5 GRILLING IDEAS
Seared meat, crispy vegetables and caramelized fruits are just some grilling ideas that bring out delicious flavors and textures. While grilling outdoors is always a popular option, you can also create mouthwatering recipes while grilling in your oven, especially if you have a KitchenAid® Smart Oven+ Grill Attachment. If you’re ready to learn more about what foods work best for grilling, get some inspiration with these grilling ideas that cover the basics and beyond.
While meat gets all the glory, grilling a vegetable truly transforms it. An open flame or high heat can quickly crisp up or carmelize vegetables, making them a delicious side or an essential element in their own dish.
ASPARAGUS, BROCCOLI, BROCCOLINI AND CAULIFLOWER
Asparagus tops, as well as broccoli and cauliflower florets, caramelize nicely on the grill, bringing out a nutty sweetness that pairs well with similar flavors.
HOW TO GRILL: Trim the tough stems off the bottom to create crisp but tender results. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets or the cauliflower into slices. Cook asparagus and broccoli on direct heat, while cauliflower can be cooked more slowly with indirect heat. Blanche them briefly if you’re worried about burning them. You may want to use a grill basket on an outdoor grill to prevent broccoli or cauliflower florets from falling through the grates, while asparagus and broccolini can be placed perpendicular to the grates. Adding a light spray or coating of oil can help prevent vegetables from sticking to the grill or grill basket.
RECIPE IDEAS: A simple preparation of olive oil and salt are enough to make these vegetables shine. Spritz some lemon juice over top after veggies are cooked to bring their flavors to life. Parmesan, breadcrumbs and red pepper, which are best added after vegetables have been grilled, also work well with their natural nutty flavor, like in this Grilled Cauliflower with Lemony Breadcrumbs recipe. These vegetables also pair well with a mustard sauce, like the Mustard Infused Broccoli made with the KitchenAid® Smart Oven+ Grill Attachment. You can even make a sauce out of your grilled vegetables, like in this Pasta with Grilled Asparagus Pesto.
Grilling greens gives them a crisp, caramelized, charred taste and texture that can add surprising flavor and heft to your next salad or side dish.
HOW TO GRILL: Choose greens with a solid core like romaine, cabbage, radicchio, endive, escarole or bok choy. Cut the heads of the lighter greens in half, making sure to conserve the core to hold the leaves together. The heavier greens like cabbage and radicchio can be cut in quarters. Brush the cut sides with some olive oil and cook them cut side down on very high heat for just a minute or two. You want to get a nice char but not overcook or completely wilt the greens.
RECIPE IDEAS: Grilled greens can be drizzled with a vinaigrette or compound butter, like this Grilled Romaine with Miso Butter recipe. A caesar dressing with plenty of anchovy and lemon also pairs well with grilled romaine. Top any salad green with cheese, tomatoes, croutons, or anything you would normally put on a salad, like Grilled Wedge Minis with Green Goddess. Bok choy goes well with Asian-style sauces while radicchio can be drizzled with balsamic vinegar or mustard. Try brushing cabbage with a sweeter sauce like maple syrup for added caramelization.
These vegetables are tastiest in the heart of summer, so are a natural fit for the grill. Zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and corn bring the best of the season to your table.
HOW TO GRILL: Kebabs are a classic for many summer vegetables. If you go this route, try to keep similar vegetables on the same skewer so they cook evenly. For instance, zucchini and tomatoes cook slightly quicker than peppers. Grill baskets are another, potentially easier method than skewering individual veggies. When it comes to corn, grill with the husk on or off, but be sure to soak the cobs for at least 30 seconds if you’re grilling them with the husk on.
RECIPE IDEAS: You may decide to grill a couple batches of different summer vegetables to take full advantage of seasonal produce. Simply toss them in olive oil and salt or make a summery pesto to top them with. Compound butters are another way to experiment with summer vegetables and herbs, like this Char Grilled Corn with Three Butters. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are ideal for the grill.
Elevate your cookout by grilling a whole lobster or Branzino. Replace your weeknight chicken with shrimp grilled on your grill pan or KitchenAid® Smart Oven+ Grill Attachment. Whatever your dinner plans, experimenting with seafood can seriously enhance your grilling skills.
The grill is a master at making the flavors of fish shine, but it can be intimidating. Fish can quickly overcook and sometimes stick to grill grates. Read on to avoid these common mistakes and find some recipe inspiration.
HOW TO GRILL: Whole fish or fatty steak fish like tuna, salmon and swordfish are easiest to grill directly on the grates without sticking. If you’re grilling thinner, lighter fish filets, you may want to try a grill basket or grill indoors on a grill pan. Another way to avoid foods sticking to the grill is to thoroughly clean and lubricate grill grates with oil.
Make sure not to put the fish on the grill until it is sufficiently hot. Putting it on prematurely could cause it to stick because it’s not searing fast enough. You shouldn’t be able to hold your hand over the grill for more than a couple of seconds. If you’re grilling whole fish, make parallel cuts an inch apart across the thick part of the fish for even cooking.
RECIPE IDEAS: The delicate flavors of fish often benefit from a simple brush of olive oil and some salt before going on the grill. You can then add other sauces, salsas and purees like the Red Snapper with Green Harissa Sauce, Branzino with Lemon Salsa Verde, Red Snapper with White Bean Puree or Rainbow Trout and Rainbow Chard with Citrus Caper Relish. You can also grill fish filets to use in other dishes like salads, grain bowls or tacos like the Fish Tacos with Watermelon Slaw.
Grilling shellfish helps lend a smoky flavor to the otherwise sweet, succulent meat. It’s a delicious option when cooking for a crowd while also being light, summery and ideal for dining al fresco.
