Get the family out into the fresh air and bond over BBQ this Father’s Day—and all grilling season long. While you might just intuitively say ‘Yes!’ to the idea, let’s have fun and look at all the reasons this is a great plan for the family.
Cooking is a hands-on creative outlet for all ages
It’s healthy to eat home-cooked meals and preparing them together is even better
Education—from measuring to fractions to cooking times (Get a cool education about the science of grilling here)
It’s an alternative to screen time—tho recruiting the kids to research recipes online is completely legit
Just plain togetherness
Let’s get cooking!
Grilling safety for kids
Grilling involves a whole array of hot and sharp objects. Gauge the maturity level of your crowd and assign them age-appropriate activities. Assignments for the younger kids can include mixing and marinating, laying out trays of uncooked meat to bring to the grill, measuring and assembling ingredients, and tossing salads. Knife handling and cooking on the hot grill belong in the domain of older children.
Food safety around the grill is part of kitchen sanitation—a good habit to start young. Since grilling involves handling raw meat, proper handwashing practices rank high in importance. Remember to also provide instruction about washing cutting boards, trays, tabletops and any other surfaces that might carry raw meat juices. Finally, refer to expert references (in this case, the US government’s food safety site) for grilled meat temperatures that meet the safety standard. This highly-rated, well-priced, long-probe digital meat thermometer might be the perfect new grilling gadget for the occasion (and a Father’s Day gift idea if anyone is looking for hints). Here’s a Father’s Day grilling gift guide, coming to you directly from the dads at Griller’s Gold.
Father’s Day grilling favorites
Everything’s better when it’s grilled. Kids happen to agree with that statement. So put vegetables on the Father’s Day menu; grill portabello mushroom caps or multi-colored veggie skewers. Enjoy fancy sausage, nice steaks, shrimp, or the always-fun drumsticks on the grill.
Take over cooking and take it outdoors. It’s better than brunch! Celebrate Mom by letting her put her feet up and enjoy your culinary creations. These outdoor dishes deliver intense flavor in every bite. Make sure to make dessert, too — fresh off the grill.
For a luxurious, indulgent starter, it’s hard to beat grilled oysters. They offer enough splurgy satisfaction to stand on their own, slurped right out of the shell. A glass of sparkling wine matches up nicely — and it’s festive, too.
Baby back ribs fit easily into your hand and pack a lot of meat onto smaller bones. Adjust cooking time and marinade quantity if you decide on larger pork ribs.
Deliciously compatible side dishes are rice and Asian-style vegetables. Try the Asian grilled cabbage recipe here. Or do up your own salad with Asian notes like water chestnuts, pea pods, mushrooms, green onions and a sesame oil dressing. For Mom’s beverage, sweeter wines like crisp Riesling and charming Moscato complement Asian flavors.
Grilled pound cake with grilled peaches and cream
This grilled lemon pound cake is sure to please. You can bake the lemony pound cake yourself before grilling. Or skip that step and buy a store-bought version; you’ll bypass the extra-credit points for baking from scratch but you won’t be sacrificing the sweet satisfaction. Top it with grilled peaches for a gorgeous finish to your Mother’s Day cookout.
The best BBQ gifts take many forms—high-tech or homemade, sophisticated or simple. What they have in common is the ability to make a really delicious difference for the griller in your life. This holiday season, share the joy of BBQ with attitude.
Neatness counts: grill griddles, baskets and mats
Image: Williams Sonoma
The proficient griller knows all about the problem of food falling between the grates. You can buy several nifty, extremely helpful items to deal with this in style. One choice that’s a sure thing to get the job done right: stainless steel or non-stick grill baskets, griddles, and fry pans. They’re perforated to let smoke go up and drippings go down. But those holes are small enough to keep the food where it belongs—on the cooking surface. Many of the best quality grill griddles come from top cookware brands. Check out this selection from cookware and kitchen experts Williams Sonoma.
Or you can keep it clean with a simple but high-tech solution. Reusable, lifetime-guaranteed, and heat-resistant to 500 degrees, PTFE-fiberglass coated Grillaholics grill mats are a cost-effective way to cook without food sticking or slipping off the grill surface. The highly-rated mats can be cut to size and they’re dishwasher-safe.
Spice it up: a gift box of BBQ rubs and blends
Image: The Spice House
A custom barbecue spice gift set makes an impression for any occasion. Get the freshest spices and special blends from the culinary pros at The Spice House. Order from this 60+-year-old family-owned business that’s been featured on Food Network and in numerous publications; they collaborate with serious chefs and ship nationally. (If you’re really getting into spices, watch The Spice Boss youtube channel from the same fine folks.)
Note these BBQ-friendly flavors and consider them for your custom set.
Bavarian Seasoning doesn’t say ‘Barbecue’ in its name but The Spice House puts it in the category and recommends its rich, traditional sage-and-mustard flavors for slow-roasted meats and poultry.
Get sauced: BBQ brews for the home chef
Southern Living magazine’s BBQ sauce recipe feature offers up an All-American range of test kitchen-proven traditional recipes for the home cook. The editors say they’re good enough for gifts, and we absolutely believe them. Check out recipes from Alabama, South Carolina, Kansas City, Texas and more. Make a big batch, find some attractive jars or bottles, print up personalized labels–and be sure to keep some for yourself.
There’s more than one way to enjoy Thanksgiving grilling. Free up oven space by moving your side dish preparation to your wood pellet grill. Outdoor cooking makes for great flavors in sides as well as the main dish.
The man behind the BBQ Bible, grilling expert Steven Raichlen, says it best:
“Supporting players make your bird look even better.”
This seasonally correct Cranberry-Walnut Planked Brie is an easy, delicious way Steve suggests you start the festivities and help move some of the crowd out of the kitchen and into the cool autumn air.
“A round of creamy French brie is topped with cranberry jelly or even prepared cranberry sauce, then studded with walnut halves. It combines two distinctly American live fire cooking techniques—planking and smoking. Serve with, what else, grilled bread.”
If there’s food involved in a holiday, that’s an opportunity to grill. On the Mexican Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), festivities revolve around ofrendas, colorful altars that honor the departed and include a spread of favorite foods. Let’s talk just a bit about the origins of the holiday, then dig into some delicious recipes.
A little history
Día de Los Muertos began with Aztecs around 3,000 years ago. After the arrival of the Catholic Church in the Americas, Day of the Dead celebrations coincided with the feasts of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. Then as now, generations come together and visit cemeteries to clean headstones, place decorations, and picnic to the accompaniment of mariachi bands.
In today’s Day of the Dead celebrations, sugar skulls, keepsakes, candles, photos of the departed, flowers and food all adorn the ofrendas. The aromas of mole and tamales waft through the air and mingle with the returning spirits. Scent is a traditional element of the celebrations, including pine incense and fresh marigolds in addition to food. The idea that the invisible spirits are real and present is what inspires all these good fragrant elements of the observances.
Inviting the spirits to dinner
The return of your ancestors from the afterlife qualifies as a special occasion, so somewhat fancy foods seem appropriate. Mole is a holiday favorite in Mexican cuisine; this mole sauce recipe would do justice to your Day of the Dead grilled meats. Tamales are another dish for celebrations; the meat in this red chile and pork tamale filling recipe could easily be prepared on your pellet grill rather than the braising method described here. Then you’d have that extra layer of smoky flavor–and smoke, like the spirits who come back to visit, is wondrous and just a bit mysterious.
Enjoy your festivities and remembrances.
Want more chile pepper flavors? Read about readymade and home-brewed chipotle sauces in the Griller’s Gold burger trends blog post.