Summertime is barbeque season. Warm temperatures and long days make the season perfect for backyard picnics and alfresco soirees. Even better, summer is full of occasions worthy of a delicious outdoor barbeque. You'll be ready to fire up the grill with the help of these outdoor cooking tips for every holiday and event this summer.
Memorial Day: The first holiday weekend of summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill and kick off the season. However, the first step to great summer food is a clean grill. If you forgot to clean the grill grates following last barbeque season, spray the grill with vegetable oil to loosen the residue and scrub away any buildup with a brass-wire grill brush. Once your grill is clean, you're ready to start cooking.
Father's Day: During the warm summer months, any occasion is a good reason to fire up the grill. Give your dad a break from his master grill duties by surprising him with a grilled feast for dinner. If your dad is protective of his role as the family grill master, a set of stainless steel barbecue tools would be a perfect gift.
4th of July: By the time Independence Day rolls around, your grill may be a regular part of your meal preparation. For a traditional barbecue, stick with hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob. For a less traditional gourmet feast, grill up some teriyaki salmon and veggie kabobs. Cooking fish on a cedar plank gives it a rich flavor and is gentle on the delicate meat; make sure to soak your plank in water first.
Camping trip: Don't limit your outdoor cooking skills to the backyard. It's amazing how your favorite home-cooked meals taste even better cooked over coals in the great outdoors. Bring all of your favorite ingredients to your next camping trip and cook them in a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven. Top off the campfire meal with some roasted marshmallows or s'mores.
Labor Day: By the end of summer, you've probably perfected the barbecue basics, so why not try something unusual? Grilling pizza gets a similar taste as cooking in a stone pizza oven; place foil under the crust, make sure it's not too close to the coals, and close the lid to capture ambient heat and heat the toppings. For a unique dessert, grill fruit and serve it with vanilla ice cream. Papaya, mango, pineapple, and peaches will all caramelize well over the flames, creating a tangy treat that's the perfect way to end the season