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Summer is finally here! What is the first thing you think of when you hear ‘Summer’ ? Outside activities, grilling, BBQ, drinks, lounging by the pool, fresh fruits and veggies? All of the above for me! We like to grill year round, but nothing beats firing up the grill and prepping a big juicy steak!

We have a gas grill and a charcoal grill. The gas grill just needs to warm up to the temperature of choice, but for the charcoal grill allow yourself 30 minutes. We love to use our Grilling Chimney- Google it! You will love this little grilling treasure that we discovered 5 years ago, it will change the way you grill forever. Once you have the grilling chimney, fill it to the top with charcoal, use 1-2 pieces of newspaper to put under the chimney and set it on the grill. Light the paper, and allow 30 minutes for the coals to get hot, then carefully dump them into the grill and replace the grate. We love this little grilling tool because we can prep it, and while the coals get hot, we can get steak, chicken, or pork chops prepped. You get perfectly hot coals every time, and the heat lasts longer. If you are grilling more than one meat, keep them on separate plates or cutting boards. We like to use a cooking sheet and line it with tin foil, season the meat, and once it’s on the grill, throw away the foil and you can use the cooking sheet for the cooked meats- this means less dishes to clean too!

I love summer because the fresh herbs are in abundance. I especially like to grill with them! You can either lay sprigs of rosemary, or your favorite herb on the grill and lay your fish, chicken, or meat on top of the herbs to let the flavors infuse. If you have a gas grill or smoker, wet herbs in a smaller metal container will smolder nicely on the lowest rack to infuse flavor.

If you are grilling with sauces like BBQ, apple, maple, etc., wait until the last 10 minutes of grilling to avoid burning it. Make sure to leave enough space between each piece of meat or fish to allow even cooking.

Don’t forget the veggies! I like to season with salt and pepper,( or you can use your favorite seasonings). We also love Lawry’s Seasoning Salt which you can find at most stores- and I like to use when cooking almost every thing. When grilling tough veggies like asparagus or corn, let them soak in water before putting them on the grill, or wrap in tin foil to avoid burning them. Corn can be left in the husk, soaked in water and then grilled with the husk on. To keep veggies or fish from sticking to the grill pan, you can rub some vegetable oil or non stick cooking spray on the grill.

These are just a few of my favorite tips to get you started this grilling season, but the possibilities are endless! So open that bottle of wine, or crack open a fresh brew, and let’s fire up the grill and let summer commence!

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