When you think of cooking on the grill it often conjures up memories of easy summer days and tasty food eaten with friends and family. It’s a perfect way to bring people together. The best part about grilling is its simplicity and the amazing flavors it brings out in different foods. People tend to fall back on classics like burgers and hot dogs but there are lots of options for cooking on a grill.
However, it can be a challenge knowing what to cook and how to cook it on a grill. Unlike an oven, where you set a temperature, grilling is more hands-on. You have to learn to control the heat by adjusting the grill’s settings and by moving the food to different areas of the grill. In this article, we will go over the best foods to cook on the grill along with cooking tips.
Table of Contents
1 – Classic grilled meats
An easy choice to make is to settle on cooking meats on the grill. The key to perfect grilled meats lies in choosing the right cuts and mastering the grilling technique. For steak lovers, options like ribeye and sirloin are top choices. These cuts grill beautifully, developing a rich flavor and a desirable char on the outside while remaining juicy inside.
Lamb is another great choice for the grill. Lamb chops or a leg of lamb can be seasoned with herbs like rosemary and thyme, along with garlic and olive oil. Lamb benefits from a good sear over high heat, followed by a slower cook to reach the desired doneness.
Grilling sausages are wonderful on the grill as the smoke adds another layer of flavor. Turning them frequently ensures they cook evenly without bursting. They’re perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.
Ribs are best cooked on the grill. Slow-cooked over low heat, slathered in barbecue sauce, they become tender and fall off the bone. Ribs require patience but are well worth the wait.
OneReCP is an excellent resource if you need some recipes. You’ll find more recipes there for all levels of grilling experience and taste preferences.
2 – Chicken recipes
Grilled chicken is a popular option since it is so versatile. The key is to have a plan which usually begins with a nice marinade to keep it from drying out as well as to add depth of flavor.
Simple marinades can include combinations of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. For something more adventurous, try a yogurt-based marinade with spices like cumin and paprika. It’s important to marinate chicken for at least an hour, though overnight is ideal for deeper flavor.
Different cuts of chicken require different grilling methods. Chicken breasts don’t have much fat so they need a medium-high heat to cook quickly without drying out. Keep them moist by brushing with oil or marinade during cooking. Bone-in pieces like thighs and drumsticks require longer cooking times at a lower temperature.
3 – Seafood suggestions
Grilling seafood is a great way to enjoy the lighter taste of the sea with a smoky element to add flavor.
The best options for grilling are fish that can withstand the direct heat without falling apart. Salmon and trout are excellent choices due to their firm textures that stand up to cooking on the grill. These types of fish have enough natural oils, ensuring they remain moist and flavorful after grilling.
Fish can be tricky to grill since they tend to stick to the grates. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to start with a clean grill grate. Oil the fish lightly before placing it on the grill. This helps to create a non-stick surface. You should also let the fish cook for a few minutes before flipping it. This allows the skin to crisp up and makes it easier to turn.
Shellfish, such as shrimp, lobsters, and scallops, add a touch of luxury to the grilling experience. Shrimp cooks very quickly and is best grilled over medium heat. They are done when they turn pink and slightly opaque. Lobsters can be split and grilled flesh-side down to start, then flipped to finish cooking. Brush them with butter and season with herbs for an added burst of flavor.
Scallops require a hot grill to achieve a caramelized exterior without overcooking the delicate inside. Season them simply with salt and pepper to let their natural flavor shine.
4 – Vegetables as a side dish or main course
One of the best ways to enjoy vegetables is to cook them on the grill. Grilling will not only add a smoky element, but it concentrates the flavor of the vegetables and brings out the natural sweetness.
Corn is a summertime grill favorite. For grilling, you can leave the husks on, which helps steam the corn and keeps it moist. Or, remove the husks for a charred, smokier flavor. Before grilling, brush the corn with butter or olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn the corn occasionally until it’s tender and has some charred spots. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
Bell peppers of all colors grill beautifully. They can be cut into large pieces or grilled whole. The key is to grill them until they are tender and have nice char marks, which brings out their natural sweetness. Brush them with olive oil and season with salt before grilling. Once grilled, they can be sliced for salads, sandwiches, or served as a delicious side.
Asparagus is another vegetable that grills wonderfully. Trim the woody ends and toss the spears in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill them over medium heat, turning occasionally, until they are tender and lightly charred, usually about 5-7 minutes.
Grilling is one of the best ways to bring out the natural flavors of the food you cook. The best part is the versatility as you can cook something for everyone at the same time.
No matter what foods you choose, it’s the experience that counts most when grilling. It’s the best way to spend some time outside with family and friends with the delicious food being a bonus.