It’s grilling season, and nothing lights our fire like sharing our favorite tips and techniques for cooking on the Bar-b. Read on to get expert recommendations for the best cuts of meat, how to char veggies to perfection, and season like a pro. Let’s fire it up.

Best Cuts of Meat for Summer Grilling

When it comes to choosing a cut of meat for grilling, MoC Artisan Chef Greg recommends reaching for the bone-in options, like the Porter House pork chops, at your Market Meat & Seafood Department. The bone holds in the juices rather than letting them run out, creating that big, meaty, juicy flavor we all love. The thicker the cut the better. If you’re craving a steak, the New York strip steak, with its rich marbling, is a grill-friendly option. The excess fat melts into the steak while cooking, resulting in a flavorful entree.

Grilling times and temperatures will vary depending on the cut and thickness of the meat you choose. For thicker cuts and bone-in meats, use direct grilling over medium-high heat. For thinner cuts, high heat is preferred to achieve that enviable char without overcooking the meat.

Marinade is a Grill Master’s secret weapon. Marinating is key to enhancing the flavor of your meats. It also tenderizes tougher cuts, and keeps the meat moist during the grilling process. For best results, marinate your meat for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking, or up to 24 hours.

Always use a meat thermometer to ensure your meat is cooked to the proper internal temperature (165 Celsius). Another great tip, and one that is often overlooked, is to let the meat rest after grilling. Resting allows the juices in the meat to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and tender final product.

Kabobs & Burgers on the Grill

Market of Choice has many unique, ready-to-grill sides and burgers that make great additions to any summer BBQ with minimal effort on your part. Here are some top picks to look for in the meat case:

  • Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
  • Chipotle Lime Skewers (chicken)
  • Tequila Lime Skewers (chicken)
  • Triple Garlic Teriyaki Skewers (chicken)

Burgers are always a crowd-pleaser, and with fresh patties (ground in-house, of course) it’s easy to treat guests to gourmet burgers straight from your backyard grill.

Here are some big flavors in pre-made burger patties to look for in the meat department:

  • Cheddar Bacon
  • Gorgonzola
  • Lamb Feta

For a truly unique gourmet burger experience, try our Peanut Butter Pickle Burger recipe.

Seafood on the Grill

A Pacific Northwest BBQ is never complete without fresh, sustainably sourced seafood sizzling on the grill. Here are some great Northwest-inspired choices to look for in the Seafood Department:

  • Shrimp: A crowd-pleasing favorite that’s quick and easy. Simply toss in a garlic marinade and skewer for easy grilling.
  • Salmon: You’ll find about five different, mouthwatering varieties of salmon in our seafood case.
  • Salmon Burgers: Our salmon patties are made in-house with savory soy and ginger (at select locations).
  • Seafood Skewers: Fresh seafood, skewered and ready to grill.

Fruits and Veggies on the Grill

When we think of BBQs we often focus on the meats, but we would be amiss if we didn’t acknowledge the charred, smoky sweetness that grilled fruits and vegetables can bring to the dinner plate. Here are a few goodies to pick up from the Produce Department for your next BBQ:

  • Watermelon: Slice, grill and garnish with Feta or Haloumi. Check out our Specialty Cheese Department for the best in fresh, local and imported cheeses.
  • Peaches: Slice, grill and dress with mascarpone or ricotta and a drizzle of local honey.
  • Tomatoes: Slice and char to perfection.
  • Corn on the Cob: Grill inside the husk until toasty, then slather with butter and sea salt.
  • Avocados: Split and grill with the inside faced down until soft and creamy. Add bay shrimp and hot sauce and serve with chips.

Try our recipe for Shrimp & Melon Ceviche in Grilled Avocado.

Master Grilling Techniques for your Summer BBQ

For a truly successful summer BBQ, it’s essential that you first master a few grilling techniques. Here are a few pointers to help you elevate your grilling game.

  1. Direct vs. Indirect Grilling: Direct grilling Refers to cooking food directly over the heat source. This method is great for smaller cuts of meat and vegetables that cook rather quickly. Indirect grilling, on the other hand, refers to cooking food next to the heat source, providing space for a barrier. This is ideal for larger cuts of meat or delicate summer vegetables that require longer cooking times.
  2. Achieving Grill Marks and Charred Flavor: To get those enviable grill marks and smoky charred flavor, preheat your grill to a high temperature. Make sure your grill grates are clean and well-oiled to prevent sticking. Resist the urge to constantly flip your meat or summer vegetables during grilling.
  3. Retaining Moisture and Juiciness: Aside from marinating beforehand, you can also sear the meat over high heat to lock in the juices, then finish cooking it at a lower heat. For vegetables, consider using a grilling basket or foil packet to keep the moisture in while cooking.

Season to Perfection

Grilling makes it easy to create a satisfying meal with only a few ingredients. A great cut of meat with the right seasoning and a side of arugula tossed with a simple dressing of olive oil, Parmesan and lemon juice takes a simple backyard BBQ to sophisticated heights. Here are a few of our favorite seasonings to shop in the aisles:

  • Jacobsen Salt Co.: Hand-harvested salts from the Oregon Coast. This is the go-to sea salt for chefs and foodies, and it’s a great way to season meat or vegetables. We love their infused salts, like Black Garlic, White Truffle, Pinot Noir and more.
  • Seasoned Butter: Make a delightful browned butter with mustard and chai. This is the perfect flavor to add to pork or fish.
  • Durant Extra Virgin Olive Oil: We love this local company for their high quality olive oils in unique flavors like Tuscan, Greek and Spanish. Use them to create your own marinade, or drizzle on food after grilling for added flavor.
  • Hot Sauce: We love Joey’s Hot Sauce to add kick to dishes after grilling. For marinating meat and summer veggies beforehand, we choose Bend Sauce and Danielle’s Sauces.
  • Salsa: Greet guests with chips and a selection of salsas for dipping. We love locally made, Salsa Garcia or Heavenly Fire with Late July Tortilla Chips.
  • Guacamole: a bowl of fresh guac is always a nice touch at any summer BBQ because it’s versatile enough to dress a burger, dollop on salad or use as a chip dip. For incredibly creamy and mildly spicy guacamole, try this recipe made with Newks Hot Sauce.

Hosting a summer BBQ is a fantastic way to enhance the flavors of the season while making lasting memories with family and friends. Stop by your local Market of Choice to pick up the freshest ingredients, meats and seafood. Then, follow our expert grilling tips and recommendations, and you’re sure to create a backyard grilling adventure to remember.

Published On: May 17th, 2024

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