Easy Grilling Recipes—and Summer Grilling Advice

Primary Image
Kebabs on grill
Photo Credit

Top 10 Tips for Excellent Summer Grilling

Print Friendly and PDF
No content available.

It’s time to fire up that grill! Everything seems to taste better when grilled over an open flame … let’s refresh our memories with some grilling advice for the summer. Learn some BBQ cooking tips and tricks for grilling chicken, beef, vegetables, seafood, and burgers perfectly, plus 10 recipes for the grill!

Top 10 Tips for Cooking on the Grill

  1. Start with a clean grill. (See tip #10.) Before you turn the grill on, lightly baste your grill grates with cooking oil or spray to keep food from sticking. Be sure to let the grates come up to temperature before you begin cooking.
  2. Don’t put cold meat right on the grill. Bring ingredients to room temperature before you cook; they will then cook more evenly and quickly. If you need to, plan your meals so you leave 30 minutes for meat to sit on the counter. 
  3. Remember the 4-by-4 rule to determine how hot your grill is: If you can keep your palm 4 inches over the coals for 4 seconds, it’s at medium heat.
  4. Pat the surface with a paper towel to remove moisture before grilling to ensure even browning of meat and poultry.
  5. To prevent your steaks from curling on the grill, score the outer layer of fat at 1-inch intervals. Do the same to skin-on fish fillets, scoring the skin side.
  6. Refrain from pressing hamburger patties on the grill with a spatula or piercing meat with a fork; you’ll lose the juices. Use a spatula or tongs. Also, don’t move the food around. It’s best to flip the meat once. The fewer times you flip food, the better. If the meat is stuck to the grill, let it cook more until it naturally loosens its grip and is ready for flipping.
  7. If you prefer skinless chicken, be sure to marinate the meat first; then baste frequently with leftover marinade during grilling.
  8. Use fresh lemon juice in your marinades. It tenderizes meat, blends well with many flavors (from soy sauce and ginger to BBQ sauce), and accents other tastes.
  9. Let meats rest!  Let the meat rest once off the grill for at least 5 (if not 10) minutes before slicing them. The meat will reabsorb the juices it lost from cooking.
  10. The best time to clean your grill is when the grates are still warm. With the back of a spatula, scrape anything on the grates into the fire, then use a wire brush to scrub the grates clean. 

Bonus: Buy a meat thermometer. It’s really worthwhile to spend $10 and buy an instant-read thermometer, which makes grilling easier and safer. You will insert this thermometer into the center of the steak to see if it’s done to your liking. For example, medium is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Well-done is 160 degrees F. See recommended minimum temperatures for cooking meat

Great Recipes for the Grill

Now that you’re a grilling expert, try these easy and delicious recipes! We’ve rounded up a selection of main dishes, sides, and desserts that all can be cooked on the grill. 

1. Basic Burgers

Nothing beats an old-fashioned hamburger, and the best burgers are really quite basic.  

Basic Burgers

2. Grilled Salmon Kabobs

Not only are these salmon kabobs healthy and easy, but they are also full of flavor from the simple marinade.

Grilled Salmon Kabobs
Photo credit: Vankad/Shutterstock

3. Beef Kabobs

This is one of our favorite steak recipes! These Beef Kabobs soak in an easy, homemade marinade that adds flavor and zest. 

Beef Kabobs
Photo credit: Sam Jones/Vaughan Communications

4. Baby Back Ribs With Coffee Spice Rub 

These Baby Back Ribs With Coffee Spice Rub are made with a unique coffee rub mixture that features a hint of cocoa. While cooking the ribs on the grill, brush the sauce onto the ribs every 30 minutes and right before you take them off the grill. Mmmm!
This recipe is adapted from Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Bible.​

Baby Back Ribs With Coffee Spice Rub 

5. Grilled Eggplant Halves With Herbs

When you score the surface in a crisscross pattern, the inside is succulent and soft, but where the scores meet, the eggplant is nice and crisp. Mmmm!

Grilled Eggplant Halves With Herbs
Photo credit: Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

6. Grilled Pork Kabobs

Fire up the barbecue for Grilled Pork Kabobs—a welcome change from the ubiquitous burgers and hot dogs. Prepare in an herbal marinade in advance for juicy, tender, flavorful skewers.

Grilled Pork Kabobs

7. Chicken Satay

Skewered chicken flavored with peanuts and spices, this Chicken Satay is exotic enough to thrill the grownups, but mild enough for kids. 

Chicken Satay
Photo credit: Sam Jones/Vaughan Communications

8. Grilled Corn With Chili-Lime Butter

Our Chili-Lime Grilled Corn is always a huge success. The creamy chili-lime butter brings out the crunchy, grilled flavor.

Grilled Corn With Chili-Lime Butter

9. Grilled Chicken With Fresh Herbs

This is the perfect summer recipe and a time to use garden herbs for that extra-fresh taste!

Grilled Chicken With Fresh Herbs

More Recipes for the Grill!

Still hungry? Here are some more options to try:

When you grill vegetables, cooking times depend on the shape and size of the vegetable. See our Guide to Grilling Vegetables.

What is your favorite food to cook on the grill? Do you have any grilling tips?

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

No content available.