Our Best Ideas for Grilling – Tips, Tricks, Recipes, & Secret Sauces

If you’re looking for our best ideas for the grill, look no further. We have delicious grilling ideas for dinner, grilled vegetable recipes, juicy burgers, dry rubs, secret sauces, and much, much more.
Korean BBQ Short Ribs Recipe

For people who love to fire up the grill and cook delicious food, we’ve collected all our best ideas for grilling in one place. This piece is filled with tips and tricks to help even the most experienced cooks grill tastier food. It includes tons of delicious recipes for the grill, along with some of our favorite barbecue sauces and dry rubs to make everything taste better.

Everybody has their favorites, their go-to burger recipe, the steak seasoning they’ve been using for years, and that one grilled vegetable dish that gets made over and over again. It can be a challenge to come up with new dishes, to figure out how to use ingredients you’ve never grilled before, especially in the middle of the summer when it’s hot outside and all anyone is interested in is when dinner is being served.

That’s why we’ve organized our best ideas for the grill into simple categories to make it easy to find grilling ideas for dinner, grilled vegetable recipes packed with flavor, appetizers and side dishes that are easy to make, and a collection of tips to improve your grill game, along with some of our favorite sauces, marinades, and dry rubs.

We even have a whole section on grilling pizza that includes a pizza dough recipe designed to stand up to the challenges of the grill.

Grilling Ideas for Dinner

When it comes to dinner ideas for the grill, we’ve pulled together a wide range of recipes that fit any occasion and work, whether your grill of choice is a gas grill, charcoal grill, or smoldering campfire. 

We’ve included dinner recipes for family dinners and busy weeknight meals, and whether you prefer hands-off grilling, healthy recipes, or bold flavors, there’s something for everyone.

Grilling Ribeye

There is something luxurious about grilling a thick, beautiful ribeye steak. Ribeyes are one of our favorite cuts for the way they absorb flavors while remaining tender. This grilled steak recipe uses fresh herbs and a little lemon juice and olive oil to elevate the steak to an almost transcendent experience.

Grilled Ribeye Steak
What makes this grilled ribeye steak recipe so delicious is how the tender, well-marbled cut, absorbs the flavors from the rosemary and garlic along with the heat and smoke from grill.
Check out this recipe
Grilling Ribeye

This is the grilled chicken recipe we use when we’re in the mood for fantastic barbecue chicken. Using indirect heat, homemade barbecue sauce, and the flip, fire, and paint technique to sauce the chicken thighs at the end, so they’re crispy and juicy, is exactly what great barbecue is all about.

Simple Grilled BBQ Chicken
This sweet, tangy BBQ chicken recipe is a simple way to make slow-cooked, delicious, barbecue chicken on the grill.
Check out this recipe
Grilled BBQ Chicken

People are always surprised by how much grilling ham improves its flavor and texture. The combination of the dry rub and heat concentrates and boosts the ham’s flavor without drying it out, creating something that tastes new but is still familiar.

Ham that has been grilled tastes delicious warm or cold and can be served as slices or in sandwiches. Also, because it was cured, it can be left on a buffet for a couple of hours – making this one of our favorite recipes for picnics and potlucks

Maple Bourbon Glazed Grilled Ham
There are lots of reasons to make a grilled ham, grilling lets you add flavors by using a dry rub and glaze, it concentrates the ham's natural flavor and juices while giving it a delicious, slightly smoky flavor, and a crisp crust.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Ham

This pork tenderloin recipe is a simple yet elegant way to serve dinner from the grill. One pork tenderloin usually serves two people and can easily be sliced and plated for a more upscale presentation. 

The herbs give it a fresh, light flavor profile that pairs with everything from risottos to cheesy grits.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Herbs
Grilled pork tenderloin with fresh herbs is a simple, elegant dish. The fresh flavors from the rosemary and thyme are the perfect compliment to the pork that gets even better after the grill has added a little char.
Check out this recipe
Pork Tenderloin Recipe

One of our favorite Mediterranean inspired recipes for the grill is shrimp that have been marinated in rosemary, lemon juice, and garlic before being grilled to perfection. 

