Friday Question of the Day – What is Your Favorite Meal to Grill?


Memorial Day Weekend brings us officially into grilling season. Admittedly I am a rank amateur when it comes to grilling so I thought it’d be a fun Friday question of the day – what are your favorite meals to grill? If possible and you have them, please include a recipe or just a basic description of how to do it properly. Also, I’m curious about what folks like to grill besides hamburgers and hotdogs – what’s your favorite non traditional item to grill?

62 Comment

  • It may be too early for this one, but last summer I grilled peaches (with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar) and they were a hit. Serve with your favorite vanilla bean ice cream, naturally.

    Happy Memorial Day!

    • Wow that sounds amazing! Thanks for idea. Definitely trying this one out when peaches come into season.

    • Sweets are the best!

      Pineapple rings on their own or with a little maple syrup. Grill till the sugars caramelize.

      or take bananas in the skin, slice them longways, put dark chocolate in the slit, wrap in tinfoil and put on the grill over low heat until they are goopy. So tasty!

    • These ideas (peaches, pineapple rings, bananas) sound really good. Maybe this will inspire me to learn how to cook/grill. πŸ™‚

  • brookland_rez

    Not really non-traditional, but for me it’s hard to beat a nice thick (1-2″) ribeye or strip steak, good and rare (blood dripping out). Mmmmmm…….

    • +1

      And just prepare it simply: rub on some salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a little bit of olive oil. Then toss it on a hot grill. Can’t beat it! (Though a 2″steak is waaaaay too thick, IMO)

      • I thnk 2 inches is a great thickness for steak! Just sear each side by cooking it about 4 minutes per side, cook it at a lower temp for a few minutes, take it out and let it rest for about ten. You’ll get a nice medium rare steak that way.

      • Agree with the pepper and oil, but skip the salt – salt prevents browning and you get more “flavor” benefit from freshly sprinkled salt right when you serve the steak (not anti-salt, just the timing of the application).

        • ledroittiger

          Not true. Salt should be applied to a steak and rested around 40 minutes before grilling. The salt draws the juices out of the meat within 5 mins, forms a brine which starts to break down the meat’s muscle fibers at 10-15 mins and then is reabsorbed back into the meat at around 40.

  • Hanger steak. Fresh World in Springfield sells them whole untrimmed, so you get two tenderloins, or 8-10 steaks for under $2 a lb. Strong beefy flavor that holds up to garlic, flavored butter, or red wine sauces.

    Also spicy halfsmokes. I get mine from Union Meat Company in Eastern Market. Need to cook these over indirect heat, otherwise the casing will burn before the center is done.

  • Honestly, pizza. Can be a little tricky (way too much bottom heat burns the dough), but is always delicious.

    • I was going to say pizza too. Here’s the basic technique:

      Make or buy pizza dough (I use the recipe from Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio), roll/stretch it out, and brush both sides with oil. Get the grill as hot as possible, and have all your toppings ready to go.

      Throw the dough on the grill and flip it once it’s puffed up and there are grill marks on the bottom (this will happen quickly so keep an eye on it). As soon as it’s flipped start putting on the toppings. You won’t have much time before the bottom starts to burn, so whatever you use needs to cook/melt quickly. Once the bottom’s done pull it off the grill and cut into slices.

      It’s a little crazy but it makes a pizza that’s as close to brick-oven style as you can create at home. It you don’t want to put the dough directly on the grill you can also put a pizza stone on it and do it that way.

  • bfinpetworth

    As an alternative the the very fatty ribeye (my favorite!), I’ve moved to the hanger steak. It is pretty hard to find in DC, but they do sell it at the eastern market butcher and at Union Market – It is a thick cut of meat, looks more like flank than anything, but the flavor is tremendous and it turns out to be quite tender when sliced after grilling and resting in 1/2 inch slices.

    • I’ve had excellent hanger steak at Ray’s The Classics and Franklin’s. I need to try grilling one someday.

  • Depends on what I’m in the mood for. I have a Big Green Egg and I grill and barbecue (they’re not the same thing!) all year round.

    I love steak, chicken, sausage and seafood. I also do vegetables, usually as a side dish.

    A whole chicken is cheap and easy to do. Cut out the backbone (“spatchcock” it) and flatten it out. Or cut again along the breast and get yourself two chicken halves. You can marinate it, use a dry rub, or both. I usually use a simple rub (salt, pepper, garlic powder, maybe a little paprika.) Cook it direct (over lump charcoal if you’re using a charcoal grill) at around 350/400, skin side up for about 20-30 minutes. Flip it and cook aboout five more miutes to get the skin crispy. You can use a meat thermometer or probe to check the internal temp, but I can usually tell when it’s done by looking at it. You can baste it with barbecue sauce (or a mop) or serve sauce in the side.

    I’m picking up a whole shrink wrapper brisket today and I’m going to barbecue overnight and serve it Sunday.

    The most non-traditional item I’ve cooked on the Egg probably is meatloaf.

    • I am jealous of your green egg. What’s your minimum time for the brisket? I’ve tried it on my webber before with consistent supervision with a good thermometer, but am thinking that brisket might be beyond possibility without a green egg or something similar. It was edible but still fairly tough after six hours.

