Grilling Tips and Menu Ideas

Grilling is a tradition that dates back to the ancient Mesopotamian times and has had a long history of cultural relevance. As time went on, grills adapted and evolved into different shapes, sizes, materials but all with one purpose: To cook food up at high temperatures for large groups of people quickly. The basic idea behind grilling is cooking food over an open fire or other heat source until it starts to become crispy in texture or browned by blackening the surface which creates wonderful smells while adding flavor as well as nutrients like Vitamin B6.

The “easy outdoor grill recipes” is a list of easy and delicious grilling tips and menu ideas.

Man grilling illustration cookout champion bbq.

Eudaemonius’ illustration

Note from the editor: This is a guest post by Matt Moore.

The sun is beating down on your back, the air is thick with the scents of freshly cut grass and grilled meats, and you’re holding a cool drink in one hand and a spatula in the other. Summer grilling season has finally here. Standing over raw meat and an open flame is, in my opinion, one of life’s most basic sensations.

When it comes to cooking, Mom has always been a bit of a magician in my family. Her ‘cooking zone’ is her own little universe, and if you want to eat one of her famed dishes, you’d better keep away from it. Dad, on the other hand, is in charge of the grill. Dad tends to the fires rain or shine. It’s in our nature as guys to be in command of the fire.

Let’s be clear about one thing. Grilling and barbecuing are two different things. As a Southerner, I am part of a culture that is rather enthusiastic about these two differences. Grilling out often refers to cooking foods over direct fire on a grill, such as grilled steaks, poultry, hamburgers, and so on, for individuals reared in the South. BBQ is a whole other animal. It’s a way of life characterized by love, patience, smokiness, and mystery. If you ask 10 guys how to smoke a pork shoulder, you’re likely to hear ten different, and hotly contested, answers. That being said, I’m not here to raise a ruckus.

Instead, I’d like to share a little-known grilling truth with you. The majority of you are most likely not grilling enough. That’s it; I said it.

Your grill is the most powerful of all your kitchen tools. You can use your grill as a stove, broiler, oven, and smoker all in one with the right technique and knowledge. By using all of the grill’s capabilities, you may go well beyond the items that are normally associated with grilling. To put it another way, it’s time to think beyond the burger box.

I’ve detailed a fantastic summer supper that takes conventional barbeque cuisine to the next level. A hamburger or a hot dog may be grilled by anybody. If you want to stand out from the crowd, serve these products the next time you party. Your visitors will be astonished by the fact that you invited them over.

Get outdoors, tend to the fire, pop a nice drink, and get to work!

Methods and Definitions

It’s helpful to know a few fundamental phrases and strategies in order to get the most out of your efforts. The majority of grilling recipes will specify whether the food should be grilled over direct or indirect heat. It’s a good idea to put up multiple “hot spots” over the grate, whether you’re using gas or charcoal. Basically, depending on what you’re grilling, you’ll want to maximize your grilling space. You’ll want the whole surface to be searing hot if you’re grilling numerous steaks. If you’re also planning to grill some veggies, you’ll want to set off a section of the grill for lower heat. This is very simple to manage since most gas-burning barbecues have individual burners. When dealing with charcoal, though, you should make heaps of differing heights and densities to achieve distinct temperature zones. For getting the most out of your grill, formal definitions and configurations are provided.


  • Direct Heat – a method of cooking in which the food is directly exposed to the heat source.
  • To cook by deflecting the heat source away from the food, use in-direct heat.
  • Place a sauté pan or skillet directly on the grate over direct heat on the stovetop.
  • Place objects on the grate over direct heat in the broiler.
  • Place things in the oven over indirect heat with the lid closed.
  • Place things in a smoker over indirect heat with the lid closed. To improve the taste of the smoke, soak wood chips in water and place them on the coals.

The Meal

Grilled Caesar Salad — Take a chance and try the homemade dressing. If you’re short on time, you can make this salad even easier by using store-bought croutons and dressing. Grilling the romaine lettuce hearts adds a lovely smokey taste to the salad while also providing a warm contrast to the chilly, crisp layers of the rest of it.


2 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 finely minced anchovy filets

a quarter teaspoon of Kosher salt

1 Egg

1 lemon, freshly squeezed

1 tsp balsamic vinaigrette

14 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated

12 Teaspoon Pepper (Fresh Cracked)


Combine the minced garlic, anchovies, and kosher salt on a chopping board. Work the ingredients into a paste on the cutting board using a chef’s knife. In a large mixing bowl or food processor, combine the paste, egg, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar and whisk vigorously for at least one minute, or until the mixture is smooth and nearly beige in color. Mix in the cheese and pepper for another 30 seconds. Continue to whisk/mix vigorously while gently pouring in the olive oil to blend or emulsify. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


12 cubes of little French baguette, sliced into bite-size pieces


Salt (Kosher)

Pepper, freshly cracked

1 Romaine lettuce heart, cut lengthwise

2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Shaved

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Arrange the French bread pieces in a single layer in a sauté pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste after drizzling with olive oil. Toss the bread pieces in the oil to evenly coat them, then lay them on the grill over direct fire. Cook croutons for 5–7 minutes, shaking occasionally, until crisp and golden. Allow croutons to cool before serving. Next, place the romaine hearts cut side down on the grill and cook for 45–90 seconds, or until lovely grill marks develop. Remove off the grill immediately and arrange each half, grilled side up, on a serving platter. Croutons, cheese, and dressing are sprinkled on top. Serve right away.