This recipe works best with big, plump shrimp that still have their shells on, which helps keep them from sticking to the grill grates. We often serve them with polenta or as the protein in a pasta dish.

Rosemary Grilled Shrimp
Grilled shrimp that have been marinated in rosemary and garlic have bright, summer flavors that will make you feel like you're sitting on the beach in Italy.
Check out this recipe
Rosemary Grilled Shrimp

One of our favorite dinner ideas when friends are coming over, is to grill lamb chops. Lamb is one of those ingredients that comes alive when it’s grilled. The tender meat excels at picking up the heat and smoke from the grill, giving the lamb chops a slightly smokey flavor and crisping up the outside, adding texture to each bite.

Grilled Lamb Chops
For grilled lamb chops that are juicy and delicious, use a little smoked paprika, roasted garlic, and a squirt of lemon juice to brighten up the lamb's natural flavors.
Check out this recipe
Lamb Chops On Grill

One of our favorite things to grill is thinly sliced short ribs that have been marinated in our Korean BBQ Marinade. The short ribs only take a few minutes to grill and absorb the flavors from the marinade so deeply that every bite is loaded with brilliant Korean barbecue flavors.

This is a great dish to serve with grilled vegetables and rice. 

Korean BBQ Short Ribs
There’s a reason why Korean barbecue has become so popular in the United States and around the world. Marinated with soy sauce, fresh lime juice, ginger, and garlic these grilled Korean short ribs have a hint of smoke and deep umami flavors. In traditional Korean BBQ, this style of ribs would be called Galbi, which is also the Korean word for ribs.
Check out this recipe
Korean Short Rib Recipe Featured

Cooking a whole turkey on the grill is easier than it sounds. The trick is to make sure the bird is well seasoned and that it is cooked using indirect heat. Cooking with indirect heat is simple to do on most medium to large gas or charcoal grills.

Grilled turkey is more than a Thanksgiving or holiday dish; it’s also a tasty way to feed lots of people in the late summer or fall, along with some Creamed Corn and Wild Rice.

Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herbs
A delicious way to cook a turkey is on the grill with fresh herbs. The secret to grilled turkey is brining it overnight, adding moisture and flavor, and using indirect heat to cook the turkey evenly.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Turkey with Fresh Herbs Recipe

Grilled Vegetable Recipes

One of the simplest ways to add flavor and texture to vegetables is to use the smoke, heat, and fire from the grill. Grilling has a way of transforming vegetables, concentrating their natural flavors while helping them absorb the flavors from sauces and marinades.

Grilling Sweet Potatoes
Using a grill topper makes it easier to crisp the potatoes

Our best grilled vegetable recipes use a sauce or marinade to infuse the vegetables with flavors that compliment the other dishes being served at a meal.

A tip is to cut the vegetables up before marinating them and to use a grill pan to make sure they don’t slip through the grates on the grill.

Using fresh herbs with grilled mushrooms is an excellent addition to any meal, whether you’re looking for something to top cheesy polenta, bring out the flavors in wild rice, or finish a thick steak from the grill.

For delicious grilled mushrooms, use a little lemon juice to add a hint of acid along with olive oil and fresh herbs to brighten the mushrooms’ deep umami flavors. The olive oil helps the herbs stick to the mushrooms and keeps them from sticking to the grill pan as they roast from the heat of the grill.

Grilled Mushrooms with Fresh Herbs
What makes this grilled mushroom recipe so delicious is how the lemon juice adds a hint of acid, brightening up the mushrooms, and how the olive oil helps the fresh rosemary and thyme stick to the mushrooms as they're grilled.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Mushrooms with Fresh Herbs

The best way to grill green beans is to use the heat from the grill to caramelize the beans, adding a little char to deepen the beans’ flavor.

This recipe uses the deep flavors of balsamic vinegar, the sweetness of grilled red peppers, and the creaminess of fresh goat cheese to create a dish with complex flavors and textures.

