grilling ideas

Top 15 Grilling Ideas & Tips for Perfect Dinner

Considering that 64% of adults own a grill or smoker as of 2023, it’s safe to say that grilling is rather popular in the USA. And one of the best ways to do it is outside, especially in summer. After all, there’s nothing better than relaxing on a warm summer evening or day and enjoying some delicious meals with your family and friends.

But you need to be prepared for that fun gathering, and be ready to impress and make everyone happy with your craft. For that, you need to keep in mind some amazing and easy grilling ideas for dinner. Those, that will make sure that your gathering was well worth it.

That is why we’ve decided to help you, and came up with 7 ideas for a recipe and 8 tips that you can use during cooking to blow everyone away with your skill and delicious food!

Dish Ideas for Dinner Party

Grilled Pork Chops Topped With Mustard Glaze Sauce

  • Place the pork chops in a mixture of salt and water with bay leaf and a pinch of brown sugar. 
  • Bay leaf adds a lot of flavor to the meat. 
  • Allow it to soak for an hour before cooking. 
  • The chops will be finished with a tangy sauce that you can mix with lemon, mustard, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar.

Flank Steak With Salsa

  • Marinate the flank steak in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. 
  • Let it sit for 45 minutes. 
  • While you wait for it to soak the marinade, you can prep the salsa by mincing red onion, bell pepper, and tomato. 
  • Add orange or lemon juice into the mixture and then salt, pepper, cilantro, and a pinch of sugar. 
  • Grill the steak and serve with salsa.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kebabs

This is an easy recipe but it’s one of the unique grilling ideas for a dinner party:

  • Mix together olive oil, ranch dressing, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and pepper. 
  • Use it to marinate the cut-up chicken breast in a bowl, cover it and leave it inside the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Put chicken onto skewers. 
  • Once ready, put oil on the grate and start grilling the chicken
  • When the center is no longer pink, it’s ready to eat, and it doesn’t take much time to cook.

Grill Pizza With Steak, Arugula and Pear

  • Season the steak with salt and pepper and grill it on each side until reaching the degree of doneness you desire. 
  • Leave it for 10 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, mix together vinegar and oil in a bowl and cut the steak diagonally. 
  • Place the pizza crust on the grill and brush the top with oil. 
  • Layer it with steak, cheese, pear slices, and arugula. 
  • Cover the grill for 4 minutes and rotate the pizza until the cheese is melted. 
  • Remove from the grill and serve.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers With Chimichurri Sauce

  • Add oregano, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic in a food processor. 
  • Mix until it becomes a chunky paste and transfer it to a small bowl, add the shrimp and toss to combine. 
  • Leave it for 15 minutes. 
  • Put the shrimp onto the skewer and put it on the grate. 
  • Fry for about 10 minutes and serve hot.

Herbed Pork Tenderloin

  • Marinate the pork tenderloin for at least 4 hours in lemon juice, sage, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, honey, medium soy sauce, and canola oil. 
  • The remaining marinade is used for basting. 
  • Cook pork for 25 to 35 minutes until it reaches 145 degrees. Make sure to use a thermometer if you’re a beginner or generally have trouble differentiating the temperature. 
  • Remove from the grate and serve the dish to your guests while it’s hot.

Red Snapper

  • Rub the fish fillet with olive oil, sprinkle with Greek seasoning and top each one with a slice of lemon. 
  • Place foil on top of the grates and arrange the fish on it. 
  • Grill the fillets and serve with Tartar sauce.

Tips to Have in Mind When Cooking a Grill Dinner

essential grilling tips

Keep Your Surface Clean

If you maintain a clean surface, it will lessen the chances of any flare-ups and incessant smoke that could burn the outside part of the food and cause a bad flavor. Moreover, proper cleaning is also a matter of safety.

Make it Hot

Before you start grilling, preheat the grill for 15 to 25 minutes and make sure that it is at the highest temperature when you start. You will know that it is properly heated if you put a piece of onion on it and it sears immediately. However, you can use any other vegetable or a tiny piece of meat for the test. This step is essential if you want your food to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Control the Flare-up

Flare-ups are caused by cooking fire and thus you must control them. So if you have vegetarian grilling ideas you want to show off, make sure the vegetables do not burn by controlling the flare because they cook faster than meat and can catch on fire quickly. And once again, remember – badly cleaned grates with food remains can cause flare-ups when old dry food catches on fire. So keep your surfaces clean.

Use Additive-free Charcoal

If you go for charcoal grilling, it is recommended that you choose additive-free lump charcoal. This is basically charred wood. The reason for that is because the typical briquettes might have wood scraps and sawdust, coal dust, borax, nitrate, and additives such as lighter fluid or paraffin. It tampers with the taste of food and may even affect your health, since nitrates, paraffin, borax etc. – all affect you in a negative way. Thus make sure to choose and so choose the best burning materials.

Prevent Sugar Burning

Sugar burns quickly, so it could blacken foods with sauces or rubs that contain it. If this is the case, your grill temperature should be lowered, ideally to 265°F, to prevent the charring.

Maintain Food Safety

Cross-contamination could happen so make sure to use separate cutting boards, platters and utensils for cooked and raw foods. You should refrigerate the foods while they marinate and never use the marinating liquid for basting.

Keep an Eye on the Grill

You should also pay attention to the grill while food is cooking. That is especially the case if you make steaks, chops, and burgers since they cook quite quickly. Don’t leave when you’re cooking and always ask someone to keep an eye on food if you need a break. Always maintain safe temperatures for your dishes, especially for meat.

Control the Lid

This will depend on what you are grilling because whenever you open the lid, the temperature will fluctuate. If you are grilling thin cuts of meat, the lid is not necessary. Also, keep in mind that thicker cuts require a lid.

Final Word

These are the grilling dinner ideas you can use to make your barbeque night fun and hassle-free. Remember that these recipes are very simple grilling ideas for dinner, so do not worry if you are not an expert, you can still surprise your guests with amazing dishes, and get even better with practice. 

So happy dinner party, and make sure to share some of your own favorite grilling ideas and tips with fellow BBQ lovers in the comments below!

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