      • The Egg is great, but we’ve had very good results with our Weber Bullet. And their site has a ton of good recipes.

        • I’ve got a Kamado and three WSMs and the 22″ bullet does the best brisket. Pile on 16lb bag of charcoal, wet wood chunks, and it’s good for 8-10 hours. Brisket is done in around 12. Wrap in an aluminum pan and leave it alone for a few hours then serve.

          • I usually wrap my brisket in foil and a towel and put it in a cooler for a couple of hours before slicing and serving.

        • I have a Weber Bullet too and I love it. I put my 14 lb brisket on 1-2 in the morning, smoke over night and let it rest afterwards, if I can keep my hands off it.

      • I do brisket and pulled pork (using picnic or boston butt roasts) overnight on the Egg. Minimum is usually around 12 hours. You could do one in your Weber if you set it up for indirect cooking and give yourself plenty of time. Maybe start it at 5 or 6 am, adding charcoal as necessary, and cooking it 10-12 hours. There are lots of great recipes and videos online for brisket. Check out the “BBQ with Franklin” YouTube videos. I’m probably going to rewatch his brisket series this weekend to make sure I’m doing it right.

        • Thanks for the advice. What’s your guys’ opinion on wood? Usually I can only find hickory chunks at local hardware stores. Do you soak the wood in water first?

          • Oak is supposed to be best for brisket but I honestly can’t tell the difference between the different smoking woods. I think I have a bag of pecan chunks at home. I’ll probably use that this weekend. Just 3-4 big chunks. I don’t soak them.

      • Brisket is tricky on something like a Weber kettle-style setup (which I assume you are talking about) because it’s not easy to maintain a consistent, low temperature. If you have time, err on the side of lower heat (around 225 F), especially if you are using only the flat part of the brisket, and use a digital themometer to monitor the chamber heat (you can get one at HD/Lowes for 20 bucks).

        For the first cooking period, you want to get the brisket to an internal temp of around 130-140 F. Depending on the thickness, this will take around 1-1.5 hrs per pound. If the brisket doesn’t have a good cap of fat, throw some bacon on top to keep moist.

        Once you get to the internal temp of 130-140, remove the brisket, wrap it in foil (you can add a little beer or apple juice to the foil wrap), and put back in the Weber until you reach an internal temperature of 170-180 F or so. Be sure to maintain the same chamber heat around 225 F (i.e., don’t kick up the heat to try and get the temperature to rise). It may take a while for the temp to rise to around 170-180, but this is the most critical step — right around 160 F is when the fat and other good stuff breaks down and turns the brisket from chewy to tender.

        Once you hit the second temp, remove the brisket (still in foil) from the Weber. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then wrap it in a towel and place it in a small insulated cooler (or bag, or whatever you have insulated) for an hour or so.

        The only downside to this method is that if you are a fan of really chewy and thick bark (the dark tasty stuff that forms the crust of a finely smoked brisket), you won’t get that type of bark. But you’ll still get a good bark and hopefully a tender brisket!

  • If we’re talking grilling, I have to agree with the above poster that for traditional items, nothing beats a steak. A big, grass-fed ribeye or porterhouse, throw on a foil packet of ‘shrooms, onion, garlic, and butter, and prosper. Also enjoy grilling pizza and apples for non-trad items.

    BBQing, on the other hand…love me some beef ribs. And while I don’t make it in the summer, I’ve received rave reviews about both my turkey and duck done low and slow over cherry and pecan wood.

  • Chicken spiedies!

    You cube some chicken and let it marinate overnight before cooking it up on skewers. There are spiedie marinades you can buy (Lupo’s!), but you can do it yourself with some lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and some italian spices. Great on italian bread or on a salad.

    • Are you from Binghamton, NY (home of Spiedie Fest)?? I grew up there, and spiedies are a HUGE deal!! Of course, every native has their “own” secret recipe for the marinade…maybe I’ll make some this weekend!

    • binghamton represent!

      • Woot Woot! SPIEDIES!!! I always make sure to bring back spiedie sauce when I go home. That and 5 or 6 loaves of Roma’s bread. I also make sure I get to Nick’s (former co-owner of Tony’s) for at least one meal of rigatoni parmigiana.

  • Sardines. Throw the whole fish on the grill, when done drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on the fish. Heaven!

  • Eggplant/zucchini/ mushrooms- cut into 3/4″ slices, marinate for 30 minutes. I use oil, fresh herbs, glarlic, salt, pepper, a little honey, a little vinegar, hot peppers, cumin, mustard seeds, and whatever else I feel like throwing in.

    Tempeh- slice into 3/4″ strips. Marinate in a tomato/ molasses spicy BBQ sauce.

    Asparagus is great to.
    Grilled potatoes are nice.

  • Not necessarily meat, but I like quesadillas on the grill. Add whatever you want in the middle (meat, cheese, veggies, etc.). Make sure to oil the tortillas lightly and you’re good to go for an easy cheap meal.

