As social distancing measures continue and people are stuck at home, homeowners are coming up with more creative ways to pass the extra time they now have. Some are learning a new language or taking up a new hobby. Others are reviving old hobbies or trying to get better at them. If you’re looking for ways to pass the time, why not practice your outdoor cooking skills? Fire up the grill and give these flavorful recipes a try!
What’s on the Menu?
The most commonly grilled dishes involve meat, especially beef, but your grill is far more versatile than that. You can serve up everything from standard beef dishes to seafood and even grilled desserts! Find your new favorite grilled dish here:
- Lemon grilled shrimp kabobs
- Chili rubbed ribs
- Salsa steak
- Java pepper steak
- Grilled pizza
- Cheesy potatoes
- Campfire cobbler
- Grilled fruit
1) Lemon Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lemon zest
- 1 lb shrimp
- Cherry tomatoes (as many as you’d like)
- Sliced onions (as many as you’d like)
Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest into a marinade, and let your shrimp and vegetables marinate for several hours or overnight. Thread everything onto barbecue skewers, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill on each side for approximately 3 minutes.
2) Chili Rubbed Ribs
- 6 lbs ribs
- 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
Dry rub the ribs with all these seasonings and refrigerate covered for half an hour. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and grill over indirect heat for an hour and a half. Finally, mix together your glaze over medium heat for 6-8 minutes:
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2-3 cup ketchup
- 1-3 cup lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
Unwrap the ribs, rub them with the glaze, and cook over direct heat for 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
3) Salsa Steak
- 4 portions of steak (size can vary)
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- Half yellow capsicum, diced
- 4 tbsp coriander, chopped
- 1 tbsp seeded mustard
- Olive oil to brush steak
Brush both sides of the steak with olive oil and sear each side, 2-3 minutes for boneless cuts and 3-4 minutes for cuts with bones. For a medium or well done steak, lower the heat to medium and leave for an extra 1-2 minutes. Once the steak is cooked to your preferences, remove from heat and cover for about 2 minutes to settle. While you’re waiting on the steak, mix up your salsa ingredients. Serve on the side.
4) Java Pepper Steak
- 1.5 lb tenderloin steak
- 4 tsp finely ground coffee
- 4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- Salt to taste
Preheat your grill and while you wait for it to heat up, place all ingredients in a freezer bag and seal it shut. Shake the bag until the steak is evenly coated in the seasonings. Grill the steak to your preferred level.
Pro Tip: For an especially flavorful steak, rub it with spices and let it sit in the fridge overnight before grilling.
5) Grilled Pizza
- Naan bread or pitas, one for each serving
- Olive oil to brush crusts
- Pizza toppings of choice
Brush both sides of the naan or pitas with olive oil and grill for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, add your pizza toppings, and return them to the grill until the cheese has completely melted.
6) Cheesy Potatoes
- 2 ½ lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion
- 5 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 6 slices American cheese
Mix all ingredients except the cheese together and spread over a large piece of foil. Fold the foil tightly around the potatoes and grill for 15 minutes on each side. Open the foil and lay the cheese slices over the potatoes. Cover again and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
7) Campfire Cobbler
- 2 cans of fruit pie filling
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ½ cup canola oil
Line a Dutch oven with aluminum foil and pour in both cans of fruit pie filling. In a separate bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, and oil. Spread the mix over the pie filling. Cook on the grill for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is browned.
8) Grilled Fruit
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ tbsp vanilla
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- 6 tbsp honey
- Handful of lavender flowers
- 6 figs, halved
- 3 large fruits: peaches, plums, apricots, etc., halved
- Olive oil to brush fruit
Brush your halved fruits with olive oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill. Grill the fruit until nice grill marks form. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla into a tangy sauce. Serve fruit with a dollop of yogurt, drizzled honey, flower garnish, and sliced figs.
Brush Up on Your Grill Skills
Few things are more comforting than a hot home-cooked meal prepared on your own grill. And what better way is there to stay fresh on your cooking skills? Give these recipes a try and serve up a great dinner tonight!
Connect with us for more recipes and cooking tricks for your grill.
Depending on the features you choose and the extent of your plans, a custom-built outdoor kitchen can be a sizeable investment. Even with a budget and financial plan in place, it helps to know just what you can expect to pay going into your backyard renovation.
