There are many wonderful things that accompany the warm and sunny days of summer, none more so than the opportunity to barbecue outdoors among friends and family and enjoy the comraderie, good food and heavenly aromas wafting from the grill. Here is a collection of tips and recipes to make your summertime barbecues that much better.
Steaks on the grill
There are two categories of steak cuts suitable for grilling: tender grilling steaks and less-tender marinating steaks.
• Grilling steaks and the smaller grilling medallions are ready to cook right away, although you may want to marinate or coat them with a rub for flavour.
• Marinating steaks and marinating medallions need 12 to 24 hours in an acid-based mixture to tenderize them. Grill marinating steaks until rare or medium-rare; beyond medium doneness they become tough.
• Balsamic Sirloin Medallions
• Barbecued Flank Steak
• Barbecued Roast Sirloin on a Bun
• Beef Steak with Sesame Oil
• Eye of Round with Mustard Aioli
• Five-Spice Round Steak
• Grainy Mustard Grilled Strip Loin
• Grilled Garlic Pepper Steak
• Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Ginger Butter
• Grilled Strip Loins with Onion Rings
• Grilled T-Bone Steak with Barbecue Sauce
• Oregano Beef Koftas
• Peppercorn-Crusted Steak
• Peppercorn Thyme T-Bones
• Pesto Beef Kabobs
• Pesto Onion Steak Sandwiches
• Red Wine Marinated Steak
• Sirloin with Roasted Garlic Topping
• Steak and Pepper Kabobs with Spiced Tomato Sauce
• Since fat drains off while burgers are grilling, you can use medium ground beef for juicy, flavourful hamburgers.
• Burgers need only gentle shaping when being formed. Overmixing and too much pressing and patting make tough, dry hamburgers.
• Patties hold together better if chilled for 1 hour before cooking. You can make and refrigerate them up to 2 hours ahead.
• Turn patties only once. Don't press or flatten with spatula during cooking because this forces out juices.
• The best way to ensure that burgers are cooked through -- and safe to eat -- is to check their internal temperature. A digital instant-read thermometer is essential for accuracy. To check, remove one burger from heat; immediately insert thermometer horizontally and leave for at least 30 seconds before reading temperature. Ground beef is cooked at 160Â°F (71Â°C).
• Cheddar Onion Burgers
• Fajita Burgers
• Gourmet Gorgonzola Burgers
• Horseradish Burgers
• Hot Asian Burgers
• Juicy Herb Burger
• Meat Loaf Burgers
• Mediterranean Burgers
• Onion Dijon Burgers
• Rebel House Buffalo Burger
• Salsa Burgers
• Smoky Barbecue Burgers
• Tasty Extra-Lean Burgers
CHICKEN AND TURKEY
• Grill chicken with or without the skin, but removing it not only cuts the fat to one-fifth of the original but also reduces flare-ups when fat drips into the fire. When barbecuing chicken with skin, you may need to turn it more often to prevent scorching.
• Grill chicken over medium-high heat as follows: bone-in chicken breasts and leg quarters for 45 minutes, bone-in thighs for 20 minutes, boneless breasts for 10 to 12 minutes, and boneless thighs for 12 to 15 minutes.
• Chicken is cooked when the white meat is no longer pink inside and juices run clear when the thickest part of the dark meat is pierced.
Chicken and turkey recipes:
• Barbecue-Roasted Turkey
• Barbecue-Roast Lemon Herb Turkey with Gravy
• Cajun Chicken Wings
• Calypso Chicken
• Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Basil and Red Pepper
• Chicken Burgers with Tomato Relish
• Chipotle Mojo Chicken
• Golden Chicken
• Grilled Piri Piri Chicken
• Grilled Turkey Scaloppine
• Grilled Turkey Steak
• Honey Dijon Chicken Thighs
• Italian Prosciutto Chicken
• Jamaican Jerked Chicken
• Korean Barbecued Chicken
• Lemon Chicken Kabobs
• Moroccan Chicken Skewers
• Orange Ginger Wings
• Pecan-Crusted Grilled Chicken
• Portuguese Barbecued Chicken
• Rainbow Turkey Kabobs
• Sage and Lemon Chicken Breasts
• Turkey Burgers with SautÃ©ed Mushrooms
• Whole Barbecued Lemon Chicken
PORK AND LAMB
Smoke up some flavour
For a smoky touch, soak 6 to 8 cups (1.5 to 2 L) hickory, mesquite, cherry, maple or apple chips in water for 4 hours. (Hickory is well-suited for pork, however, alder will also work well.) For charcoal barbecue, sprinkle one-third of the chips over hot coals. For gas barbecue, place one-third of the chips in foil pie plate set on lava rocks or V-shaped bars. Heat at high heat until chips start to smoke before adding food. Add more soaked chips, one-third at a time, to maintain smoke level.