    • Along similar lines, I like to do paninis on the grill. If you want grilled meat or veggies on the panini you can do those first, and then assemble and grill the sandwich while the grill is still hot. Use a spatula to smash the panini down as much as possible while grilling.

  • Along with the pizza and paninis I mentioned above, I like grilling fish and vegetables mostly. Terriyaki salmon is one of our favorites, and I recently made some great grilled tilapia tacos. Grilled vegetables are great with a cumin-yogurt sauce, or I’ll use them in something else like a salad or sandwich. Kebabs are fun too.

    • Also, I don’t do it often anymore because hardly anyone I know eats meat and I can’t find the right kind of rolls here… but I used to love grilled Italian sausage sandwiches piled with sauteed peppers and onions!

  • Does anyone here worry about carcinogens when grilling? My mother-in-law flies into a frenzy if something has grill marks, claiming it causes cancer. I thought that only applied to meat, but she get upset even if it’s vegetables or bread. So when we’re grilling for her I coat the whole grill with foil so nothing gets charred, which in my opinion kind of defeats the purpose of grilling.

    • Have you considered getting a new mother-in-law? Because my experience has been that if they’re not complaining about something, they’re just not happy.

    • So don’t grill for her

      • I do try avoid being in that situation. I’m just wondering if her concerns are at all valid. When I express my disagreement she says she’s a chemist and used to work for the FDA so she knows what she’s talking about. Still, I’ve researched it online and I don’t see any indication that grilled veggies or rolls are cancer-causing.

  • I’m a ribeye guy myself, but I also like a good flank steak. My mom used to marinate in Catalina dressing for a day or two before grilling. I’ve only known one other person to do it like that. It’s very tasty. Just had some last week.

  • Jejeh Kebab – Persian (Iranian) chicken (or lamb) kebabs. Seems…esoteric, but man, the very best marinade for chicken, lamb or beef for grilling (saffron, onion, garlic and citrus). Google a recipe for the marinade, just marinate in the fridge for a day in a zip lock, stick on soaked skewers and grill up.

  • jim_ed

    It may be too simple, but I love chicken thighs on the grill. Put em down skin side first, flip after 10-15 minutes, repeat on the other side, and then coat em in BBQ sauce for the last minute. If it’s a weekend, I’ll throw together a quick sauce, but if its a weeknight and I’m feeling lazy, I use Sweet Baby Ray’s.

    Cut up some carrots, snow peas, and broccoli, throw it on alongside in a grill wok, or maybe grill some ears of corn in the stalk after soaking them in water for 20 minutes, and you’ve got an awesome dinner.

  • Haloumi!

    • Where do you buy that in DC???

      • i’ve seen it at whole foods and union market.
        i’d bet the cheesetique in del rey has it too.

        but remember, it’s a specialty cheese here and is a bit expensive.

  • This honey/lime/chipotle pork loin has become my favorite meal on the grill:

    Add a corn/tomato/avocado salad on the side, and CHOMP.

    If you have a rotisserie, I also recommend a leg of lamb with some sort of Greek-y marinade, then sliced thin to make homemade gyros.

  • Grilled Romaine lettuce!

    1. Put an ounce or so of your desired vinegar in a metal pan and stick in the freezer.

    2. Split the head lengthwise, keeping the core on so it holds together. Dip the cut sides in olive oil and put on hot grill just enough to get marks and a bit wilted.

    3. Scrap frozen vinegar over the hot lettuce with a fork or spoon. This halts the cooking.

    4. You can add cheese, nuts, whatever you like.


  • Slightly off topic – but does anyone have a recommendation for a place in DC or close-in burbs where you can get real authentic NC Barbecue? Most places I’ve seen that do pulled pork sandwiches put sweet tomato-based sauce on – real NC BBQ has only a vinegar/hot pepper sauce. I tried the Rib Pit on 14th once but I didn’t think it was very good. Epiphany BBQ on Georgia not authentic. I know a lot of new BBQ places have opened in DC but they seem more Texas-focused. Any ideas?

    • I 100% agree with you. I have yet to find any BBQ in DC that meets my Eastern NC standards. I came across this recipe when I was trying to see if I could try it in a slow cooker in a DC Condo ( and turned out pretty close to how I was raised, except I could not add any of the cracklin like they do at Skylight Inn! Obviously, this is not up to “pig pickin” standards, but it gets the job done. The key for me was that I also have a bottle of pepper vinegar that is now going on 5 years.

  • I’m reading Cooked by Michael Pollan about the Skylight Inn right now πŸ˜‰ It has me craving some real BBQ! I’m thinking of resorting to the Slow Cooker option as well, maybe at least browning on the grill first. My favorite BBQ place in NC was Allen & Son, outside Durham near the Duke Forest. I also grew up with Stamey’s in Greensboro.

    • …that was supposed to be a reply to wolfpackwx…

      • Grew up in Greenville, deep in vinegar sauce country. Spoiled having Skylight Inn, B’s, and Parker’s BBQ all within 20 min of each other. BTW, with that recipe I shared, I have converted some ketchup based BBQ sauce lovers here, so it must be good!

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