Easy Summer Grilling Ideas

Get tips for upping your grilling game with pointers on technique as well as easy summer grilling recipes

Twitter Facebook

Grilling season is here! Great summertime food is one of the best things about the dog days of summer. There are the classics like burgers, hot dogs, chicken, pork chops and steak. Hard to go wrong with those, unless you’re vegetarian or have dietary restrictions. But there are lots of great options for those who prefer veggies. And sometimes it’s fun to shake things up a bit, no matter your first choice. Taste new things, or taste familiar things in new ways.

But what are good things to grill? What’s budget-friendly and easy to make?

As you’ll see below, you can grill just about anything–meat, veggies, fruit, and all manner of breads, biscuits and buns. If it’s food, someone has found an awesome way to slip it on the barbie. And if it’s a classic grill food already, rest assured that you’ll find plenty of fun new ways to enjoy it.

Whether you need an easy feast for the weekend or a weeknight dinner, we have you covered!

First, some grilling tips

A master of any art is always on the lookout for new hints and tricks for improving their craft and making the best use of their tools. Here are some grill-season basics to help make it your best cookout yet.

Gas or charcoal grill?

That is the question. Pros and cons may help you decide. Speed is a big factor for many people. Gas is faster and it burns cleaner. On a weeknight when time is tight, this will be quicker and easier. Charcoal lovers will tell you all day that the flavor just isn’t there with gas.

Charcoal requires longer prep time before you can start grilling, and you can’t just turn it off to start the cooling process. It stays hot for a long time after you’re done (so keep the kids and pets away!).

Preheat your grill

Regardless, your grill needs time to get to the optimum heat before you throw the shrimp on. Give it 10 to 15 minutes. If you have a grill thermometer, preheat to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help give your food the proper sear and prevent sticking.

Keep the grill clean

This should be self-explanatory. But old food particles on the grates, whether charred or not, can be breeding ground for bacteria. Besides, all of the little pieces of it on your food makes it look like you dropped it on the ground. Gross. Everyone is happier when you keep your equipment clean.

Indirect and direct heat

Indirect heat is when the fire is not directly under the food, allowing it to cook more slowly (assuming you keep the lid closed). This is better for larger cuts that will take longer to reach the proper internal temp.

Direct heat is when the fire is directly underneath the food on the grates.

The rule of thumb hinges on a 20-minute cook time. Indirect heat for more than 20 minutes (for larger, thicker cuts), and direct heat for less than 20 minutes. 

Keep the lid closed

It’s tempting to see what’s going on, but constant peeking can dry your food out faster. Monitor and maintain your heat (and keep the hood closed) and you should be golden.

Minimize flare-ups

When juices with fats and sugars start dripping onto the burners or coals, flames tend to flare up. This can burn and char your food in unsavory ways. Usually this happens when you have the lid open. Avoid splashing the flames with your water or beer. Closing the lid should do the trick as it deprives the flames of oxygen.

Ditch the lighter fluid

Use a charcoal chimney and skip the fume flavor of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your food.

Marinade is your friend

It tastes good, yes. But according to Eating Well, marinade also “inhibits the formation of potentially carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which form when grilling ‘muscle meats’ like poultry, red meat and fish.”

Food safety

Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of any meat reaches the appropriate temperature as recommended by the FDA.

And now, the reason we’re all here…

Behold, Easy Summer Grilling Recipes

Grilled Skirt Steak with Red Wine Chimichurri

Grilled skirt steak
Source: Country Living

Make the sauce ahead of time and this Latin dish is perfect for summer.

Shop This Recipe:

Sticky Chicken

Sticky chicken
Source: delish

This may be the last chicken recipe you need. But, you know, keep looking, just in case.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Cabbage “Steaks”

Grilled cabbage steaks
Source: delish

Add some paprika, cumin, bell pepper, red pepper and a little salsa verde for a Mexican spin.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Potatoes

Grilled potatoes
Source: delish

A little crispy, a little soft, a lotta great.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Chicken Wings

Grilled chicken wings
Source: delish

They’re wings. And they’re grilled. Add your own secret sauce or use the one in the recipe.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Guacamole

Grilled guacamole
Source: delish

Avocado with a smoky flavor? Yes, please.

