Summer Recipes for the Grill

Summer Recipes for the Grill

Summer is just around the corner, which means it's time to dust off those grills and get ready for some outdoor cooking! Whether you're a charcoal or pellet aficionado or enjoy the convenience of a gas grill, there's no denying the joy of firing up the grill in your own backyard.

When it comes to grilling, I'm all about keeping things simple and stress-free. I'm not one to hover over a hot grill for hours while everyone else is having fun on the deck or by the pool. For me, the key to a fantastic BBQ dinner lies in three things: a top-quality cut of meat or seafood, a killer sauce or glaze, and a delicious side dish to round out the meal. That's it!

Even though I'm all about simplicity, most great meals need a little planning. In fact, planning is about 90% of a chef’s job in a professional kitchen. That's why I'm a huge fan of recipes that involve marinating or brining. Not only do these techniques infuse your food with flavor, but they also do most of the heavy lifting well before you even fire up the grill.

Sauces, glazes, and relishes make a great addition to grilled meats and seafood. You need something acidic or sour to cut through the fattiness of the protein. Usually, these recipes are quick and easy to do but require some time to prepare, then refrigerate and marry.

Of course, no BBQ is complete without a killer side dish to accompany your main event. There are endless options to choose from. You can serve hot dishes like Twice Baked Potatoes, Mac and Cheese, or Grilled Vegetables or you can go the cold route like Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, or Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Whichever you choose, prepare most of it a day in advance so you just need to warm it up or put the finishing touches to it. This will free you up to concentrate on the grilling and chilling.

To celebrate the warm weather, I have given you some of my favorite BBQ recipes perfect for any grilling experience. So fire up those grills, gather your loved ones, and get ready to savor the flavors of summer!

~Chef Mike


Beer Brined Bone-in Pork Chop with Rum Glaze


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups dark lager beer
  • 1/4 cup coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 6 1-to-1.25 inch center-cut bone-in pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup of dark rum
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Salt 


Combine 2 cups water, beer, 1/4 cup coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in ice. Place pork chops in large resealable plastic bag. Pour beer brine over pork chops; seal bag. Refrigerate for 4 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Remove pork chops from beer brine; pat dry. Grill pork chops until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 145°F to 150°F, about 10 minutes per side, occasionally moving chops to cooler part of rack if burning.

While the pork chops are cooking, start the glaze. Melt the butter in a small pot. Stir in the brown sugar and paprika. Then stir in the Molasses. Finally add the rum and bring the heat up slowly while stirring and remove the burner if any fare up from the rum.

Simmer the glaze for 10-15 minutes until it starts to thicken (reduces by approximately half).

When the pork chops are ready, remove from the grill and brush on your glaze.  Let rest for 5 minutes then slice the pork chops and set on a platter. Top with any remaining glaze. Sprinkle with a little salt. Serve


Cedar Planked Salmon 


  • 1 cedar plank (6 by 14 inches)
  • 2 salmon fillets (1 1/2 pounds total)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar 


Soak cedar plank in water for 2 hours, then drain. Remove skin from salmon filet. Remove any remaining bones. Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay the salmon (on what was skin-side down) on the cedar plank and carefully spread the mustard over the top and sides. Place the brown sugar in a bowl and crumble between your fingers, then sprinkle over the mustard.
Set grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Place the cedar plank in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook until cooked through. The internal temperature should read 135 °F. Transfer the salmon and plank to a platter and serve right off the plank. 


Cherry Tomato and Green Chilies Relish 


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano 
  • 3/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1/8 cup drained diced mild green chilies 
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped 
  • 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes 


Whisk vinegar and oregano in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in green chilies and green onions. (Can be made 24 hours ahead if covered and placed in fridge.) Add tomatoes; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. 


Twice Baked Potatoes with Parmesan and Green Onion


  • 5 Idaho baking potatoes (larger the better)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush olive oil on all 5 potatoes and season with salt and pepper

Bake Potatoes for 45-minutes or until the potatoes have softened and can be easily poked with a fork. Let Potatoes cool completely.

Once the potatoes have cooled, slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the white middled of the potatoes keeping the skin a little bit of potato so it can still hold its shape. Put the scooped out potato in a mixing bowl.

Warm up the butter and cream in a small saucepan until the butter has melted.  Using an electric mixer, begin to whip the potatoes over medium high speed.  Slowly add the cream and butter then the 3/4 of the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the potato skins on a baking sheet and fill with the potato mixture. Top with the rest of the parmesan cheese and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove potatoes from the oven and serve with the green onions on top for garnish.

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