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Summer Grilling Tips from Fairway Executive Chef Laura Licona


The tantalizing smells of grilling season are in the air. And if you love all the flavors that come with those aromas as much as we do, you’ll want to take your barbecue to a higher level. The good news is that it’s not that hard to do. These five simple, savory tips from our expert chef can help you create more succulent backyard meals all summer long.

1) Don’t be afraid to experiment with non-meat items. A lot of times we don’t realize that fruits and vegetables will react beautifully to both marinades and grilling techniques. Slice a peach in half, rub it with oil and salt, and throw it on a smoking hot grill. Same with a head of butter lettuce — slice it down the middle with the core intact, oil and season it, and grill one side for a beautifully grilled salad. Mangoes, asparagus, plums, avocados – they all do interesting things when direct and indirect fire is applied. Experiment with them and see what you like! Oil up or marinate grapes and cherry tomatoes and place them on a small sheet tray directly onto the grill

2) Switch up your meats. Interesting cuts of meat like Chuck Eye tend to cost about half the price per pound that Ribeyes cost, so you can afford to pick two up and try them out for a tasty dinner. These tender cuts cook up quickly and are more flavorful than their more expensive cousins. Pieces like flank, flap, and tri-tip can be marinated for 20 minutes or overnight to soak up any flavor profile you’re into. Cook these types a little longer on less direct heat for a uniquely incredible flavor and delectable texture.

3) Move things around and play with indirect heat. Leave meats and veggies on the top shelf away from direct flame with the lid closed for a more smokey flavor and a slower cook.

4) Make foil packets. This is similar to the French “en papillote” technique. Wrap a protein like fish, citrus-like lemons, aromatics like garlic, onions and fresh herbs in an easy to open foil packet and place directly on the grill. This cooking technique retains moisture and makes food succulent and beyond flavorful. You can even try this with water and no oil for a fat-free steam. Cook all of your seafood this way!

5) Put some grill in your drink! Grill citrus, fruits, and herbs to add a smokey flavor to your alcoholic beverages. Find a good recipe for a shrub or a fruity blended drink and add smoke and char to your glass.



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