Do you know what appliances and features you’ll want in an outdoor kitchen? If not, now’s the time to start planning. Without a concrete idea of what you want, you can’t estimate a cost and budget for your project. Here’s how to get started planning and budgeting for your outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor Kitchen Appliances
Since you already have a fully furnished indoor kitchen, you won’t need to replicate every single appliance in an outdoor space. For instance, don’t worry about installing a dishwasher outside. But for essential appliances, like the refrigerator or sink, you likely won’t want to keep running between your indoor and outdoor kitchens constantly to grab what you need and get back to work. The exact amount these duplicate appliances will add to your budget depends on which type you get, but a rough estimate could look something like this:
- Refrigerator: $400-$900
- Sink: at least $100 (nicer models could be higher)
- Side burner: $200-$500
But without a doubt, the most expensive item in your outdoor cooking area will be the grill. While you don’t want to blow your entire budget on a grill, it certainly pays to get a nice model that will give you a smooth cooking experience. The price of the grill you choose will vary depending on a long list of factors: its type, its size, its brand name, and more. Browse some of our more popular grill models below:
Countertops and Flooring Materials
Some outdoor kitchen designs use the same materials for both the floor and the countertops, creating a uniform look and simplifying the construction process. For a more contrasting look, choose different materials. Just make sure to keep track of the different prices between your chosen materials.
The exact price you can expect to pay will vary from contractor to contractor. However, these estimates of pricing for popular outdoor kitchen materials will help you get an idea of your budget:
- Brick facade: $15-$25/sq ft
- Bricks: $25-$35/sq ft
- Stucco: $5/sq ft
- Natural stone: $25-$45/sq ft
- Engineered stone: $20/sq ft
- Granite: $60-$70/sq ft
- Concrete: $60-$70/sq ft
Pro Tip: Stainless steel countertops are easy to maintain and look sleek and modern, but can trap a lot of heat in the Houston sun. Be careful when working on metal countertops in an outdoor kitchen.
Finally, don’t forget about electricity and running water! It’s nearly impossible to estimate these costs beforehand. However, keeping track of which appliances you’ll install and how often you’ll use them can help you narrow it down. For budget-friendly and energy-efficient kitchen equipment, check out Energy Star’s ratings for different appliances.
Planning Your New Backyard Kitchen
Even if money isn’t a concern, it’s always better to know exactly what you’ll be paying for your new outdoor kitchen. Take the time to research what you want and talk to our team of designers for precise estimates. Understanding your budget is the first step toward a successful backyard renovation.
Join the conversation to see what a completed outdoor kitchen will look like!
To keep your grill performing and functioning at its best, it is vital that you keep it clean. You don’t want a bunch of grease built-up before having guests over for a pool party. The method that you use to clean and maintain your grill depends on what type you have.
The functionality of your grill is dependant on being properly cleaned and maintained. How you do this depends on if you have a charcoal, gas, or pellet grill. Here are the top ways to keep each style of grill clean so you can make every season grilling season.
How to Clean a Gas Grill
To clean a gas grill, you’ll want to start by gathering a grill brush (or other course cleaning brush), cleaning rags, soapy water.
- First things first–always turn off the gas to your grill before cleaning! You can also detach the tank from your grill.
- Remove grill grates so you can thoroughly clean then by scrubbing them with your grill brush.
- Clean anything on the burners, such as lava stones, ceramic briquettes, or metal heat tents. Clean burner tubes, as well as gas ports.
- Clean the outside of your grill with hot soapy water and a cleaning rag.
- Empty and clean the grease collection tray. Make sure to properly dispose of grease–never pour it down any drain. Your grease tray needs to be checked every time you grill to help prevent fires.
- Wipe everything dry and put your grill back together and oil your grates prior to cooking.
How to Clean a Charcoal Grill
Just like with the gas grill, you’ll need a grill brush, cleaning rags, and some hot, soapy water to clean your charcoal grill.
- Remove the grill grate if possible. Scrub with your grill brush. You can also use a wadded up piece of aluminum foil to help remove any remaining gunk or debris that remains on the grate.
- Empty the ash catcher and then clean the bottom and lid of your grill using hot soapy water and a cleaning rag.
- Put your grill back together and oil the grates before grilling your next delicious meal.
ProTip: A warm grill makes grill grates easier to clean!
How to Clean a Pellet Grill
Because pellet grills are equipped with electronic components, it is imperative that you keep your grill dry to keep it functioning properly. This is especially important for the inside of your grill.
- Warm up your grill to about 200 degrees. Close the lid and let it sit about ten minutes, loosening grease and leftover foods.
- Using a grill brush, clean the grates thoroughly.