HOW TO GRILL: High heat is best for these delicate fish. Keeping the shell on can help keep them tender and seal in tasty juices, but removing the shell allows you to season shellfish directly. If you’re grilling without the shell on, make sure you’re watching closely and your grill is clean to avoid overcooking and sticking. If you’re cooking with the shell on, keep the lid to the oven on so the whole piece of fish is surrounded with heat, especially if you’re grilling oysters or other mollusks.
RECIPE IDEAS: If you’re grilling whole shellfish with the shell on, there’s no need to season the shell. Shellfish meat is delicious on its own or you can pair it with a sauce. Ingredients like lemon, butter, capers, white wine, garlic, red pepper and tomato all pair well with shellfish. Or you could spice things up with chilis like in the Whole Grilled Angry Lobster. Shrimp is an extremely versatile shellfish that can take on a variety of flavors or be added to other dishes like the Santa Fe Grilled Shrimp Salad and Creamy Zuccotash with Grilled Shrimp. If you don’t feel like firing up the outdoor grill, shrimp and scallops are quick and delicious on a grill pan or attachment like in this Citrus Marinated Scallops recipe.
Grilled meat is a perennial favorite that offers a spectrum of flavors and variations. From chicken, beef and pork, grilled meat recipes can be both innovative and satisfying.
HOW TO GRILL: Before grilling any kind of meat, brush it with a thin layer of oil before placing on the grate. Another good practice is to grill under a lid so the meats retain their juices while shortening cooking times. And, as always, let the meat rest for a few minutes after removing from the grill to allow juices to redistribute inside the meat.
RECIPE IDEAS: The lean meat of chicken is a popular grilling option, especially after it’s been marinated. To start making these Thai Chicken Skewers, preheat your KitchenAid® Smart Oven+ Grill Attachment in GRILL mode and turn the skewers halfway through cooking. Serve the skewers by drizzling them with a marinade made from coconut milk, ginger, cilantro and lemongrass. For a spicier option, try the Grilled Wings with Charred Pepper Salsa, which can serve as a creative alternative to standard game day fare. This Tandoori Chicken with Cucumber Raita features a whole chicken that’s been marinated overnight and served alongside a cool, refreshing cucumber and yogurt sauce.
RECIPE IDEAS: Take a classic ribeye recipe to the next level in this Grilled Ribeye with Chimichurri, or elevate a hamburger recipe with the addition of flavorful chorizo to create Sirloin Chorizo Burgers that can pair well with toasted buns, lettuce and pepperjack cheese. A flavorful butter combination makes these T-Bone Steaks with Blue Cheese Butter an instant grilling favorite.
RECIPE IDEAS: After 25 minutes in the Smart Oven+ Grill Attachment, this Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Avocado and Lime is a satisfying, lean dish that can augment your grilling repertoire. Add a kick of flavor to your basic pork chop recipe with this Cuban Grilled Pork Chop that features a lime, cilantro and cumin marinade.
Grilling isn’t just for animal products; with the increased availability of plant-based proteins, meat substitutes are also popular grilling ideas. Many grilling recipes can be adapted to include foods like tofu, blackbean burgers or seitan for a vegan-friendly meal.
HOW TO GRILL: When grilling freshly made (not frozen) vegan burgers, follow the same rule for meat: avoid pressing down on the burger as it’s cooking to preserve the juiciness. Another great option for vegan burgers is using a large portobello mushroom, which replicates the thickness and savory flavor of a burger made with meat. When grilling tofu, stick with firmer tofu and be sure that you’ve drained the water from it before cooking.
Grilled Fruits and Desserts
Bring out a new dimension of sweet flavors by grilling fruits. Stone fruits like peaches and pears are a popular option, as they can hold their own when placed on a grill.
HOW TO GRILL: For best results when grilling fruit, make sure the pieces of fruit are large enough to fit over the grill bars and use high heat on the grill. Citrus fruits can benefit from a dusting of sugar before being placed on the grill, which can help them not to stick and results in nice caramelization. And similar to grilling meats, avoid pressing down on fruits or moving them too much on the grill to prevent juices from escaping.
RECIPE IDEAS: Try out this Grilled Peaches with Tart Greek Yogurt recipe as a dessert to complete a meal of grilled meats and veggies. For a decadent grilled dessert option that still includes some fruit element, try the Grilled Pound Cake with Caramelized Banana, which features notes of dark rum, coconut and cinnamon for multi-faceted sweetness. These Grilled Apples with Ice Cream and Caramel Drizzle contrast the tartness of apple flavors with the smokiness from the grill.
How Do I Use a Grilling Attachment?
If you don’t have a grill outside, you can still create satisfying and innovative recipes by grilling inside your oven or by using other indoor grilling methods. You can start by rearranging your oven racks, placing a grill pan inside and then preheating your oven to 500°F. Once the oven has reached temperature, place the food items on the pan and flip halfway through cooking.
When using the KitchenAid® Smart Oven+ Grill Attachment, follow these steps for best results:
1. Insert the roll-out rack into the lowest rack position, using some force, then fully extend out the rack.
2. Put the Base Pan and Heating Element on the roll out rack and push the pan in until it fully locks into place.
3. Put the Grill on the Heating Element.
4. Finally, push the roll out rack fully into the oven. You will hear a tone and see an icon light up on your oven’s display when it’s fully in place.
Once your grill is ready, here’s tips on popular foods to grill:
Bone-in chicken breast: start grilling with skin side down
Boneless chicken breast: start with smooth side down
Hamburger patties: use 80% lean or leaner for best results
Pizza: avoid too many toppings to prevent sogginess. Stick with pre-cooked or raw toppings that only need to be warmed.
Fruit: grill until both sides have marks and the fruit is warm in the center. Avoid overcooking because this can make the fruit mushy.
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