Pork and lamb recipes:
• Balsamic Honey Tenderloin
• Barbecued Peach Pork Chops
• Cuban Grilled Pork Sandwich
• Curry Lime Pork Kabobs
• Devilled Lamb Kidney Kabobs
• Honey Roasted Ribs
• Hot Mustard Pork Kabobs
• Lemongrass Pork
• Oriental Black Bean Spareribs
• Roasted Leg of Lamb with Caraway and Pancetta
• Rosemary Lamb Burgers with JalapeÃ±o Mayonnaise
• Sage Apple Pork Burgers with Caramelized Onions
• Sausage Burger
• Smokey Barbecue Pork Loin
• Teriyaki Orange Lamb Chops
FISH AND SEAFOOD
Grill only the best
• The best fish for grilling whole or whole filleted sides are those with firm or flaky (but not soft) flesh and skin that will crisp nicely, such as pickerel, whitefish, salmon, trout, arctic char, bass or snapper.
• For fillets and steaks, we recommend grouper, shark, halibut, salmon, trout, catfish, tilapia, monkfish, ocean perch, tuna and arctic char. Avoid soft-fleshed fish, such as cod, flounder or sole, which can be cooked successfully in grill baskets or packets.
Serve it whole
• To serve small whole fish, slit fish along backbone with knife; peel off skin. Starting from spine side, ease wide-bladed fish server under fillet, keeping blade as close to bones as possible. Lift fillet neatly off bones. Turn fish over and repeat with other fillet.
• For large fish, cut skinned flesh crosswise into serving-size pieces. Ease fillets off bone one piece at a time.
Use the right stuff
• It is convenient to have tongs and two spatulas. Wide spatulas are especially good for getting under and supporting fish when turning. A fish basket makes grilling whole fish a snap.
• Always clean the grill thoroughly with a wire brush; preheat and grease well before adding fish and there should be no problem with sticking.
Fish and seafood recipes:
• Apple Trout Fillets
• Barbecued Tuna Pizzas
• Barbecue Mussel Bake
• Basil Salmon
• Cajun Salmon and Scallop Kabobs
• Caribbean Snapper with Pepper Sauce
• Chili Salmon with Peppers and Zucchini
• Garlic Rosemary Salmon
• Grilled Arctic Char with Tahini Sauce
• Grilled Halibut with Oyster Mushrooms
• Grilled Oysters
• Grilled Red Snapper with Mint and Mango Salsa
• Grilled Sardines
• Grilled Whitefish and Ratatouille Salad
• Halibut Kabobs with Tahini Sauce
• Miso Grilled Scallops
• Over-the-Rainbow Chili-Grilled Trout
• Swordfish with Country Vegetable Salad
• Tarragon Monkfish Kabobs
• White Wine Sage Pickerel
• Barbecued Stuffed Tomatoes
• Bulgur and Mushroom Burgers
• Cider-Glazed Apples and Onion
• Curried Lentil Burgers with Coriander Yogurt
• Grilled Acorn Squash with Balsamic Drizzle
• Grilled Corn with Chili Lime Mayonnaise
• Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
• Grilled Vegetables and Feta Quesadillas
• Mushroom "Steaks"
• Tofu and Vegetable Skewers with Peanut Sauce
• Avoid charring foods on the barbecue. Substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs, are found in charred foods and have been found to be cancer-causing. To reduce the flare-ups that cause food to burn, trim excess fat from meat and turn it with a spatula or tongs rather than a fork.
• E. coli grows in intestines of some animals, including pigs, sheep, cows and poultry, and can spread to the top muscle or outer surface after the animal is butchered. Searing a steak or roasting meat kills any existing E. coli since they are only on the surface of the meat. Therefore the meat can be eaten rare or medium provided outsides are well-cooked.
• In ground meats, E. coli is impossible to isolate, which is why ground meats must be cooked thoroughly until well done and temperature on digital thermometer inserted sideways into centre reads:
Ground beef: 160Â°F (71Â°C)
Ground pork and lamb: 170Â°F (75Â°C)
Ground chicken and turkey: 185Â°F (85Â°C)
• Always transfer cooked food to clean serving plates using tongs and lifters that have not come in contact with raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood.