Summer Grilling

Around here, our air conditioner seems like it has been running 24/7 and we’re close to record high temps for the month of July.  As such, it’s too hot to cook inside (and many days it feels to hot to be standing over a grill) so we’ve gotten pretty creative regarding meals that don’t heat the house.  We’ve even gone as far as cooking breakfast on the grill.

Some of our recent favorites include:

  • Cooking bacon or other breakfast meats on the grill.
  • Diced potatoes in a foil pouch.  Sometimes we’ll add onions to the mix for the fun of it.  This steams them more than browns them, but it’s all for the sake of keeping our house cool in the summer.
  • Grilled pizzas.  This can be done on a pizza stone or just straight on the grill.  Usually we’ll start the cooking process on the dough for a couple minutes, pull it off to add toppings, then put it back on to finish the cooking process.
  • Kabobs.  An added benefit is if there are enough leftovers, they are great in a flatbread as a pita-style sandwich.
  • Grilled vegetables.  We’ll do all sorts of veggies, both in a foil pouch and straight on the flame.  To season them, add your choice of marinade, or dress it simply with salt and pepper.  Depending on how high the heat is, you can simply steam them in the pouch, or brown them.  We cooked some broccoli the other day in a pouch over high heat and they came out with crispy bits that were delicious.
  • Grilled fruit.  Just brush lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking.  The sugars in the fruit will caramelize beautifully.  We especially like pineapple, peaches, and other stone fruit.
  • Quesadillas on the grill.

We don’t have a super sophisticated grill—it’s old and doesn’t cook evenly anymore—but if we did, I might be even more adventurous.  I’ve seen people cook eggs on the grill, grill salad components (grilled radicchio anyone?), paella.  If you can dream up a grilling accessory, someone probably makes it.  Really, you’re only limited by your creativity when it comes to cooking outside.  In fact, I’m currently considering various casserole recipes to figure out what might most easily be cooked there instead of in our oven indoors.

How do you beat the heat when cooking?

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