Get Grilling for National Barbecue Month

Spring weather is heating up and it is the perfect time to fire up the grill. National Barbecue month was founded by the National Barbecue Council in 1963 in an effort to encourage outdoor cooking. Since then, the popularity of grilling and barbecuing has skyrocketed. With techniques including smoking, roasting, baking, braising, and grilling, barbecuing offers endless possibilities to fire up your favorite dish and satisfy all year long.

There are infinite ways to create healthful and flavorful dishes when grilling: 

  1. Consider the protein.
    • When preparing chicken, soak in marinade prior to cooking, basting along the way to keep it moist. This simple grilled chicken marinated in a sweet citrus dressing is a perfect recipe for any night of the week. Make a few extra pieces of chicken and slice horizontally into strips. Use the “leftovers” to  make fajitas or toss on a salad. 
    • Firm fish such as tuna, salmon or swordfish hold up well to high heat grilling. Try this delicious swordfish recipe topped with fresh peppers, corn, jalapeño peppers and tomatillos. 
    • Fire up the grill and enjoy these scrumptious pork chops marinated in lemon and herbs.
  2. Go veggie. 
    • A huge Portobello mushroom makes a fantastic burger substitute. Make a “faux”  cheeseburger by sprinkling some mozzarella cheese on top during the last few minutes of grilling. 
    • Give your menu a whole new dimension with this grilled romaine and tomato salad. Be sure to slice the romaine vertically to keep the core together on the grill.
    • Or try this grilled peach and fresh berry recipe. Is it a salad or a dessert? 
    • A delicious garlic balsamic marinade give these grilled vegetables a savory sweet flavor. This low-calorie side dish complements meat, fish and poultry.
  3. Kebob it with grilling skewers. 
    • Kabobs are always fun and creative. For a traditional kabob, add cherry tomatoes, bell pepper chunks, mushrooms and onions with your favorite protein. Or add fresh fruit like mango and pineapple, zucchini, sweet potato cubes for a fresh twist and a bright plate. 
    • Try this meal-in-one tuna kebabs recipe, or these mouthwatering yogurt marinated lamb kebabs. 
  4. Experiment with pizza on the grill. 
    • Pizza on the grill is fun and easy. Start by placing a crust in a pan with a layer of sauce on the back of the grill. While the crust is cooking, grill vegetables and meats for toppings. Cover the pizza with cheese, add cut up/sliced grilled toppings and close the grill to finish it off. This BBQ pizza recipe will surely get you into the pizza grilling groove. 
  5. Enjoy the ultimate burger.
    • Kick back and enjoy a healthy backyard cookout with this All-American lean burger topped with fresh vegetables and sparked with a touch of hot sauce.
    • No need to buy hamburger buns the next time you are grilling burgers! These delicious Caprese Burgers replace the carbs with grilled beefsteak tomatoes for a fresh and healthy substitute. These turkey burgers are layered with flavor using fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and sweet balsamic glaze.
  6. Always use a food thermometer. 
    • Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Using a food thermometer will confirm food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.
    • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F before removing from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.
    • Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F.
    • Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.
    • Never partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later. 
    • When reheating fully cooked meats like hot dogs, grill to a temperature of 165 °F.

Time to get grilling and enjoy National Barbecue Month! 

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