Umami Bites: Summer Grilling Special – Tips, Tricks, Recipes & Gear for Better Grilling

Pork shoulder roasting for carnitas

For us summer is all about grilling, there’s nothing like lighting a fire under a good steak or grilling some fresh vegetables to make dinner better.  For our first summer grilling special, we’ve pulled together a collection of stories and recipes about grilling.

To kick things off, we’ve got 20 Grill Gadgets to Make You Happy and Help You Grill Better Food.  When you’re sitting in the backyard playing with fire, it’s helpful to have the right gear at your fingertips. In this roundup, we’ve picked some of our favorite grill pans to keep veggies from slipping through cracks, make our case why you should be watching more cave man TV, found grill lights that will actually help you see what you’re cooking, and are happy to introduce a robot that will clean your grill and scare your dog.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new grill, read What to Know Before Buying Your Next Gas Grill.  It’s a helpful guide covering what features to look for and what all those numbers like BTU mean.

For lots of people, grills and burgers are to summer what Starsky & Hutch are to 70s TV. And as much as we dig burgers made with ground beef, sometimes they can feel very formulaic, which is why we like to play around with what’s in our burgers.

One of our favorite combinations is lamb burgers made with lamb, goat cheese, and grilled shallots.  The creaminess of the goat cheese and crunch of the shallots are sublime with the tenderness of the lamb.

It’s also why we spent so much time this summer developing a Buffalo Burger recipe that highlights the buffalo’s flavor and proves once and for all that you can make a tasty buffalo burger without having to add ground beef to the mix.

As someone who is completely grill curious, I like to spend way too much time thinking of different ways to use our grills. It’s especially fun trying to recreate traditional dishes like carnitas.  Our spit-roasted carnitas recipe slowly roasts a pork shoulder, keeping the pork nice and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside without having to cook the whole dish in pork fat.

Want to transport yourself to the Tuscan countryside? Just open up a nice Pinot Grigio and make a batch of Rosemary Grilled Shrimp. The rosemary, lemon juice, and olive oil in this dish will make you feel like you’re wandering through the Italian countryside on a warm summer day.

We also like using grills to make interesting side dishes. Whenever we’re grilling pork, chicken, or beef we like to whip up a batch of Grilled Sweet Potatoes. The crisp, sweet potatoes have a hint of maple syrup that makes any meal better.

If you want to make everyone at dinner happy this weekend, throw some Grilled Garlic Bread with Cheese on the grill and watch it vanish like it was magic.

Of course, when you’re grilling not everything for a meal has to or should come from the grill. A great meal is about finding dishes that compliment each other. Two of our favorites summer dishes are Smokehouse Potato Salad and Garlicky Refrigerator Pickles.

The smoky creaminess in the potato salad helps bring the flavors in steaks and chops out; while the apple cider vinegar in the refrigerator pickles cuts through the rich flavors in good BBQ.

The ability to cut through strong flavors is one reason Gin Rickey’s are such a great summer drink. The combination of gin and lime juice are incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day.

Looking ahead we’ve got a recipe for some of the best pulled pork we’ve ever made, a great charred cauliflower dish, and some hidden National Parks we can’t wait to visit.

We’re also in the process of setting up a new feature that will let readers switch between metric and US customary measurements on all our recipes.  Something we’re excited to add to make Umami easier to use for our international readers.

Thanks as always for reading and sharing Umami.

You can also heck out the Grills & Outdoor section of Umami’s market for more outdoor cooking gear and our Grilling Page for more recipes and stories.

Umami Bites is our somewhat regular newsletter that we try and send out every couple of weeks with all sorts of tasty recipes and interesting stories.  You can check out past issues here and sign up for future issues below.

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