “Oh I don’t have time to marinate,” or “I don’t know if my grill can do that.”
Good news, folks. Putting your meat in a bag with some flavor-sauce is easy. And your grill, it can do it – as can you.
Here’s a few easy ones for you to try this summer.
1. Pork Tenderloin
These awesome cuts of meat are about the length of your forearm and cost less than $10. You can buy them at most grocers pre-marinaded in awesome flavors like teriyaki or lemon pepper – or you can marinade it yourself by tossing it in a bowl or big ziplock bag filled with beer and apple cider. Or you can buy a bottle of marinade – I’m a big fan of the World Harbors marinades. Cook it on your grill, medium to hot indirect heat for about 45 minutes. Poke it with your finger to know when it is done. It shouldn’t feel floppy. You can also cheat and use a meat thermometer.
2. Beef skewers
The possibilities are endless when it comes to meat-on-a-stick. I usually use thin cut ribeyes, but any thinner steak will do. Just cut them into 1.5″ wide strips. I like using a teriyaki marinade and soaking the meat for a solid 12 hours before grilling. You can always skip the marinade and opt to brush it on as it is grilling too. If you’re using wood skewers, soak them in water for an hour. Cook these over higher heat, 3 or 4 minutes on each side (depending on your heat and your meat).
3. Italian Dressing Chicken Thighs
I was impressed when I first tasted this, but disappointed when I found out how easy this one is. Throw your chicken thighs in a baggy filled with Italian salad dressing and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Grill them up over a medium heat for 30-40 minutes and your friends will be impressed. I like using boneless thighs for this – they’ll cook a bit faster, and are easier to eat.
4. Pork medallions
This uses the same pork tenderloin in recipe #1. Before cooking, slice your meat into 1/4″ round pieces and flatten them with the flat side of your meat tenderizer. It’s usually a good idea to cover the medallions with plastic wrap to prevent meat explosions while pounding. Make a batch of glaze with Dijon mustard, honey, brown sugar and molasses, glaze on liberally as they cook over high heat. The glaze should caramelize and char up into pure deliciousness. You could also put these on a stick, but meh.
5. Cedar Plank Salmon
Credit to my friend and coworker Mike for this one. I asked him to write it up, here’s what I got back.
it’s been a while.
basically soak a plank in water / wine mix (or just water)
then put the salmon on it on the grill
skin side down
and cook it
Thanks for the details, Mike. I remember there being some dill and oregano on top. Don’t overcook it. Salmon tastes best when the middle is still a bit rare.
6. Smoked Salmon
This one might be a bit trickier if you’re using a small grill. You want your salmon to be as far away from the heat as possible. On my Weber, I load up one side with hickory wood chunks and charcoal, and I keep the salmon all the way on the other side. Add a few wood chunks and charcoals every hour, while keeping the vents almost completely closed. Your temp should stay around 250 degrees F. Six hours later, you’ll smell like Famous Dave himself, and your salmon will taste amazing.
7. Beer Can Chicken
This one is kinda cliched, I know. But it is still worth trying if you’ve never done it. Check the height of your grill, your beer can, and your chicken first though. My first try at this was a #fail as I prepared four chickens that wouldn’t fit on my (old) grill. Cornish hens might be equally as delicious. The set up is simple. Rub your chicken down with veg oil. Season it with some salt and pepper. Other seasoning is optional, but encouraged. (Mrs Dash is awesome). Drink half can of your favorite beer, and then stick the open end of the can into the chicken’s …. uh, open end. Prop your violated chicken contraption on the grill over medium to high heat and roast it for an hour and fifteen minutes. Careful when you take it off the grill, that beer is going to be HOT (and no longer drinkable).
Now I know what you’re thinking – “My wife will murder me if I expect the family to have a meal of JUST meat”
And she’s right, you need to eat your veggies. Tell her to get in the kitchen and make them.
Grilling veggies is easy too. Here are some pathetically easy veggies for you to grill up with your meats.
- Asparagus – baste with butter, season with salt. With or without foil works.
- Tomatoes – cut in half, or even slices. Salt, mozzarella cheese and basil.
- Sweet corn – leave the husks on, just put the ears right on the grill. Or remove husks and baste with salted butter.
- Mushrooms – Not really a veggie, but fools most. Season, or marinade.
- Zucchini – extra virgin olive oil + salt + pepper + grill = teh awesome.
- Broccoli – rinse, season, grill
- Potatoes – dice them. add butter and garlic. Make a big ‘foil pack’ and toss it right on the grill.
So there you have it. Try some of these foods and let me know what you think. If you have stuff to add, post a comment. If it’s good enough for me to cook, I’ll send you a Fatwallet t-shirt.
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Troy is the in-house SEO for Fatwallet. Read his Weber Performer Grill Review to see his equipment.