- Remove and empty the ash container. Clean it before or after each time you use it.
- Remove the drip tray and dispose of oil as recommended. Again, never discard oil down drains.
- After you remove the drip tray, remove the heat deflector tray, as well, so you can clean the fire pot. There is a lot of ash that accumulates here, so use a shop-vac or vacuum cleaner to such out the ash from the interior of your pellet grill.
- Replace the heat deflector tray, drip tray, and grill grates.
- Using soap and water on a damp cloth, clean the outside of your grill. Remember not to use too much water, as not to ruin the electric parts of your smoker.
- Remove your chimney cap and clean it with a damp cloth.
Keeping Your Grill Working at Peak Performance
By keeping your grill clean you can be sure that your grill will be safe to use and runs effectively. A grill should be cleaned frequently, especially if you use it often.
Do you want to learn more about how to clean your grill? Join the conversation to speak with our outdoor living professionals.
If you love to spend time cooking outside, it’s time to upgrade your grill and cook area to an upscale stainless steel kitchen. Be the envy of the town when you take your outdoor living area to the next level.
Creating an outdoor kitchen has never been easier when you work with an outdoor kitchen design expert. By adding the perfect stainless steel accessories paired with granite countertops, you’ll make your dream kitchen a reality.
Custom Kitchen Design
A custom designed kitchen gives your outdoor cooking space the upscale look you’ve been hoping for. With numerous custom options like custom stone and woodwork and patio covers, you can make a one-of-a-kind outdoor kitchen that will be the ideal place for making your outdoor entertaining unforgettable.
Take your outdoor kitchen up a notch by adding stainless steel accessories. Choose side burners, food prep areas, an ice maker, and other grill accessories to give your outdoor space an elevated and sophisticated feel.
ProTip: Bring your outdoor kitchen dreams to life by selecting features like granite countertops, custom woodwork, gourmet quality stainless steel grills, and endless accessory options.
Granite countertops create a state of the art look that fits perfectly with stainless steel grills, refrigerators, and other outdoor kitchen accessories. Your custom designed kitchen will quickly become the heartbeat of your backyard and the perfect place for your next cookout and entertaining time with family and friends.
Upscale One-of-a-Kind Kitchen
Don’t settle for just a grill area in your backyard, make your space an upscale cooking center tweaked out with a gleaming grill, refrigerator, and stainless-steel cabinets to die for.
Ready to create your own upscale stainless kitchen but wondering where to begin? Join the conversation to learn how you can get started today.
If you are looking for a new grill, it’s important to know which type will best suit your grilling needs. With grill options like the gas, pellet, and charcoal, you need to learn the difference between them in order to decide how they will each fit your lifestyle and budget.
With so many grill options, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. They each have their different uses, prices, and cooking times. You also need to consider the size and space you have to cook in, and which one will best suit your cooking needs. Here is some more information on the difference between gas, pellet, and charcoal grills to help you make your decision.
Gas grills are the most commonly bought grills these days. They offer good flavor, quick heating time, and convenience. There are different sizes available depending on your available space and uses propane or a natural gas line to heat and cook your food. With a push of a button, your grill is ready to use in less than ten minutes.
ProTip: A gas grill is perfect for the frequent griller and many models come with side cooktops, rotisserie kits, and multiple burners.
Pellet grills have been around for quite some time, but their popularity has exploded in the past few years. A pellet grill burns hardwood pellets made from wood scraps and gives your food a delicious hardwood, smoky flavor. These grills have a side hopper in which you place your pellets, and the “hot rod” inside ignites the pellets. Wood pellet grills are very versatile and can also be used as a smoker. These grills tend to be a little more pricey than charcoal grills,
Charcoal grills offer better flavor than a gas grill but don’t have the woody smoked flavor of a pellet grill. Unlike the other grills, these grills use charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal, which takes time to get the fire going. Getting a charcoal grill ready for cooking can take up to 30 minutes, and then unlike gas grills, you can’t just turn them off when you are done. Charcoal grills are less expensive to purchase up front, but the cost of charcoal can add up over time.
Choosing the Right Grill for You
There are different perks and advantages to gas, pellet, and charcoal grill types, which is best for you depends on your wants and needs. Make sure to honestly consider what you want to get out of a grill: How quickly do you want your meals cooked? How much time and effort do you want to put forth? And what type of flavor are you looking for? And, what kind of space do you have? Asking these questions can help you make the right decision.
Contact us to learn more about the difference between gas, pellet, and charcoal grills.