Grilled Green Beans with Goat Cheese
This grilled green bean recipe uses sweet red peppers, crispy shallots, and a balsamic marinade to bring these delicious beans to life!
Check out this recipe
Grilled Green Beans

There are a lot of interesting ways to cook butternut squash; what we like about grilling squash is how it brings out the squash’s inner sweetness without ending up with a pile of mush.

This grilled butternut squash recipe uses honey and maple syrup’s natural stickiness to coat the outside of the squash to create a crispy crust full of flavor.

Grilled Butternut Squash with Honey Maple Glaze
Grilling butternut squash highlights the squash’s natural sweetness while crisping up the outside. Add a honey maple glaze with a little char and you have a delicious squash recipe worth eating all year long.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Butternut Squash with Honey Maple Glaze Recipe

Our favorite grilled asparagus recipe uses the fire from the grill to add a little char that highlights the asparagus’ natural goodness. It’s also filled with tips that make it easier to grill asparagus that is flavorful and still has some snap to it.

Grilled Asparagus
To make delicious grilled asparagus, all you need is a little olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and garlic. This recipe adds a little char that highlights the asparagus' natural flavors.
Check out this recipe
Asparagus Recipe

The secret to scrumptious grilled cauliflower is to char the outside slightly. Cauliflower is an incredibly dense vegetable, which means the best way to get the seasoning and char in every bite is to break it down before cooking and to use a grill pan or basket to keep it from falling into the fire.

The texture and flavor in the char play perfectly with the lemon juice and smoked paprika in this recipe.

Grilled Cauliflower
The spices in this grilled cauliflower recipe have a Moroccan vibe that creates a delicious dish with a touch of heat that makes the cauliflower taste like it's from somewhere exotic. The smoked paprika and cumin complement the cauliflower's natural flavors that get even better when they've been grilled.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Cauliflower Recipe

Grilled sweet potatoes are a delicious dish that is easy to make whenever the grill is going. To highlight the sweet potatoes’ natural flavors, this recipe uses a combination of maple syrup, chili powder, and a touch of butter, along with the heat from the grill to create a magical side dish.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes
What makes this grilled sweet potato recipe so delicious is how it uses two simple techniques to create sweet potatoes that are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Tips and Ideas for Grilling

There’s a skill to grilling, to knowing how to use the heat from the grill to cook steaks, chops, and burgers to the point where they’re cooked through without overcooking them and drying them out. There is a skill in knowing how to use the smoke to add flavor to vegetables without overpowering their natural flavors.

The heat map shows how the grill really delivers heat
The heat map shows how the grill really delivers heat

To help folks develop their grilling skills, we’ve added a few of our best how-to features, each of which was written to help you get the most from your grill.

If there is a secret to grilling, it’s temperature control. Learning when to use high heat to crisp things up and when to back off and use indirect heat is the foundation of great grilling.

Of course, every grill is different, and the best way we’ve found to understand where the hot and cool zones are on a grill is to use the white bread test. As a side note, for people who love to grill, running the test is fun to do and will teach you something new about your grill.

How to Use the White Bread Test to Grill Better Food

Using the white bread grill test is an easy way to see how your grill really works and is a great way to learn how to grill better food.

There’s a secret when you’re barbecuing that makes all the difference between chicken and ribs with a nice crispy outside with just the right amount of sauce on top versus barbecue so gummy that it tastes like day old drive-through.

It’s learning how to use the fire and high heat from the grill to carmelize the barbecue sauce at the end of the cooking process to improve flavor and texture. It’s also the absolute best way to finish BBQ chicken.

How to Use the Flip, Fire, and Paint Technique

The secret to delicious barbecue is using the flip, fire, and paint technique to apply BBQ sauce in thin layers using the heat from the grill to sear it on and crisp everything up.

A quick search on the internet, and you’ll find thousands of tips and recipes for how to grill burgers. A few of them bring something new, and a lot of them taste delicious, but what gets lost in the hype for the new thing is understanding the basics of how to grill a simple, delicious burger.

Tips for Tasty, Simple Grilled Burgers

For better burgers, make sure to season your meat, understand patty thickness, be able to use your grill, and butter your buns.

