On a summer evening in Houston, few things are more satisfying than sitting down to a freshly grilled backyard dinner. And why restrict yourself to just grilling steaks? A versatile grill like the Big Green Egg can cook everything from meat to vegetables and even pizza! Try something new for dinner tonight.
6 tbsp butter mixed with roasted garlic, basil, and parsley
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
Your Big Green Egg will need to cook the oysters at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Shuck the oysters and discard the flat top of the shell, keeping the bowl-shaped bottom half. Place the bowl-shaped shells on a perforated cooking grid. Add half a tablespoon of softened butter to each oyster. Place the grid inside your heated Big Green Egg grill and close the lid, letting the oysters cook for about 4 minutes or until bubbly. Serve the oysters garnished with lemon slices and chives.
2) Beer Glazed Beef Ribs
These ribs need a long time to cook, but all the waiting will be worth it at dinnertime!
1 5-6 lb rack of short ribs
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bottle dark beer of your choice
Preheat the Big Green Egg to 265 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the membrane from the ribs and brush them in olive oil. Season them with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Place in the Egg with the meat facing up for 2 hours, then flip and cook for 1 more hour. Pour the beer into a shallow heat-proof pan, place the ribs in the beer, and cover with foil. Place the pan back into the Egg for 3 more hours. Serve whole garnished with your favorite barbecue sauce.
3) Smoked Chicken Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo
This recipe is provided courtesy of Chef Billy Parisi in partnership with Creekstone. You can find more details about this recipe on his website.
For the chicken
6 fresh chicken breasts
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground mustard
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp chipotle powder
¼ tsp paprika
Mix the herbs and spices together and rub over all sides of each chicken breast. Cover the chicken and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 48 hours. Smoke on your Big Green Egg for about 2 hours or until cooked all the way through. Wrap the chicken in aluminum foil and set aside for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
For the chipotle mayo
2 cups mayonnaise
3 minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients together until well-combined. Store in the fridge until it’s time to make the sandwiches.
3 sliced heirloom tomatoes
1 head butter leaf lettuce
2 thinly sliced avocados
2 cups packed shredded kale
24 strips bacon, cooked to taste
1 lb thinly sliced ham
12 fried eggs, cooked to taste
12 slices mozzarella cheese
12 slices pepper jack cheese
12 toasted sesame seed buns
Spread a thin layer of mayo on the inside half of each top bun. Add however much ham, chicken, and cheese you wish to the bottom buns and melt under a broiler. Stack the vegetables on the top bun. Once the cheese has melted, combine both halves for a completed sandwich. This recipe makes about 12 sandwiches.
4) Grilled Pizza
The smoky flavor of a grilled pizza is the perfect end to a Friday night!
Enough pizza dough for a large pizza (homemade or store-bought)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
However many toppings you like: sauce, cheese, meat, veggies, etc.
Roll out the pizza dough and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Grill the dough for 2 minutes. Add your toppings and cook another 2-5 minutes or until done.
Mix the pineapple, onions, green pepper, cilantro, salt, and lime juice and refrigerate. Grill tilapia over medium heat until done. Serve spread with salsa.
6) Stuffed Burgers
Stuff a burger patty with cheese, bacon, veggies, or other fillings for a savory surprise.
1 raw burger patty per person (or enough raw ground beef to make the patties yourself)
1 oz filling per patty: bacon bits, cheese, onions, peppers, etc.
If using ground beef, shape the beef into patties. Press the center of each patty down and work the meat into a bowl-like shape. Fill each hollow with about 1 oz of filling. Make a “cap” with the remaining meat and press it onto the top of each patty to seal it shut. Grill burgers until well-done.
7) Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken
This chicken may require some preparation in advance, but the result is well worth it.
8 chicken breasts
1 cup tequila
1 cup olive oil
Juice of 4 limes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
4 tbsp agave nectar
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Mix tequila, olive oil, lime juice, salt, onion powder, agave nectar, and cilantro to make a marinade. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, ensuring they’re completely covered, and let them marinate in the fridge for 2-8 hours. Grill the chicken on medium heat until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
If using meat, marinate it overnight ahead of time. Choose your ingredients and slide them securely onto the skewer. Grill over direct heat for 10-15 minutes or until done.