Shop This Recipe:

California Grilled Chicken Breasts

California grilled chicken breasts
Source: delish

As with all things California, this is not your ordinary Joe Schmoe chicken breast.

Shop This Recipe:

14 Ways to Grill Your Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob wrapped in bacon
Source: delish

Make them all and have your own grilled corn tasting!

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled asparagus
Source: delish

Make these as garlicky as you want and they’ll still be great.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Sriracha Slaw

Grilled shrimp tacos
Source: delish

Smoky, tangy, grilled shrimp tacos all day forever, please.

Shop This Recipe:

Spicy Grilled Broccoli

Spicy grilled broccoli
Source: delish

Seriously, who said you can’t grill amazing veggies?

Shop This Recipe:

Spiral Hot Dogs

Spiral hot dogs
Source: delish

Just when you thought you couldn’t teach an old hot dog new tricks.

Shop This Recipe:

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

Caribbean jerk chicken
Source: delish

No other words needed. Except the recipe, of course.

Shop This Recipe:

Pineapple Bun Burgers

Pineapple bun burgers
Source: delish

Your mouth just watered at the name alone. And rightfully so.

Shop This Recipe:

Beer Can Cheeseburgers

Beer can cheeseburgers
Source: delish

Beer can make everything better. Just remember to take the beer can out of the burger before eating.

Shop This Recipe:

Jalapeno Popper Corn Dip

Jalapeno popper corn dip
Source: delish

Yes, just put it in a cast iron skillet and turn it into a dip. How has this not been around forever?

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Pizza Bread

Grilled pizza bread
Source: delish

How the eff do you grill a pizza?! Here are a few tips from the pros at Weber.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Grilled brussels sprouts
Source: delish

Grilled veggies are kind of great.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Watermelon

Grilled watermelon
Source: delish

You. Can. Grill. Anything.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Shrimp Foil Packets

Grilled shrimp foil packets
Source: delish

Foil packets are genius. This one happens to include some killer grilled shrimp.

Shop This Recipe:

Grilled Corn Salsa

Grilled corn salsa
Source: delish

This flavorful side dish is a winner every time.

Shop This Recipe:

Mini Portobello Burgers

Mini portobello burgers
Source: Country Living

A great vegetarian appetizer. Or make them the main course.

Shop This Recipe:

Sweet Heat Cheerwine Baby Back Ribs

Sweet heat cheerwine baby back ribs
Source: Country Living

Mmmmm. Ribs.

Shop This Recipe:

Bourbon BBQ Glazed Grilled Pork Chops

Bourbon BBQ glazed grilled pork chops
Source: Country Living

You had us at “bourbon BBQ glazed.”

Shop This Recipe:

Fried Pickles with Buttermilk Ranch

Fried pickles with buttermilk ranch
Source: Country Living

Great crispy appetizer or side dish.

Shop This Recipe:

Cajun Shrimp Kebabs

Cajun shrimp kebabs
Source: delish

Give that shrimp some Cajun kick! Keep your drinks close.

Shop This Recipe:

Hawaiian Chicken Skewers

Hawaiian chicken skewers
Source: delish

Try using the chicken thigh meat for a juicier cut.

Shop This Recipe:

Beer Cheese Brats

Beer cheese brats
Source: delish

Beer. Cheese. Brats. Any questions?

Shop This Recipe:

Don’t forget dessert!

Grilled Pineapple Sundaes

Grilled pineapple sundaes
Source: delish

Your favorite ice cream on a roasted slice of pineapple. Heavenly. Consider using fun toppings, like caramel sauce, peanut butter or coconut flakes. 

Shop This Recipe:

Reese’s Cones

Reese's cones
Source: delish

S’mores 2.0 are here.

Shop This Recipe:

Campfire Cobbler

Campfire cobbler
Source: delish

Whip this up and cook it in your cast iron skillet right over an open fire.

Shop This Recipe:

Campfire Popcorn

Campfire popcorn
Source: delish

Also great for backyard camping or enjoying a staycation.

Shop This Recipe:

Remember: Grilling and drinking adult beverages are best done safely and responsibly! Live to grill another day, friends!

Food & Drinkgrilling ideas recipes summer
Order in Seconds,
Delivered in Minutes.
Daily essentials straight to your door.
Start Shopping