Ultimate Grilling Guide: Recipes for Summer Favorites

ultimate grilling guide

Summer’s here! Time to break out the grill and start charcoaling the chicken. You already know you can slather them with barbecue sauce, but this year we thought it was time for a refresh!

There are so many delicious, new ways to get grilling. We’ve pulled together new favorites that are just as easy as the classic standbys, but these babies offer up a flavor twist. With quick tips, and a gorgeous new recipe idea for all of the best foods, keep this grilling guide close. Summer is about to get hot and your grilling is about to get even hotter!

CHICKEN – What to Grill: Chicken Breasts, Chicken Thighs and Chicken Legs

grilled chicken

Quick Tip: When grilling chicken, heat the grill on high, but turn it to low or medium-low once the chicken is placed on the tines. This will give you that gorgeous grilled look while allowing the chicken to cook through to the center without drying.

Try This: 

Get your buffalo wing fix without the hassle of bones. This Grilled Cheesy Buffalo Chicken is incredibly tasty and has creamy mozzarella stuffed in the middle.

hawaiian grilled chicken

Or make this amazing Hawaiian Grilled Chicken over and over again instead. Serve with coconut rice and don’t forget an umbrella for your drink!

STEAK – What to Grill: Higher-fat cuts like New York Strip or T-bones

grilled steak

Quick Tip: Tenderize your meat an hour before cooking by slathering it in salt. Just before grill time, wash the salt off, dry the meat entirely with a clean paper towel, then add seasoning and a bit of butter on the meat.

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Don’t miss this Skirt Steak Fajita recipe! Grilled marinated steak and perfectly charred veggies are wrapped in warm tortillas for an incredible south of the border meal.

PORK CHOPS – What to Grill: Bone-in Pork Chops

grilled pork chops

Quick Tip: Cook pork like chicken on the grill! Heat the grill to high, but turn it to low once the meat is in place. Close the lid of the grill to allow the heat to cook the meat through without over-drying it.

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These juicy Rosemary Dijon Grilled Pork Chops make any weeknight meal seem like a special occasion.

HOT DOGS – What to grill: All-beef hot dogs

grilled mexican hot dogs

Quick Tip: Hot dogs only need about two minutes on a hot grill. Watch them closely. When they start to sear and fat begins to “sweat” out of the hot dogs, they’re done!

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Give your hot dog the ultimate Mexican Hot Dog treatment by adding diced avocado, Cojito cheese, cilantro and tasty Chipotle mayo!

SAUSAGE – What to grill: bratwurst, Italian sausage, gourmet sausages

grilled sausage

Quick Tip: Thread sausage on a kabob for a quick-cooking meat that will be done as soon as your veggies are ready to go.

Try this:

Good for you and easy to make? Put this healthy Grilled Chicken Sausage, Pepper and Onion Kabob recipe on you dinner menu tonight!

SALMON – What to grill: Full halves of fish or single fillets: fresh is best

grilled salmon

Quick Tip: Cook salmon on a piece of foil that’s been sprayed with nonstick olive oil. This keeps it from sticking to your grill and makes for easy clean up.

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A Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon infuses this dish with a lovely smoky flavor, and you’ll get a healthy dose of omega-3’s in every bite!

CORN – What to grill: Fresh corn, in or out of the husk

grilled mexican corn

Quick Tip: Prepare flavored butters the night before for easy party prep where grilled corn will be served.

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Corn on the cob never tasted so good. This Mexican Grilled Corn recipe gives your traditional cob a fiesta flair with chili powder, cilantro and goat cheese.

SALAD – What to grill: romaine or Iceberg lettuce slices

grilled salad

Quick Tip:  Use a basting brush to spread high-quality olive oil on the lettuce to ensure even grilling. It only takes a minute for lettuce to grill, so toss it on hot and have tongs ready to remove the finished dish.

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Yes, you can grill lettuce! Try this tasty Grilled Romaine with Toasted Almonds and Caesar Dressing for a new take on salad.

Before you shop: Love the summer recipes featured in this grilling guide but not sure where to begin? Read our Grilling 101 article to get started.

brooke-mclayBrooke McLay is a professional recipe developer, food photographer, food writer, and single mom to four rad kids. Author of two cookbooks and the beloved blog, CheekyKitchen.com, her creative approach to fast, fresh, family-friendly foods has garnered her regular gigs with Disney’s Babble.com, Tablespoon.com, Good Cook, and Coupons.com.