11 Smokin'-Good Grilling Recipes
Smokin' Grand Slam Ham
Seasoned ham and smoked Gouda dipping sauce let this panini hit plain old ham-and-cheese out of the park.
Home on the Range Burger
Our light-as-a-summer-breeze cantaloupe-strawberry relish contrasts with a brawny bison burger full of chopped apple and jerk seasoning. To keep it from getting too cute, we slapped it on Texas toast.
My Big Fat Greek Sandwich
Mama mia! A chunky mixed-olive relish and mild feta cheese transport grilled chicken to the Mediterranean with Greek panache on chewy ciabatta rolls.
A wrapping of bacon gives special flair to this beer-soaked brat. A quick stop on the grill crisps the bacon and browns the brat.
Juicy Lucy Burger
Southside Minneapolis is home to this three-napkin burger famous for its molten cheese center. Both Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club claim its creation. No matter the lineage, it's burgerlicious.
You might not guess that this hefty sandwich is sans meat. Beefy portobello mushrooms can fool you that way. Smoky cheese holds eggplant, onions and pepper together, and portobellos form "bread" for this sandwich. Want real bread? Make our focaccia version.
Sweet on a Pig
In the Midwest, tenderloins that aren't deep-fried are rarities. But you'll be glad to discover this grilled pork bathed in cider-molasses marinade that cooks to a gorgeous caramel color.
North Woods Fish Tacos
We trolled the lakes for this south-of-the-Canadian-border specialty. To give extra zip to the marinated whitefish, spoon on sweet-tart Midwest cherry salsa. Roll the chunked-up fish in a tortilla with the burgundy salsa, and finish it off with tangy sour cream.
Wide-Awake Rib Eyes
Chili-spiced coffee rub smears some zing onto tantalizing grilled boneless beef rib eyes. If that doesn't wake you up, the chipotle mayo topper's creamy heat will do the job.
Great Lakes salmon has a lot to sing about. It's packed with nutritious omega-3s and is sturdy enough for easy grilling. Marinated and wrapped in a tortilla with garlic-lemon mayo, it's a sure hit for an easy dinner.
Fast tricks for better grilling
Don't peek! Resist the urge to keep lifting the lid. A closed grill maintains a steady inside temp and helps smoke build so it can permeate the food. The longer food cooks, the smokier it tastes.
Fresh fish ideas Prevent this fast-cooking favorite from sticking to the grill rack by oiling either the rack or the fish itself. As with burgers, flip fish only once for less chance of sticking. If you cook on greased foil on the rack, poke holes in the foil so the fish doesn't poach in its own liquid.
Tame flare-ups Oxygen fuels fire, so when flames get out of control, adjust vents or cover your grill to restrict the airflow.
Perfect coals Hand-check coals to judge temperature. Hold your palm just above the grill rack where food cooks and count the seconds you can hold it in position. 2 seconds: hot coals; 3 seconds: medium-hot; 4 seconds: medium; 5 seconds: medium-low.
How to grill a blazin' great burger
Fat makes the burger Choose ground chuck or sirloin (with 15 to 20 percent fat) over leaner ground round for the juiciest results.
Thickness matters The shape or thickness of a burger determines cooking time. We've found a 3/4-inch thickness is best for even doneness (center gets done before outside is overdone). Because burgers poof as they cook over direct heat, press an indentation in top of each raw patty. Results? A more level burger. For easiest shaping, use cold meat and cold, wet hands.
Hands off Resist pressing on your burger as it cooks, and flip it only once. If it sticks to the grill rack as you try to turn it, let it cook another minute. It should flip easily then. Don't rely on color to indicate doneness. Your burger should be 160° in the center.