Grilling season is officially here! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is relax outside with Dewey and grill up some of our favorite foods. So to help you get your grill on, I asked Zach to give us his tips on how to get started grilling, and some of his favorite recipes. Take it away Zach!
GRILLING: What You Need To Know
Before we go over what to grill, I thought we would touch on the basics of how. There are two main types of grills: gas and charcoal. Gas grills are typically the easiest to use. They use a propane tank or hook up to a gas line so you’re able to light them up instantly and they heat up fast. It’s also much easier to set the temperature using knobs and controlling how much gas you’re using. If you want something quick and easy then a gas grill is the way to go.
Charcoal grills require a little more work, but I think it’s worth it! These use charcoal bricks to provide heat, meaning they take a little longer to heat up and you have to keep an eye on it. Here are the basics of getting a charcoal grill going.
Before You Light It, Clean It
Make sure to clean any ash or burnt bits from the bottom of your grill. Leaving them causes lots of smoke that will make your food taste burnt. The grill doesn’t need to be spotless, but be sure to brush it out before each time you use it. Then brush the grates using a grill brush or stone. This will keep any grease from burning and give you a clean surface to cook your food on.
Light The Charcoal
First, open the vent to allow air in. The charcoal needs oxygen so you want the vent open when your first light it. There are a few different types of charcoal and ways to light them.
- Briquettes are the most common. They light easily and burn longer. Place them in your grill and douse in a little bit of lighter fluid, then let the lighter fluid sit and soak in for a few minutes. Then use a match or lighter to ignite the briquettes in a few different spots. Let it burn for 10-15 minutes before you start cooking. The charcoal should turn from black to a whitish-gray with a red glow.
- You can also use a chimney to speed up the process. Fill it with your charcoal and then stuff the bottom with newspaper. Place the chimney on grill grates and light the newspaper. Once the flames reach the top and the charcoal turns whitish-gray dump the charcoal out into the grill.
- There are also easy light or match light charcoal options. These don’t need lighter fluid as they’re already coated in lighter fluid so yo can skip that step.
- Some people prefer to use lump charcoal since it’s more natural, less compressed, and gives you a better flavor. The problem is that it burns hotter and faster than briquettes. I like to mix a little bit of lump charcoal in with briquettes to get the best of both worlds. You’ll get great flavor and a grill that stays hot for longer!
Maintain The Heat
Charcoal grills have a vent that can be used to control the heat. The more open the vent is the more oxygen the flames will get and the hotter they’ll burn. Your grill should have a thermometer on the hood so close the lid and experiment with finding the right temperature.
Spray The Grates
The last thing you want is for your food to get stuck to the grill grates while cooking. Use a grill spray or canola oil spray to coat the grates before putting your food down. Avoid using olive oil spray as it can burn and smoke. Now you’re ready to cook!
Keep scrolling to see Zach’s favorite foods to grill, and all our picks for the best shoppable grilling gear you need to get started.
If you’re looking for some great grilled seafood, give scallops a try. I love it because they’re really simple and quick to grill. Dry the scallops off well and then drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt. If you really want a punch of flavor you can also coat them in blackened seasoning on one side. Then cook them on a high heat for about 2 minutes per side (like I said, they cook quick). Top with another dash of sea salt and some lemon juice and they’re ready to eat!
Mushrooms make a delicious low calorie side to go with whatever meat or fish you’re grilling. I like to use crimini or baby bella mushrooms. Clean the tops and cut off the stems. Then toss them in a mix or 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar and let them sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes (or more). Transfer directly to the grill and cook them for 4-5 minutes per side. They’ll have soaked up all that balsamic flavor giving you a bite packed with flavor!
These bite-sized onions make a great garnish to go on top of whatever else your grilling. I like to keep it simple with these so that they’ll go with whatever other flavors I have. Peel them and toss in a little olive oil and salt. Then put them on some skewers, but don’t forget to soak your skewers first. Grill for about 4 minutes per side and then set on top rack and allow them to continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes.
*If you’re using wood skewers you should always soak them for at least 20 minutes before you grill. This will keep them from burning and catching fire while on the grill.
Corn On The Cob
Corn is one of my favorite things to grill, probably because I grew up in Kansas surrounded by it. Somethings about the char brings out the sweetness of the corn. I like to balance that sweetness by making some spicy elotes with corn on the cob. Spray the grill grates and then cook the corn for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Then immediately brush it with mayo and sprinkle with cayenne, chile powder, and cotija cheese.
Pineapple is a great option for blending savory with sweet. I love a bit of teriyaki pineapple on the grill. Spray the grates of your grill and then cook the pineapple for about 7-8 minutes turning occasionally. Brush it with teriyaki sauce at the beginning and about halfway through. Then serve it with some grilled peppers and chicken or shrimp on top of some rice!
Grilled peaches are the perfect summer dessert! The grill really brings out the sweetness of juicy, fresh peaches. Cut your peaches in half and then remove the pit with either a small paring knife. In a small bowl melt 2 tbsp butter and then mix 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Brush the open side of peaches with butter mixture and then grill them with that side down for 3-4 minutes. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream for a delicious treat!
You can’t grill potatoes directly, but you can still cook them on the grill in a foil packet. Boil the potatoes first until they’re soft. Then toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary. Then lay out a long piece of foil and put the potatoes on half. Fold the other half over the potatoes and roll up the edges until all the sides are sealed. Place on the top rack of the grill for 20-30 minutes while everything else cooks and you’ve got roasted potatoes.
Ready to get grilling? Here are all the essentials you’ll need to cook, clean, and maintain your grill all summer long.
1. Original Kettle Charcoal Grill in Black | 2. Cotton Apron | 3. Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter | 4. USB Lighter | 5. Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill | 6. Leather Grill Gloves | 7. Heavy Duty BBQ Grilling Tool Set | 8. How to Grill Everything Book | 9. Portable Charcoal Folding BBQ Grill | 10. Grill Brush