Grilled Chicken, Pork and Beef Main Dishes for Summer Cookouts
Here's our spin on the roast-a-chicken-on-top-of-a-can-of-beer technique that's popular with barbecue aficionados. To simplify things, we just pour a little beer inside the chicken as it cooks. The beer keeps the meat juicy and a smoky-flavored spice rub both under and over the skin gives it extra flavor. Barbecuing poultry with the skin on helps prevent the meat from drying out. To keep calories and fat in check, remove the skin before serving.
Smoked Turkey Breast
This smoked turkey breast is great for entertaining because it feeds a crowd. Plus there's not much to do except wait while the brine turns the bird luxurious and then wait again until the grill turns it irresistible.
Jerk Pork Loin
“Jerk” isn't Jamaican for “as hot as you can stand it.” Instead, a jerk paste should be a carefully blended, aromatic melange, as much nose tickle as tongue spike. Here we use that flavorful paste on grilled pork loin. Watch out for that hot chile pepper: wear rubber gloves to protect your skin and touch no one until you've washed up thoroughly. If you have time, marinate the pork the full 24 hours for the best flavor.
Middle Eastern Roast Lamb with Tahini Sauce
Inspired by Middle Eastern shawarma sandwiches, here we season leg of lamb with a flavorful spice paste spiked with garlic, cardamom, paprika and cumin and grill it over indirect heat to approximate the gentle cooking of a rotisserie. Serve the tahini sauce on the side--and be sure to keep any leftovers. They're great tucked into a pita pocket with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.
Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
This super-simple recipe covers beef tenderloin in a blend of cracked black, white and green peppercorns. Though it takes moments to prepare, since it's beef tenderloin it's perfect for a special occasion. Look for peppercorns in the bulk spice section so you can buy just what you need. The recipe will also work with black ones only.
Lime-Honey Glazed Chicken
The sweet and tangy lime-honey marinade is simmered on the stovetop and then used as a sauce to baste and glaze the chicken. Don't let the chicken marinate any longer than 2 hours; over marinating in soy sauce and lime juice can make the texture of the meat spongy.
Butterflied Grilled Chicken with a Chile-Lime Rub
A quick and efficient way to cook a whole bird on the grill is to butterfly, or "spatchcock" it. When cooking a whole chicken on the grill, try searing the chicken first over direct heat then finish cooking over indirect heat (as instructed in this recipe). That way you avoid the all too common problem when grilling--chicken burned on the outside and raw in the center. For best flavor, let the chicken marinate in the rub overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with lime wedges and fresh salsa.
Tomato-Herb Marinated Flank Steak
In this recipe, we make a dual-purpose sauce from garden-fresh tomatoes, shallot, marjoram and rosemary. We use half the sauce to marinate the steak and use the other half as a basting sauce. Pasture-raised, grass-fed beef is gentler on the environment, free from growth-promoting hormones and typically lower in fat and calories than grain-fed beef. Marinating grass-fed beef for a full day helps make it tender. Look for it at natural-foods markets or find it online.
Jacqui's Jerk Chicken
Sweet, savory and spicy all at once, Jacqui Sinclair's jerk marinade is absolutely addictive. Try it on pork loin, firm white fish or even goat if you can find it. The wood chips are optional if you're grilling, but they add an authentic, subtle flavor to the chicken. Serve with a slightly sweet side dish, such as sweet potatoes or cornbread, to balance the heat.
Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers for an unusual marinade and sauce for grilled chicken. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
A tandoori-inspired spice rub and smokiness from the grill flavor these tofu “steaks.” While you're there, grill some vegetables, too, to serve alongside. Serve with: Grilled eggplant and cherry tomato skewers and brown basmati rice.
Shish Kebab with Tahini Sauce
Roasted and grilled meats are ubiquitous throughout the Middle East. This marinade, infused with allspice and cinnamon, would be excellent on lamb or chicken as well. Tuck the grilled chunks of meat and onion into warm whole-wheat pitas.
Grilled Tuna with Olive Relish
A simple relish of parsley and olives jazzes up grilled tuna. Make it a meal: Serve with grilled vegetables and steamed new potatoes.
Paella started as an outdoor dish. Grilling seafood, zesty sausage and vegetables before combining them with saffron-scented rice replicates that traditional character. Note that perfectly done paella rice will be dry and the slightest bit toothsome: it's not creamy or overly moist.
Pork Chops with Peach Barbecue Sauce
The tangy peach barbecue sauce that glazes these pork chops is incredible on grilled chicken or salmon as well. Bone-in pork chops (as opposed to boneless) are less likely to dry out. Just make sure to trim away as much fat as possible for healthier results.
Slow-cooked onions add moisture and flavor to these lean beef burgers. A quick blend of mayonnaise, ketchup, relish and vinegar makes a perfect tangy, sweet and creamy “special sauce” for this burger. We love the dill relish here, but use sweet relish if you prefer it. Serve with sweet potato fries.
Grilled Beef Tenderloin & Escarole
Lightly grilled escarole combined with tangy tomato vinaigrette makes an irresistible accompaniment to juicy beef tenderloin. Serve with grilled baguette.
Chile-Marinated Skirt Steak (Carne Asada en Adobo de Guajillo)
In this Mexican-inspired steak recipe, dried chiles are toasted, soaked and pureed to make a flavorful marinade. Toasting the chiles in a heavy, dry skillet is the key to unlocking their flavor (not just their heat). Look for dried chiles in the produce section of many markets. Serve with rice, beans and a green salad.
Pesto-Pork Pinwheels with Grilled Peaches
Slicing the pesto-and-breadcrumb-stuffed pork before skewering helps these pinwheels cook quickly and brown evenly. Serve this with grilled or roasted broccolini and farro for a healthy dinner.
Chicken Yakitori with Broccoli
Yakitori--chicken skewers common in Japan--get a thick soy glaze before and after grilling for maximum flavor in this healthy dinner recipe. Double or triple the recipe for a fun party appetizer. Serve with steamed short-grain brown rice or over rice noodles drizzled with the extra sauce.
Peruvian Beef Kebabs with Grilled Corn
In this healthy kebab recipe, ancho chile powder, made from dried poblano chiles, is used for a slightly spicier and smokier flavor than regular chili powder. Serve alongside fresh tomato wedges for an easy weeknight dinner or arrange on a platter at your next cookout.
Juniper-Marinated Bison Flank Steak
Rich, lean bison meat takes to the juniper-infused marinade in this easy flank steak recipe. Look for juniper berries in well-stocked supermarkets. If you can't find bison, beef flank steak is an ideal substitute.
Grilled Chicken with Blueberry-Lime Salsa
One lime does double duty in this healthy chicken recipe. The zest adds a citrus punch to the rub for the chicken, and the lime segments are combined with blueberries for a tart and refreshing salsa. Add more chile if you like it hot.