Cooking steaks over a campfire is an art form. The secret to getting them to come out just right is to let the coals burn down until they’re white-hot and to keep the grate high enough that the steaks cook through without burning the outside.

How to Grill Steak Over an Open Fire

There’s something about the flavor of cooking steak over a wood fire. It’s that slow blistering heat from using wood that makes the taste unforgettable.

Delicious Grilled Burgers

Is there anything more American than the burger? Humble in origins, it’s evolved to be made of almost anything and topped with absolutely everything.

Here is a brief collection of some of our favorite juicy burger recipes that utilize a wide variety of ingredients and flavor profiles. For even more options, check out our burger page.

Finished Buffalo Burger Overhead

Grilled turkey burgers can be wonderful, moist and tender, full of flavor, and just as good as any burger that started as a cow. The secret to making a good turkey burger is being able to add moisture and flavor without overpowering the turkey.

Turkey Burgers
Made right turkey burgers can be wonderful burgers, moist and tender, full of flavor, and just as good as any beef burger. To make a good turkey burger, you need to be able to add moisture and flavor without overpowering the turkey.
Check out this recipe
Turkey Burger

There are several reasons why blended burgers are becoming so popular. Blended burgers combine beef and mushrooms to create tastier, healthier burgers with less environmental impact.

The combination of mushrooms and ground beef means the burgers cost less to make, are juicier, and are filled with deep umami flavors.

Blended Mushroom and Beef Burgers
For some of the juiciest, most flavorful burgers you’ve ever had try making blended mushroom and beef burgers. Blended burgers combine beef and mushrooms to create tastier, healthier burgers with a lower environmental footprint.
Check out this recipe
Blended Mushroom Beef Burger Recipe

The seasoning for these grilled lamb burgers embraces the lamb’s inherent flavors by using smoked paprika to deepen, coriander to brighten, and cumin to add a sense of mystery and a touch of heat to the burger’s flavor.

Lamb Burgers with Grilled Shallots and Goat Cheese
This lamb burger recipe embraces the lamb's natural flavors by using smoked paprika to deepen, coriander to brighten, and cumin to add a sense of mystery and a touch of heat to the burger's flavor. To top everything off grill up some shallots and combine them with goat cheese and some chives to create a delicious burger that feels familiar but tastes like it's from somewhere exotic.
Check out this recipe
Lamb Burger with Grilled Shallots and Goat Cheese

Ground buffalo is an excellent choice for making delicious burgers. What makes it so intriguing as an ingredient is buffalo is a type of red meat that has a full-bodied complex flavor profile while also being lean and healthy. 

Buffalo Burgers
Ground buffalo (bison) is a great choice for delicious burgers. The lean meat and rich flavors create burgers with some extra zip that helps them stand out from regular burgers. The secret to this burger recipe is using a little Worcestershire and BBQ sauce to add moisture that holds the ground meat together while deepening the burgers' flavor.
Check out this recipe
Buffalo Burger Featured

The secret to the best BBQ burgers is to use a great barbecue sauce as the main flavoring with the ground beef and then use it again to top the burgers when they come off the grill.

BBQ Burgers
This BBQ Burger recipe is easy to make. The burgers grill up with great color and have a tangy BBQ flavor you can taste in every bite. The secret is to use a good BBQ sauce as the main flavoring for the burgers. 
Check out this recipe
BBQ Burger

These are great burgers to serve with the classic do-it-yourself options of sliced tomato, cheese, ketchup, and mustard. We also recommend an 85/15 mixture for the ground beef if you’re not grinding your own meat.

Simple Grilled Burgers
These simple grilled burgers are easy to put together and harken back to the reason why burgers became an American classic.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Burger

Appetizers & Side Dishes from the Grill

One of the things we love about the best appetizer and side dish recipes for the grill is that they find a way to use the grill to draw out unique flavors that would be impossible to get in a pan or from the oven.

These recipes embrace the variability that comes with grilling, whether it’s the heat from the charcoal, the weather outside, or chasing the bugs away as the sun starts to set. 

