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Outdoor grilling is a quintessential summer pastime and a great way to cook for a crowd. Depending on your outdoor grill model, you can use your grill to smoke, char broil, or even griddle incredible dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are tons of options for purchasing a grill with a fuel source that suits your cooking needs.
Grilling also helps with dissipating heat; cooking in the summer often makes the kitchen much too warm. So move your cooking outdoors and make it a social event. Throw some charcoal on the kettle grill or light the gas grill and make a big impression at your next backyard cookout with these mouthwatering outdoor grill ideas.
Gas Grilling a Mediterranean Lamb Burger
A gas grill is a fantastic choice for grilling in your backyard this summer. It offers more affordable fuel than a charcoal grill, and they’re quick to clean. If you already have a natural gas line in your home for your stove, you should be able to easily hook up your grill to the same line. Gas grills provide exceptional temperature control and are also much simpler to light than a charcoal grill.
Gas grills are ideal for cooking red meats because they’re quick to heat up, but you can make use of two-zone grilling (if you have two burners) to get the perfect tenderness. Shake up your meal plans by cooking lamb burgers this year instead of beef.
Lamb is an iron-rich protein that easily absorbs grill smoke, giving you an intensely flavored melt-in-your-mouth burger.
Makes: 8 burger patties
- 2.5 lbs. ground lamb
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tbsp. mint, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
- 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
STEP 1 – Mix all the ingredients except for the feta in a large bowl until just combined. Avoid over mixing, as this results in a tough burger.
STEP 2 – Portion out the ground lamb mix into 5 oz. balls and place a teaspoon of feta in the center of each before closing and flattening.
STEP 3 – Salt the patties on each side. Place the patties on greased grill grates, and cook at medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Make sure you do not press on the burger or flip it too many times.
STEP 4 – Serve in pita bread with a spoon of Greek yogurt and some diced tomatoes and cucumber.
Charcoal Grill Your Steak and Potatoes
Everyone loves a classic charcoal grill, and often when we think of the smell and flavor of grilled meats, charcoal is what comes to mind. Charcoal grills infuse your food with intense, delicious flavor from the vaporized drippings that fall on the hot coals or wood chips.
They also reach a heat intensity not achieved by other grills, making it easy to work directly and indirectly when cooking your meats and veggies.
A classy twist on a meat and potatoes dinner, your guests won’t believe how easy this simple grilled steak and potatoes with broccoli meal is to prepare on the grill.
- 4 8 oz. ribeye steaks, cut 1” thick
- 1 head of broccoli
- 4 large potatoes, cubed into 1” pieces
- Steak seasoning
- Butter or olive oil
STEP 1 – Preheat the grill, creating two temperature zones, one searing hot and the other medium-high. Parboil the potatoes in salted water until fork-tender. Cut the broccoli into 1” florets.
STEP 2 – Season the steaks and place them on the grill’s hottest side, searing for 1-2 minutes per side. Then, move the steak to the medium-high part of the grill and cook for 6-8 minutes per side until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure you cook it perfectly every time.
STEP 3 – Toss the potatoes and broccoli florets in the hot side of the grill until they are lightly charred. Toss with butter or olive oil and lemon.
Use a Pellet Grill for Chicken and Onion Kebabs
Choosing a wood fire pellet grill for your outdoor cooking this season has plenty of perks. You’ll be able to cook food evenly, like using a convection oven, and not inhale as much smoke while doing so.
Pellet grills are easy to start and make it possible to keep your food within a very specific heat range. For someone new to grilling, a pellet grill is an excellent starting point to get your summer grill meals right.
Perfect for camping, beach parties, and even a work night meal, kebabs are a versatile grilling favorite.
- 4 chicken breasts, diced into 1” cubes
- 2 large red bell peppers cut into 1” slices
- 2 large yellow onions wedged
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp. ginger, minced
- 1 tsp. Garam Masala
- Salt and pepper
STEP 1 – Combine the marinade ingredients and place the diced chicken into the marinade allowing it to sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
STEP 2 – Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning on the grill, thread the chicken pieces, peppers, and onion, alternatively on the skewers leaving around 1.5” at the end of each stick.
STEP 3 – Heat the grill to medium and oil the grates. Chicken generally tends to stick to the grill due to its low-fat content, so greasing the grill is very important, especially with kebabs to allow for easy flipping.
STEP 4 – Turn the skewers occasionally, about every 3-4 minutes. The grilled meat should be done in 8-10 minutes. Serve with a side of flatbread and rice pilaf.
Summer Squash On a Kamado Grill
Image Credit: Pillsbury
If you’re feeling adventurous this summer, why not try out ceramic grilling with a Kamado grill? The outstanding insulation ceramic provides results in incredible heat retention. The slow radiation of heat means you’ll benefit from even cooking temperatures. This slow burn also means that you won’t use as much fuel so quickly as you would with a traditional charcoal grill, helping you save money long-term.
Experiment with ceramic grilling while catering to your family’s vegetarian members by trying some delicious grilled squash and zucchini. These grilled vegetables make a deliciously refreshing summer salad.
- 2 large yellow squash, sliced lengthways into ⅓” slices
- 2 large zucchini, sliced lengthways into ⅓” slices
- Olive oil
- 1 bunch of mint, roughly torn
- 3 scallions, diced
- 1 lemon
STEP 1 – Make sure you oil the grates and brush zucchini and squash with some olive oil to add aromatic flavor and keep the vegetables from sticking.
STEP 2 – Grill each side for about 5-6 minutes until just charred. You could also cook it for a few minutes shorter if you like them al dente.
STEP 3 – To make the dressing, combine salt, pepper, the zest of one lemon, and the juice of half, with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the scallions, and the roughly torn mint. Place the vegetables on a platter and drizzle the dressing over them.
Electric Grilling Pickles With Buttermilk Ranch Dip
Image Credit: Food Network
For those who have limited outdoor space but are eager to enjoy outdoor grilling, electric grills are a safe and compact option. You can get portable models or ones that sit on a tabletop, making it possible to grill on your condo balcony.
Electric grills are also considered healthier because they don’t produce particulate matter or carcinogens. They’re also more environmentally friendly because they do not require unsustainable fuel sources to operate. For the eco-conscious, electric grills are a great choice.
Make the most of an electric grill by creating a fun summer dish every pickle enthusiast will go nuts for. Crunchy on the outside but juicy inside, grilled pickles are a crowd favorite and a healthier alternative to the fried version.
- 6 large dill pickles, in ¼” slices
- 4 tbsp. cornstarch
- 4 tbsp. cornmeal
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- Salt and pepper
STEP 1 – Mix the cornstarch, cornmeal, baking soda, and season the mix with salt and pepper. Dip each pickle slice in the flour mix, then pop them on a greased grill at medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn at the 5-minute mark.
STEP 2 – Serve with buttermilk ranch dip for the best flavor. Follow the dip instructions on the ranch dip packet and add some chives, garlic powder, dill, and shallots—season with salt and pepper. The dip can be stored in the fridge for a week.
Perfect for hot summer days, outdoor grill areas make it easier to host and cook for big groups of family and friends. Although tried-and-true outdoor grill ideas like burger and hot dogs are delicious, sometimes you need to switch things up to elevate your grill game.
That is why we always recommend owning an excellent charcoal grill at hand whenever the mood to cook hits you. If you want to step out of your comfort zone and try out new types of grilling equipment, then we recommending checking out our review for the best affordable kamado grills.