BBQ Basics

Summer time is grilling time! Whether you're an expert griller (or your husband is), I hope you'll find today's post helpful, whether you're planning a party or just getting started. How to Pick a Grill

Charcoal grills. Gas grills. Pellet grills. Smokers. Yikes! This article from Amazing Ribs is very thorough and comprehensive. If you're in the market for a new grill, check it out.

Planning a Backyard Barbecue

Life Your Way has an awesome downloadable ebook entitled Backyard Barbecue: Classics and Future Favorites with over 30 recipes that will help you get started in planning your next backyard bash. Included are recipes not only for the grill but also sides and desserts to accompany your meal. (Did I mention that it's free?)

Cooking Safety

One of the challenges in grilling is knowing when something is done without burning it to a crisp or cutting into it. If you've struggled with this too, check out these resources:

Amazing Ribs has Some Basic Meat Science for Outdoor Cooks that explains the anatomy of a piece of meat. If you're on the squeamish side, you may not want to read this article, but it does help to understand what's going on in the cooking process.

Barbecue Report details three ways to learn how to tell when steak is done and why simply cutting it open is not a good idea.

If you're in the market for a good digital meat thermometer, this article suggests some good ones. Here's a handy printable cooking temperatures cheat sheet to slip into your recipe binder.

Cooking Techniques

I didn't realize that there were so many different techniques to grilling, so this article from Barbecues Galore helps give me an overview. There's basic baking and roasting, grilling, smoking and rotisserie methods. Grilling Tips also has specific help on these different methods, as well as how to grill fruit, vegetables, and fish. 

Not only is there different ways to cook, there are also different preparation methods you can use before your food even touches the grill, such as brines, marinades, and rubs. All Recipes gives a good overview, along with some recipes to try these various technqiues.  

For ease of preparation, any meal-in-one ideas are fabulous. Try foil-packet cooking on a grill if you are looking for a dinner that won't heat up your kitchen. Betty Crocker and Food Network give some great ideas. Taste of Home shows you how to fold and seal the packets. Just think: prepare your ingredients ahead of time, then while the grill is firing up, put them together and dinner is served!

If you're just grilling some burgers, this article from Homemakers Challenge gives you tips on what (not) to do.

Grill Care

As with all things, your grill works best when it is cared for. Real Simple , Ace Hardware, and Martha Stewart have tips on getting your grill ready for the season and for keeping it functioning at top condition throughout the grilling season.

Now Where Should I Start?

In addition to the sites above, here are a few sites with grilling sections. There are plenty to choose from: meats of all kinds, vegetables, and even desserts! Have fun!

Taste of Home with video versions of some of the recipes.

Simply Recipes

AllRecipes

Red Robin has annual kids' burger creations from 2007-2011 for free in pdf formats. Check 'em out for some creative toppings for your burger bar!

What are your expert grilling tips?