Celebrate National Grilling Month in July by Expanding the Menu

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Tony Maples Photography


Texans know how to cook outside. We love our grills, barbeque pits, and smokers. It is a time-honored way to be outside, either alone or with company, and enjoy the outdoors with tasty beverages and, eventually, a delicious meal. Beef, pork, chicken, and fish are all commonly found in backyards across the state. In honor of July being National Grilling Month, here are a few suggestions of other items that are perfect to heat outside.

Celebrate National Grilling Month in July by Expanding the Menu

Photo: @nikolay_2002 via Twenty20

Foremost, food safety is essential. Be sure to keep hands washed or sanitized, keep food cold until it is ready to grill, and separate uncooked foods from one another. Also, keep raw and cooked foods apart and ensure a clean container is used for the final product. Maintaining temperature or cooling down comestibles means everyone stays healthy.

Firstly, let’s leap completely out of the box and try fruits. Not only are these quite different from hamburgers and hot dogs, but they are also relatively easy to master quickly. For example, peaches, watermelon, and pineapple can be sliced and placed directly on the grill, as well as cantaloupe, honeydew, and grapefruit. Slice bananas long ways, stuff with chocolate chips and coconut shavings, then make a foil packet and grill away!

Celebrate National Grilling Month in July by Expanding the Menu

Photo: @LinaVeresk via Twenty20

Secondly, whole meals can be grilled! Try shrimp quesadillas, pasta-like gnocchi, paella, gooey pizza, with summery sides such as leafy greens, avocados, artichokes, eggplant, okra, and more! Then, desserts. There is always room for dessert. Go further than fruit with pound cake, stuffed apples, and sweet biscuits, all made outdoors. Don’t forget snacks! Some examples are popcorn, spiced nuts and olives (in foil, of course), and roasted garlic. Even cocktails are enhanceable with lemons and limes marked with those famous dark lines. Is there something you love to grill which makes people go “Hmmm”? We’d love to know about it. Happy National Grilling Month everyone!