Summertime is grilling season, and while hamburgers and hotdogs are delicious, there are an abundance of other delicious foods that you can cook on the grill. Get outside and enjoy the weather while cooking up a gourmet meal and impress your family or guests by shaking things up with new recipes and flavors this summer.
Chicken or Steak? How About Both!
Making flavorful steak or chicken on the grill is simple! If you set aside time and plan ahead, you can soak your meat in a tasty marinade for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t have time to wait for a marinade to add flavor to your meat, a spice rub can also provide you with a flavorful main dish and adding spices after the marination process will add even more flavor.
How to Grill a Steak
The ideal amount of time to marinate steak is 8 hours, and steak cooks best on a HOT grill. Throw your steak on at 500 degrees and use a meat thermometer to make sure that your steak comes off the grill matching your personal preference. A medium rare steak is the goal for most foodies, so if this is your preference, pull your steak off the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees. If you like your steak cooked through a little more, 145 degrees is medium, and if you like it with barely any pink, 150 degrees is medium well.
How to Grill Chicken
Nobody likes a dry piece of chicken, so for the juiciest results, you should marinate your chicken for 5 to 6 hours. Heat your grill to 350 degrees to cook chicken and flip when dark grill marks appear on one side. Keep a meat thermometer handy to check the internal temperature of your chicken and make sure that it is at least 165 degrees. This is especially important if you are cooking different cuts of chicken because they will cook at different speeds.
Ribs that Fall Off the Bone
Ribs are an American classic, and if done right, the meat will fall off the bone. Another great thing about ribs is they can be easily prepared and grilled up in bulk, so you can satisfy everyone at a cookout or a family reunion without missing out on the fun. Ribs can be messy, but that’s half of the experience, so dive into this tender, flavorful rib recipe this summer. These ribs can be made smoky, spicy, or sweet depending on what you season them with. Step away from bottled barbecue sauce and create your own flavor using apple juice, marmalade, apple cider vinegar and whatever seasoning you prefer! Make sure to keep your grill temperature around 300 degrees, because the slow and low cooking method is what makes for tender, fall-off-the bone ribs.
Seafood is a summer favorite, and whether you caught it yourself or picked it up from the grocery store, grilled fish is a delicious summer staple. Pat your fish dry, add a small amount of oil and season to your liking before cooking. A good rule of thumb for cooking is to grill for 8 minutes per inch of thickness on a 400–450-degree grill. Lemon and lime are great garnishes for most summer fish recipes, adding an acidic, citrus splash to your fish’s flavor.
Vegetarian Grilling Recipes
When most people think of grilling, they think about burgers, hotdogs, and steaks, but there are plenty of vegetarian recipes that take advantage of the smoky goodness of a grill. Whether you’re working on your “beach bod,” you adhere to a plant-based diet, or you need a side dish to accompany your main dish, these vegetarian grilling ideas are guaranteed to hit the spot. Grilling vegetables brings out their flavors, and adding a spice blend or marinating them will make them even more delicious. You can grill pretty much any vegetable, here are a few summer favorites.
Kabobs are a great vegetarian option if you want a variety of different veggies in one meal. However, it is important when combining an assortment of different vegetables on one skewer that you choose vegetables that can be cooked at the same temperature and for the same amount of time. The flavor of grilled vegetables is delicious on its own but adding some spices to your kabobs will enhance the vegetables’ flavor profile.
Peppers and Onions
These flavorful veggies cook well together and are a great side dish for steak, chicken, or shrimp fajitas that can all be prepared on the grill. Cut your peppers and onions into uniform sizes for the best cooking results. If sweet is your preference, opt for bell peppers. However, if you’re looking to add a little spice to your meal, choose a pepper with some heat, such as jalapenos or poblanos.
Squash and Zucchini
Taking advantage of produce that is in season will give you the freshest, tastiest results. Zucchini and summer squash (obviously) are in season during the summer months and cook beautifully on the grill. Both vegetables are on the sweeter side and mild in flavor, so add some seasoning for a salty or spicy result.
Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is a crowd favorite at any barbecue with its sweet and buttery flavor. Cooking your corn on the grill is extremely easy and adds additional flavor. Brush with melted butter as a binder, sprinkle with your seasoning of choice, wrap in tin foil, and toss on the grill until tender.
Easy Meals on the Grill
If you’re looking for a quick meal that combines a protein with a side, kabobs and foil pack dinners are a great option. Summer can be a busy time, especially if you have kids. Between vacations, camp, and lake days, a quick and easy dinner on the grill is a no-brainer.
Kabobs that include a protein and vegetables are a breeze to make and are easily customizable. Whether you’re cooking for your family or for a social gathering, it is a waste to put something on someone’s plate that they don’t like. Setting up a kabob station where everyone can create a personalized skewer is a fun activity and will reduce food waste. Include different spice options or create themed kabobs, like Mexican or Mediterranean, for added fun!
Like kabobs, foil packets of vegetables and proteins, such as shrimp and steak, are another option for those looking to create an easy meal on the grill. All that you have to do is chop your ingredients into similarly sized pieces, add spices for flavor, wrap in tin foil, and throw them on the grill at around 425 degrees. The foil traps heat to cook the ingredients and locks in the flavor of whatever spices you choose to use. One of the most popular recipes is a shrimp boil themed foil packet with corn, potatoes, shrimp, and sausage.
Add a Pop of Flavor and Protein with Jerky
In addition to spices and marinades, jerky is a unique way to add flavor to your summer recipes. Jerky is so much more than a road trip snack. It’s a high in protein ingredient and is available in a variety of flavors, so it complements different dishes well. Jerky is also a useful ingredient for replacing carbohydrates for people who are trying to avoid carbs or adhering to a low carb keto diet.
Top Your Salad
With all the beautiful produce that is in season during the summer months, a salad makes a quick, easy, and delicious side dish or main course. Salads are fantastic for your health, providing your body with vitamins and nutrients, but there is one nutritional aspect where salads often fall short—protein. Sure, you can grill up a piece of chicken or some shrimp to add protein to your salad, but one of the main advantages of making a salad is that it’s quick and doesn’t require any extensive cooking. Topping your salad with jerky instead is an instant solution to the lack of protein and will add a unique flavor to your mix of veggies.
Dip Your Jerky
Guacamole, corn salsa, and French onion are just a few examples of dips you are likely to find at a summer cookout. Dips are usually an appetizer and are served with crackers or chips, so if you are trying to cut carbs, there’s no way for you to enjoy them. You will have to wait until the main course to satisfy your hunger, unless you bring along some beef jerky. Beef jerky is a delicious, nutritious, and low carb vehicle for enjoying any dip.
Take Your Grilling Game to the Next Level with Crockett Creek
Even if you are a grill master, seasoning your food is crucial to creating a delicious meal. Bland food is bad food, so make sure that you aren’t skimping on the seasoning. Crockett Creek Spice Mix and Original Marinade will add a flavorful punch to your grill this summer! Crockett Creek’s Blazin’ Cajun Spice Mix is an all-natural blend that will add a spicy kick to your meal. With no MSG and all-natural ingredients, you can feel good about feeding this spice blend to your friends and family. Crockett Creek’s Original Marinade is another quality product that will take the flavor of your summer recipes to the next level. Soak your meats and veggies in this blend of natural herbs and spices to create a powerful flavor explosion. Utilize the wide variety of Crockett Creek jerkies on your salads, as an appetizer, or as chip replacement for added protein.
Click here to purchase Crocket Creek Marinade or spice mix and take your grilling game to the next level or click here to explore our selection of handcrafted jerky.