3 Easy Ways to Step Up Your Grilling Game

The beginning of summer is fast approaching and many people are planning their outdoor parties. One of the most popular ways to entertain and feed a crowd is with an elaborate barbecue, but it can be tough to come up with new ideas for what to grill. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 3 easy ways that will step up your grilling game next time you host a party!

Try Grilling a Salad

Salads are a great way to add some freshness and variety to your barbecue menu. And, grilling them just takes it up a notch! All you need is a grill pan or basket that will fit your salad ingredients. Tossing the salad ingredients with a light vinaigrette ahead of time will help them stay crisp when grilled. Some good ideas for grilled salads include:

• Romaine lettuce with grilled tomatoes, red onions, and crumbled bacon

• Grilled chicken breast over spinach and arugula with grilled apricots and goat cheese

• Grilled portobello mushrooms stuffed with roasted red peppers, diced tomatoes, and feta cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Use Rubs and Sauces for Extra Flavor

Rubs and sauces are an essential part of any great barbecue. If you want to take your next grill session up a notch, why not make your rubs and sauces? This way you’ll know exactly what ingredients are going into your meal, and can adjust the amount of spice or sweetness to suit your tastes. Try making some specialty salts by adding herbs, spices, or citrus zest to coarse sea salt, then sprinkle it over meat or vegetables before grilling. As for sauces, there are endless possibilities! Try a classic barbecue sauce, honey mustard sauce, or pesto mayonnaise for something different. This Grilled Pesto Chicken recipe is a great place to start. Here are some ideas of rubs and sauces for extra flavor:

• BBQ Rub: brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper

• Honey Mustard Sauce: Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, garlic cloves, salt

• Pesto Mayonnaise: olive oil, fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, mayonnaise

Start Grilling Your Vegetables

Grilling vegetables is a great way to incorporate more healthy options into your menu without sacrificing flavor. Plus it’s easy to cook several different types side-by-side on one cooking surface, so there’s less room for error compared with cooking meats and other foods that need constant attention. Some ideas for grilling vegetables:

• Asparagus spears brushed with garlic-infused olive oil

• Sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions, and bell peppers with fresh rosemary

• Portobello mushrooms brushed with ginger soy sauce

• Cherry tomatoes topped with oregano and drizzled in balsamic vinegar

The best part of grilling is that nearly anything can be grilled! You don’t need a ton of ingredients or an expensive grill to entertain like a pro. Rather, you just need some creativity and a willingness to experiment as your guests watch in awe as you turn out perfect food every time. This summer, try one of these easy grilling recipes and wow your guests with something new!