Summer 2020 gave us a head start on outdoor grilling through eating all our meals at home, every day, and we are on a roll at this point! Early on, after reading all the reviews, we ordered ourselves a grill, assembled it, and have pretty much been grilling and dining al fresco since.
Summertime Sizzlin’: Grill Accessories & Recipes We Love
We have a few tried-and-true favorites that make the weekly rotation, a few tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way, and a whole bunch of accessories that help us have more fun trying new things at this outdoor dining restaurant we call Home. Think: smart prep trays, skewers, veggie trays, a pizza stone++, beer can chicken (yes, that’s a thing,) perfect Jalapeno Poppers, and even something so the peaches don’t drop — all kinds of grill accessories that help us along the way.
Typically we don’t use recipes…we just cook. Some of my friends nod in agreement with just cook. Some of my friends are like, wait, exactly what did you do here? So for those who prefer to work with a formal recipe, we searched for recipes most similar to what we just do on the grill and tucked those into this post, as well as starter points for what to do with all these grill accessories and how to add a little more flavor and fun to your grilled meals. Truth be told, we’re all having a lot of fun grilling every day! So if you are looking for a little inspiration, here’s some of what we’ve got going on!
I have not always aproned to grill, but I do now. Somehow, the kids helping me means I get messier. Imagine that, right? And for the kids, who like to actually stand and watch the grill and over-check everything, well it’s also helpful. An apron also lends an official air of “I’m the grill master” to the whole exercise…which means that at least one person is paying attention to what’s going on out there as the rest of us chill and remain otherwise summertime distracted. Not into messes? Try a fish in foil recipe to keep things neat and tasty, like these genius mix and match foil packets from Levi Brown and the Food Network that work as well on the grill as they do over a camp fire, or even in your oven:
I’m not sure when I first met a Jalapeño Popper, but I promise I’ve never looked back! They are my favorite pre-dinner summertime snack, and I’ve ordered them from everywhere…until I didn’t order from anywhere, and now we need to make them at home. This tray helps! We love them with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper straight on the tray and grill, but if you want to get real fancy…without too much prep, this recipe for stuffing them from Emma Christensen and Simply Recipes is delicious! The trick here is just to cut the tops and stuff them on the tray, but yes, I agree that bacon makes everything better—so at least stuff them with that!
This is the favorite crowd pleaser of a certain guy I know. Admittedly, from this chick who really prefers just fish (and bacon,) this is some seriously great, easy and super-moist chicken. The tray is the trick. Call me crazy but any old beer will do. This recipe from the Neelys and Food Network is traditional, and uses an actual beer can rather than the fancy tray. The tray makes it so that you pour the beer into the vessels and then use the tray and two chickens. Regardless, it gets rave reviews, always, this beer can chicken geniusness.
Kabobs are my son’s favorite to make! We did need to invest in new skewers so that he could manage on his own…the old ones were a little tricky to work with on a hot grill. He marinates the ingredients when he wakes up (he’s 12, so that’s not early; it’s pretty much noon to the rest of us.) And he makes all veggie for his sister, with shrimp for his mom, and with steak or chicken for himself and his youngest sister. All on the same grill. This recipe is specifically for shrimp, but works for anything you are grilling from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, my personal all-time favorite Chef to follow if I am following a recipe…she keeps it real and delicious, and doable.
We mostly use this while camping, to make burgers over the campfire, and then eggs over a morning camp fire on the flip side, but I pulled it out the other night and cut peaches in half and grilled them for a friend who wanted a gluten-free desert — delicious!!!! Something like this recipe, from Meghan Splawn from The Kitchn. I just put them on the grill pan because it seems easier to me, and then I just place the whole grill pan on a giant wood plank for serving, which looks summertime fabulous on an outdoor table. And yes, my youngest always has the ice cream at the ready for pairing.
Mama Pat next door on the marinade and Papa Stan on the grill, got me hooked on grilled veggies in a veggie tray. Maybe one day we can get them to give up her secrets, but for now, they seem to taste (I’m chief taste-tester if I walk out back at just the right moment) closest to these Balsamic Grilled Vegetables from Jessica Hylton and her blog, which I’ll now be following forever: Jessica in the Kitchen. She’s a great resource for all deliciousness vegetarian and vegan, and my middle child gives me reason to forever be in search of inspiration in those areas!
The fine art of ‘take the raw, uncooked, prepped meat out on one tray and then send that in for washing and use another tray for once the food is cooked for food safety reasons’ is one we’ve been reviewing repeatedly since the kids started independently grilling. This great nesting set makes it easy to remember and manage, and is super-cute and easy to clean, too! I don’t eat red meat, but two of my kids love it, and my son has been grilling steaks something like this simple recipe from Summer Miller and Simply Recipes: How To Grill The Best Steak.
I quickly tired of trying to find the best brush to clean the grill and just ordered one of these. They get great reviews, get better with age and use, and are pretty too, for what that’s worth. I’ll let you know how it goes once we give it a good try, but I definitely have high hopes.
Friday night is homemade pizza night at our house, where C, my middle child, is in charge. She’s all but perfected a cold 48-hour-rise dough that she starts on Wednesday or Thursday, and she’s also determined that the best sauce is just to use a can of crushed tomatoes, and to add some fresh basil from the garden. They honestly get better each week! Ceci’s favorite dough recipe is from Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza [A Cookbook] by Ken Forkish. And her new favorite thing to do is to cook the pizza on a stone, on the grill, because an indoor oven set to pizza temp in the summertime gets hot!
We’ve tried more than a few along the way and we’ve settled on agreement that this is our favorite set for function, and because it’s super-easy to clean. It also handles well in the little hands, and mine too.
Shop Our Favorite Grill Accessories
Get out there with the whole family and grill some goodness this weekend!
PS: Follow along with me on Pinterest for more Home Inspiration and other random distraction via pretty visuals. xo, A