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How To Celebrate July - The National Barbecue Month

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

Americans love to grill. According to a study conducted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) 80 percent of all US households owned a grill or smoker. About 14 million new grills were shipped in 2018-19. It's only fitting that July is National Barbecue Month because the most popular day to grill is July 4th.

MORE THAN BURGERS


While juicy burgers and steaks are the top choices for the grill, more grillin' masters are uncovering the hood to more options. You can purchase #pizza stones, baskets for #veggies, and fish, skewers for #kabobs, and even Woks.

While these cooking accessories make it easier to cook just about anything, you can still go old school and use aluminum foil to make pockets for holding food.

Here are some options that are easy to create, yet impress your guests.

PIZZA


This pie never tasted so good! The key to overcoming the crust obstacle is to grill the crust first. Lay the raw dough down on a lightly oiled, hot grate and brush it with olive oil. Let it cook for a couple of minutes. Flip it and brush with more olive oil and place your favorite toppings on it and cook for another two to three minutes.

CABBAGE


Splurge with cabbage? Bacon and butter give this neglected veggie new life. Core the cabbage and quarter it. Sprinkle salt and pepper over it and place each quarter on its own aluminum foil. Add a few dabs of butter between the wedges and wrap in bacon. Close up the foil and grill for 30-35 minutes until soft.

TOFU BITES

Cut tofu into 1/2 inch thick slices and soak in a favorite marinade. Then, drain the tofu to get rid of excess liquid and place it on the grill. Cook each side for about three or four minutes.

S'MORE BOATS


Can something this simple make taste so good?

Just slice a banana down the middle and stuff with mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap the banana in foil and grill until the gooey goodness is melted. Add crushed Golden Graham cereal to complete the s'more effect.


PINEAPPLE


You'll wonder why you never tried grilled #pineapple after tasting it. Lightly spray the grate with non-stick spray. Combine about 2 tbsp of honey. 1tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp olive oil. Brush fresh, sliced pineapple with the mixture. Grill three to five minutes, turn and grill for another three to five minutes, until tender and golden brown.

GRILL SCHOOL

  • Preheat your grill 15 to 25 minutes before you start cooking to kill any bacteria and to make sure it reaches the right temperature to start cooking. A preheated grill will sear the meat and keep the meat moist and prevent sticking. Scrape the debris from the last cookout after the preheat stage is complete. It's much easier to get the goop off when it's warm.

  • Use an oil-soaked paper towel to reduce food sticking to the grates.

  • Grab the tongs and oil the grates. Never use non-stick spray on a hot grill. You can spray before the preheat if you don't want to use oil.

  • Marinate for flavor and protection against potentially carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which form when grilling meals like poultry, red meat, and fish.

  • According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), marinating can reduce HCA formation by as much as 92 to 99 percent.

  • Refrain from peeking every 5 minutes to see if the food is done. Every time you open the lid, heat escapes and it can take up to 10 minutes to re-establish the proper temperature.

  • I cringe when I see someone grilling and cutting into the meat to check if it's done or immediately taking a knife to a steak just taken from the grate. Use a meat thermometer to test if the food is done. Tent the meat in foil or cover and let it sit for about 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat.

LEAN GRILLIN'

If you use an infrared grill it can be even healthier as it creates juicier meat with less fat. The gas flame heats plates made out of ceramic. The plates then radiate heat and cook food quickly. Heat is also produced through the smoke and steam created when juices fall on their surfaces and instantly incinerate. No drip pan needed! The infrared technology is significantly more efficient because it doesn't char food, creating carcinogens like the traditional #charcoal and gas #grill.

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