Here are a few of our favorite foods to grill as appetizers and side dishes.

Grilled Chicken Wings Up Close
The wings are even more delicious with some tequila lime dip

Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken Wings are perfect for lounging with friends while sipping on a few refreshing Mezcal Margaritas. For these grilled wings, we pair a flavorful marinade made with fresh lime juice that has bright flavors and a simple grilling technique that makes it easy for anyone to grill delicious wings with just the right bite.

Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken Wings
With bright flavors that pop, these grilled chicken wings get their scrumptious flavors from a dynamite tequila lime marinade and crispy skin from a hot grill.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Chicken Wings

Grilling garlic bread is a nice treat and a great appetizer or side dish that goes well with steaks, salads, and just about everything else.

Grilled Garlic Bread with Cheese
This grilled garlic bread recipe uses basil and mozzarella to create a cheesy garlic bread filled with scrumptious summer flavors. Grilled garlic bread is a nice treat and a great side dish that goes well with steaks, salads, and just about everything else from the grill.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Garlic Bread With Cheese Square

Corn roasted on the grill is one of our favorite foods to plan meals around. With its fresh flavor, there’s nothing better to eat in the fall when sweet corn is in season. All it takes is fresh sweet corn still in its husk, water to soak it in, and a grill to roast it on.

Roasted Sweet Corn
Fresh sweet corn roasted on the grill is one of our favorite foods. It's also a great thing to build meals around when it's in season. All it takes is fresh sweet corn still in its husk, some water to soak it in, and a grill to roast it on.
Check out this recipe
Roasted Sweet Corn

The best thing we’ve found to marinate BBQ shrimp in is a good homemade barbecue sauce. Marinating the shrimp in the barbecue sauce before grilling lets the flavors from the sauce seep deep into the shrimp.

Grilled BBQ Shrimp
This grilled BBQ shrimp recipe is an easy way to make amazing shrimp. These shrimp are plump and juicy, with great BBQ flavor running deep through every bite.
Check out this recipe
Grilled BBQ Shrimp Recipe Featured

Secret Sauces and Dry Rubs for Better Grilling

One of the best ways to get more flavor from food cooked on the grill is to use a marinade, sauce, or dry rub. In general, marinades and dry rubs are used before the cooking process, and sauces are applied at the end of the cooking process.

The simplest way we’ve found to step up our barbecue game is to use a homemade barbecue sauce and the flip, fire, and paint technique to carmelize the sauce on the outside of the food being grilled.

What sets homemade barbecue sauces apart from store-bought ones is that the homemade ones are much more flavorful and a lot less sweet than most grocery store sauces.

Try one of the sauces below, and feel free to experiment with them, and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Old No 44 BBQ Sauce on the Grill
Old No. 44 is our favorite everyday BBQ, and yes, we think everyone should have an everyday BBQ Sauce

What we love about this Korean BBQ marinade is how easy it is to make and how much flavor it delivers when used on the grill. Whether grilling beef, chicken, or vegetables, this marinade delivers the deep umami flavors that make Korean barbecue special.

Korean BBQ Marinade
Our take on a traditional Korean BBQ marinade uses ginger, garlic, and green onions to infuse soy sauce with the deep, slightly salty, umami flavors that make Korean BBQ so delicious. This marinade works equally well with chicken, beef, pork, or vegetables.
Check out this recipe
Korean Bbq Marinade Featured

Old No. 44 is an easy barbecue sauce to make at home, especially if you’ve never made your own barbecue sauce. The combination of spices, tomato paste, molasses, apple cider vinegar, and Tabasco creates a thick sauce loaded with layers of flavors.

Old No. 44 BBQ Sauce
With a hint of sweetness and a solid bite, Old No. 44 is our favorite everyday BBQ sauce and an easy BBQ sauce recipe to make at home. It's great on just about everything and should be applied liberally everywhere!
Check out this recipe
Old No 44 BBQ Sauce on the Grill

Glazes are one of the easiest ways to add flavor and texture to grilled dishes. Our Maple Bourbon Glaze uses the flavors in the bourbon and maple syrup to complement each other by adding a little sweetness and a little heat to the glaze. 

