Summer is our favorite time to be outside! During the day we want to be at the park or the beach, soaking up that beautiful California sunshine. After we put Augustine to bed, it’s still light outside, so we take the opportunity to be outside just the two of us. Today Matthew is sharing his top grilling tips for summer, along with our go-to easy summer dinner. The dinner hits the spot and is on the table in no time, which is a must in case the baby wakes up!
Matthew’s Top 5 Grilling Tips for Summer:
- Have a Clean, Hot Grill- The grill should be close to max temperature for at least 5 minutes. Then, you make sure it’s clean by scraping the grates while it’s hot. The heat burns off all the previous residue and the scraping clears what’s left. It doesn’t have to be shiny, but it should be clear of past bbq.
- While the grill is heating up, grab a baking sheet. This will be the vessel that will transport all of your grilling utensils and foods (the bigger the tray, the better). I really love to have a tiny bowl of olive oil with brush, a few paper towels, your plate of food that will be bbq’d, a new plate for finished foods, your timer, and your tongs and/or your spatula. Having everything all on one transportable tray is such a pro move. The last thing you want to be doing when you’re cooking on the grill is to be running back and forth to get different things.
- The next pro move is to make sure that you’re giving your would-be-grilled foods enough fats to cook in/on. For veggies, this means a good coat of olive oil with salt/pepper and fresh herbs (or your choice of marinade/seasoning). For steaks, I like to coat lightly with olive oil and then add the salt/pepper (make sure to leave that steak out for 20 min to get to room temperature before grilling). For fish or shrimp, the marinade or olive oil coated with herbs and spices is key – keep the seafood cool before throwing on the bbq. Lastly, no matter if you’re bbq’ing burgers, veggies, fish, or an old boot, please give the bbq grates a good coat of olive/vegetable oil before you put anything on them. Coating the grates with some sort of fat will make it so much easier to flip or remove whatever it is you are bbq’ing. I like to fold up two paper towels, soak it in oil, and then use my tongs to apply to the grille (I use tongs to avoid getting burned).
- Use a digital thermometer or a reliable bbq temperature gauge to see how the food is cooking. Please take the precautions to make sure your food is sufficiently cooked and safe to eat. Your bbq adventure should never end in you or your loved ones spending 48 hours in the bathroom in pain. Be smart, know the proper finished temps and impress your guests with a legit bbq meal!
- Lastly, enjoy the process with a great podcast or an audiobook! There can be a lot of down time when waiting for the grill to heat up or waiting to turn that bird on the spit. I’ve been loving using Audible to listen to some of my favorite audiobooks. I listen to them in the car on my way to work, when I’m working out, and when I’m firing up the grill. I don’t know if y’all remember the show X-Files, but it’s one of my favorites, and I’m obsessed with The X-Files: Cold Cases. It’s so exciting and fun and I absolutely love catching up on my entertainment while I’m getting jobs done! Thanks for letting me share on Mara’s blog. Take care, everyone!
Having a good audiobook, like this one, to listen to while you’re cooking is a great way to pass the time!
Our go-to summer meal is usually grilled salmon, grilled zucchini with herbed salt, a summer salad with fresh tomatoes, avocado and feta cheese, and a bottle of white wine. These are the nights we’ll miss come winter!
What’s your go-to summer meal? I’d love to hear! We need some easy meals because of our move.
P.S. If you’re interested, you can get a free 30 day trial with Audible. I’d highly recommend it!
DISCLOSURE: Thank you Audible for partnering with me. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own. I love working with brands like Audible that I genuinely love!