Summertime is funtime, and there’s really nothing more fun for the budding grill master than turning out world-class eats right in your backyard. These recipes are visually festive, as well as incredibly delectable. Better yet, you don’t need a stockpile of ingredients or competition-level barbecue skills to nail these recipes on the head. Here are some of the best outdoor kitchen summer recipes, as recommended by the Green Scene team!
Grilled Vegetable Medley
This one is ideal if you have a few veggies growing in a backyard garden, or if you have a fresh haul from the local farmer’s market. Slice your vegetables about three-quarters of an inch thick, large enough to hold together when they get soft. If you have a griddle surface on your grill, that’s perfect. If not, a section of heavy-duty foil will hold your vegetables over the flames without allowing them to fall through.
Pick up some summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers (hot or sweet, or both!), green beans, carrots … really, most any vegetables will do! Use at least three of these, but five or six is spectacular. If you’re cooking potatoes, place those slices on the grill first, because they’ll take longer to cook. Place a flat surface or aluminum foil directly over the heat source on your grill after heating it to medium-high temperature. When the potatoes start to get soft (if you’re cooking those), place your sliced vegetables all together on the surface over the flame. Allow them to begin browning, then stir or flip with a spatula or tongs until all sides are soft and some good browning is going on. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
You can also grill corn on the cob! Soak the corn on the cob for 30 minutes in salted water before removing the silks, while leaving the husks on. Smooth the husks back into place, and put the cobs over direct medium-high heat. The pre-soaking now acts to help steam the corn in its own husk. Allow the husks to get nice and browned on each side. Just use tongs to move them around as they brown. This takes about 20 minutes, but when your husks get dark, the corn is ready!
Savory Pulled Pork Sandwiches
If you want more than a few minutes in your outdoor kitchen, consider slow-smoking a pork butt for pulled pork sandwiches. These large, inexpensive cuts cook to fork-tender over indirect heat in just a few hours. While your grill warms to about 250-degrees Fahrenheit, apply a good rub. You can make it sweet and spicy with some brown sugar, powdered mustard, cumin and Cajun seasoning. Or, keep it simple with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder.
Place the pork butt, slathered in rub, on the indirect side of the grill. Add some good smoking wood, like hickory, cherry, or oak. Begin checking the temperature when the outside begins to brown. This usually takes about three hours. If your meat starts to look too dry, you can spritz it with some apple cider vinegar or apple juice. If you’re short on time, you can remove the pork from the smoker, wrap it in foil, and finish it in the oven at 350-degrees.
Your pork butt is ready when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 190-205 Fahrenheit. Allow your meat to rest for about 20 minutes. Then, shred the meat with a couple of forks and serve on hamburger buns with your favorite barbecue sauce and some dill pickles. Now, just sit back and accept the accolades!
If the family whines, “Not again!” every time you pull out the hamburger meat and head to the grill, spice things up with stuffed burgers. Make your hamburger patties as usual, leaving a deep indentation in the center of each burger. Stuff the indentations with any combination of cheese, grilled onions, grilled peppers, mushrooms, bacon, or whatever you find compelling in the refrigerator!
Close up your stuffed burgers by pressing on a little more hamburger meat to seal in your stuffing. If you want to add additional flavor, sprinkle on some Worcestershire sauce. Grill your burgers as usual. If the outsides begin to get done before your stuffing is cooked through, move the burgers off direct heat until the insides are done.
Serve on hamburger buns, optionally topping with marinara sauce or barbecue sauce.
Is your outdoor kitchen up to these top-tier summer recipes? The Green Scene Swimming Pools & Landscaping can upgrade your old grill with a complete new outdoor kitchen fit for summertime, and all the time. You’ve got the recipes and the know-how. Now all you need is an outdoor kitchen to express your inner grill master! Call us today.