summer grilling ideas

In this installment, we will fire up the grill and serve up some tasty dishes that satisfy the summertime nostalgia. My personal preference when it comes to grilling methods, which are many, is to use a wood-fired pit and well-seasoned steel grate. Seasoned cherry wood provides an excellent flavor no matter what it is you are throwing on there. I like to season the surface with rosemary oil. Once this is done you will want to achieve an ideal consistent cooking temperature.

Whether you are using wood, coal, or gas, once you’ve successfully reached a hot rolling flame, this high heat can range anywhere in the 500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, far too hot for cooking, although it can be utilized for quick searing. This temp will eventually cool down into the mid 400 degrees area after about 10 minutes. This is an acceptable range to begin your grilling.

Summer grilling ideas

Now that it’s time to put something on your grill, this opens the door to a whole other arena of preparation. Various marinades and soaking techniques will bring about different results. For beef, poultry, and fish I recommend they soak for at least 24 hours in this marinade. One cup balsamic vinegar, one cup olive oil, one Tbsp. course ground black pepper, kosher sea salt, two cloves of garlic minced, one tsp. red flake pepper, and one thoroughly squeezed lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit depending upon your preference. I generally use this rule of thumb, lemon for fish, orange for beef, and lime for poultry. And, I prefer to use the best brisket knife to slice the meats.

The medium-high range of mid 400-degree temperatures have about a 10 to 15-minute window that works great for searing any of your offerings. If you choose to let your selections, particularly thicker cuts, on a little longer, the medium range that follows hovers around the 375-degree range and can last for about an hour if your embers are well tended to.

It is this range that is ideal for letting your vegetables slowly cook on an open flame. When preparing vegetables for grilling, I use a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil coating with a sprinkling, of course, black pepper and kosher sea salt. For a perfectly grilled corn on the cob, I soak unhusked cobs in seasoned salt water for an approximate time of two to three hours before placing directly on the grill. By gently touching the corn, when a slightly soft give is felt, your corn is ready to be husked and served. The great thing about this method is that it tastes great even without butter making it an even healthier offering.

To the inexperienced, the undertaking of grilling can present plenty of tricky twists and turns. I hope some of this has proven helpful and I offer this suggestion, keep it simple and remember to always place safety first.

Enjoy and happy eating.

Image: iStockPhoto

At the age of 14 Derek got his first of many jobs in the food industry. A relatively small pizza chain with locations mainly in malls along the northeast. After learning the ins and outs from top to bottom and front to back of pizza and fast food Italian Derek expanded his culinary knowledge with 2 years of formal schooling. After Derek’s schooling he worked as an executive chef for a number of cutting edge Italian, Mediterranean, and Pacific Rim fusion eateries before shifting his focus towards a more journalistic approach. There is an unbelievable amount of curious creations out there to be explored and enjoyed and Derek intends to find and try as many of them as he can. Happy Eating… Derek Von Weber