Grilled Pizza with Feta Cheese, Black Olives, Red Onion, and Italian Sausage — Grilled pizza, anyone? Absolutely. The crispy crusts you love at your favorite pizza can’t be replicated in most conventional ovens because they don’t get hot enough. Do not be alarmed. You can produce that perfect crust time and time again in the comfort of your own home by harnessing the intense heat of the grill. The following recipe is one of my favorites, but feel free to adapt the basic framework to any of your favorite pizza combos. This approach is adaptable and reliable, from the traditional vegetarian-friendly Margherita Pizza (fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil) to a meat lover’s delight. Whatever you do, make sure any raw ingredients are cooked before arranging them on the pizza.


Grilled pizza olives, meat, cheese, sausage and thin crust.

Casings removed from 12 pound Mild Italian Sausage 16 ounces Pizza Dough (Fresh or Store-Bought) 14 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN EXTRA VIRGIN EXTRA VIRGIN EX Tomato Sauce, 1 CUP 8 ounces 14 Cup Black Olives, sliced 14 Cup Red Onion, finely sliced 14 Cup Feta Cheese, crumbled Mozzarella Cheese, grated

Heat one side of the grill to medium high; if using charcoal, lay just one side of the coals on the grill. Brown sausage in a pan on the grill over direct heat for 7–9 minutes; drain excess grease and put aside. Allow enough time for the dough to rise if required, as directed on the dough bag. On a non-stick baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil. Cut the dough ball in half with a sharp knife and roll each half in the oil to coat. Roughly form the dough into two equal shapes of your choice, approximately 8-10 inches in diameter and 14 inches thick, using your hands. Make sure the thickness is the same all the way through. Brush the whole grill grate with a paper towel coated in olive oil to produce a non-stick surface. Using tongs, carefully set each chunk directly over the hot grill surface, catching any edges. The top of the dough will inflate up and the bottom will firm, giving lovely grill marks after about 1 minute. Using tongs, quickly turn each part and put on the cool side of the grill. To make a crust, spread an equal layer of tomato sauce on top of each slice, leaving the borders clear. After that, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of each piece. Spread an equal layer of sausage, black olives, red onion, and feta cheese on top of each pizza, working rapidly. Return the dough to the heat, but not entirely over direct heat. Continue to move each pizza with tongs every 45-60 seconds, being cautious not to burn, to ensure that each part gets enough of heat. Continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes, turning the grill occasionally, until the top is bubbling and the cheese has melted. Serve each pizza immediately after cutting it into quarters.

Cobbler with grilled peaches and blueberries — Fruits are excellent on the barbecue. The sugars caramelize as they cook on the hot grate, bringing forth their inherent sweetness. This dessert may be prepared ahead of time and then ‘baked’ on the grill while your guests are enjoying their main course.

4 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced in half 1 cup blueberries, ripe melted 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 12 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 14 Cup Cinnamon Granola Vanilla Ice Cream, if preferred 6 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar 12 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Heat one side of the grill to medium high; if using charcoal, lay just one side of the coals on the grill. Add the peaches, cut side down, to the grill and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until browned. Remove the wedges from the grill and set them in a small oven-safe baking dish. Toss in the next four ingredients until well blended. Place the dish on the grill over indirect heat and top with the granola. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crunchy. Serve with vanilla ice cream scoops on the side.

Check out Matt’s website and book, Have Her Over for Dinner, for more terrific recipes.


A man cooking in kitchen and smiling at sitting girl.

What are some of your favorite things to cook on the grill? Leave your grilling recipes and suggestions in the comments!



The “backyard bbq menu ideas” is a list of tips and menu ideas for those who love grilling. The article offers suggestions on what to grill, as well as some great recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are good grilling ideas?

A: Here are some grilling ideas to get you started. You can always go the traditional route and add hamburgers or hot dogs, but I have found that pineapple is delicious on a grill! If you want something healthier, try adding in quinoa for your protein source.

What is the most popular food to put on a grill?

A: A lot of people would say that hamburgers are the most popular food to put on a grill.

What are 5 foods that are good for grilling?

A: To grill, you will need to turn your vegetables into a thin slice. The thinner the food is on the griddle or BBQ, the better it will cook and taste. If a vegetable sticks out too far from its side while cooking, they can burn easily before being fully cooked through such as when making veggie burgers or grilled veggies

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