Maple Bourbon Glaze
An easy way to make almost any pork, poultry or salmon recipe taste better is to brush on a little maple bourbon glaze. This bourbon glaze recipe adds a nice sheen that makes any dish look like it came from the pages of a fancy cooking magazine. 
Check out this recipe
Maple Bourbon Glaze Recipe Featured

The dried chilies and honey in this Ancho Chili and Honey barbecue sauce form a thick sauce with complex flavors and textures that evoke the flavors of the Southwest.

This is a barbecue sauce recipe that goes great on pork, chicken, turkey, and beef. It’s also fantastic on grilled chicken, beef brisket, and smoked beef roasts, where the chilies bring out the beef’s rich flavors.

Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce
This Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce recipe uses dried Ancho, Chipotle, and Pasilla Chilies to create a sweet, smokey, sauce with a little heat on the finish. The dried chilies and honey form a thick BBQ sauce with deep, complex flavors, and little texture.
Check out this recipe
Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce

This dry rub for grilled chicken uses a combination of smoked paprika, brown sugar, ground cumin, garlic powder, and chipotle to highlight the flavors from the grill without overpowering the chicken.

Use this dry rub on grilled chicken breasts, thighs, wings, and legs for a finger-licking good dinner.

Smoked Chicken Rub
This smoked chicken rub is a simple seasoning for smoking chicken that is packed with delicious flavors and has crispy skin on the outside.
Check out this recipe
Smoked Chicken Dry Rub

Blending bacon and bourbon creates a velvety smooth, rich barbecue sauce with a medium heat level and complex flavor profile.

This Bacon Bourbon BBQ Sauce recipe is easy to make, keeps in the fridge for a few weeks, and tastes great on burgers, chicken, ribs, and just about anything else.

Bacon Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Blending bacon and bourbon create a velvety smooth, rich barbecue sauce, with a medium heat level and tons of umami flavors. Bacon Bourbon BBQ Sauce is easy to make, keeps in the fridge for a few weeks, and tastes great on burgers, chicken, ribs, and just about anything else.
Check out this recipe
Bacon Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Making Pizza on the Grill

Making homemade pizza on the grill is pretty easy, with the right dough and a few simple tools. Our favorite way to grill pizza is to use a rustic dough that gets its legs from semolina flour and a touch of olive oil.

Pizza on the grill
Delicious homemade pizza is all about putting what you want on it

It takes a special pizza crust to hold up to the rigors of the grill. This pizza dough recipe is one of our favorite summer grilling recipes. It uses semolina flour, olive oil, and a little butter to create a pliable pizza dough that works with cast iron pans and directly on the grill.

The dough is easy to work with, tastes delicious, and has a rustic texture.

Pizza Dough
Making good pizza dough from scratch doesn't have to be hard. This pizza dough recipe uses semolina flour, olive oil, and a little butter to create a pliable pizza dough that is easy to work with, tastes delicious, and has a rustic texture.
Check out this recipe
Homemade Pizza Dough

The simplest way to make grilled pizza is to use a large shallow cast iron pan. In this piece, learn tips and tricks for the best ways to use cast iron to make pizza on your grill.

How to Use Cast Iron to Make Pizza on the Grill

So often, when someone talks about homemade pizza, it conjures up images of soggy crust, bland toppings, and why there are so many frozen pizzas in the grocery store. But it doesn’t have to be that way; all you need to make better homemade pizza is the right combination of dough, tools, and technique.

An easy way to make grilled pizza is to use naan flatbreads. The flatbread holds up to the grill’s heat and is delicious with a wide variety of ingredients.

Grilled Fig, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese Naan Flatbread
Grilled flatbread has never been easier when you use pre-packaged Naan bread as the base. A miscellany of flavorful, high-quality ingredients makes this a simple and yet sophisticated weeknight dinner for the backyard patio.
Check out this recipe
Grilled Fig Naan Flatbread Recipe

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