9) Honey Soy Grilled Pork Chops
Another recipe that requires marinating, this one promises sweet, juicy results.
8 pork chops
½ cup honey
1 cup soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
Mix honey, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper flakes to make a marinade. Submerge the pork chops in the marinade and allow to sit overnight in the fridge. Grill 8 minutes per side, remove from heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
10) Grilled Veggies
There’s no shortage of grilling recipes for meat-eaters, but what about vegetarians? Fortunately, your grill can cook up some smoky, delicious veggies for anyone who wants them!
1-1.5 cups veggies per person (corn, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, asparagus, potatoes, etc.)
Enough of your favorite marinade to cover all the veggies (if marinating)
Salt and pepper to taste
Enough olive oil to coat all the veggies (if not marinating)
If you choose to marinate the vegetables ahead of time, wash and chop them to the desired size. Prepare your marinade, submerge the veggies, and leave them in the fridge overnight. Grill until tender-crisp and serve hot.
If you’d rather not marinate the vegetables, you don’t need to do as much preparation ahead of time. Wash and chop your vegetables to the desired size. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper until completely coated. Grill until tender-crisp and serve hot.
Summer Dinners for the Win!
Professional and amateur chefs alike will love the chance to grill something amazing on a warm summer evening. Experiment with different ingredients and proportions to find your favorite go-to recipe. Meanwhile, enjoy impressing your family with your newfound skills!
Grills have long been a staple of outdoor cooking. Who doesn’t love a hot steak cooked over an open flame? Unfortunately, buying a grill isn’t as simple as it used to be. Aspiring grill masters now have to consider different brands, sizes, fuels, styles, and much more.
Any grill you choose will give you fantastic results when you cook. But some homeowners say that different types of fuel yield different tastes, while others favor a particular style. How can you find the right grill for your backyard? Check out this outdoor grill comparison of some of Creekstone’s best products.
Grills come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny grills designed to cook one meal to massive grills built into an outdoor kitchen island. Naturally, bigger grills will cost more and likely have more features than their smaller counterparts. A casual backyard chef may be content with a small, simple grill. But what if you frequently entertain large groups of people? A smaller grill won’t be able to keep up with the amount of cooking necessary for big parties. Homeowners who often have friends over for dinner may prefer a bigger, fancier grill.
Pro Tip: Most types of grills allow for indirect cooking–cooking your food next to the heat source rather than directly over it. This method allows you to cook thicker cuts of meat slowly without burning the outside.
What Fuel Does the Grill Need?
At Creekstone, we carry grills that take one of three kinds of fuel: gas, pellets, and charcoal. Many veteran grillmasters swear by charcoal grills and claim they provide the best smoky flavor on a freshly grilled steak. Others disagree, however. It’s also somewhat common to hear people claim that gas grills produce the same flavor as charcoal grills, and much faster! You may hear similar claims about pellet grills since they also preheat quickly.
The type of fuel you choose should depend on a few factors. First of all, do you believe the fuel makes a significant difference in taste? Second, which fuel can you easily and consistently purchase to keep your grill going? And finally, are there any restrictions about grilling where you live? Some apartment complexes have rules against electric grills on the porch, for instance. Know your own preferences and any restrictions you may have to deal with.
Does It Come with a Warranty?
Grill manufacturers are confident in their products, and it shows. The vast majority of worthwhile grill models come with at least a 10-year warranty. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but it’s always a good idea to opt for a model with a warranty. Choose a high-quality grill made of durable materials and consult with our backyard renovation experts for details on its warranty.
Which Grill is Right for You?
No matter the brand, size, or fuel, any grill on the market has its own advantages and disadvantages. But don’t evaluate the grills on their own without considering how they’ll fit in your backyard. Do you have room for a massive grill? Do you have guests over often and a small grill just doesn’t have enough space? Consider every possible factor before you make your purchase.
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!
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
Java pepper steak
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!
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.