Grill So Good: Easy Recipes for Spring Cookouts

If you’ve been eyeing your grill for the last month, it might be time to get outside and start cooking up some tasty meals. We’ve gathered up some great recipes to get you back into the swing of things and make sure you spend more time enjoying your patio and less time stressing over what to make.

Grilled Shrimp and Lemon

Shrimp and lemon go together like patios and cookouts.

What you need:

  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 2 lb. large easy-peel shrimp
  • 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 halved
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh chives, for serving

What to do:

  1. Combine oil, garlic, celery seed, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden, sizzling, and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk in mustard and transfer to a bowl; cool completely.
  2. Add shrimp and sliced lemon to oil mixture. Season with salt and black pepper; toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill shrimp and lemon slices until lemons and shrimp are lightly charred and shrimp are just cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. To serve, transfer to a platter, sprinkle with chives, and squeeze lemon halves over top.

Peruvian Grilled Chicken with Green Sauce

There’s no way around it, grilled chicken is delicious. This exotic dish from Serious Eats is perfect for folks who love a little spice. Pair it with a cool Mexican beer like Negro Modelo or Corona and enjoy!

What you need:

  • 3 whole jalapeño chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon aji Amarillo pepper paste
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh juice from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

What to do:

For the Sauce: Combine jalapeños, aji Amarillo (if using), cilantro, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, and vinegar in the jar of a blender. Blend on high speed, scraping down as necessary, until smooth. With blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce will be quite loose at this point but will thicken as it sits. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Chicken: Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place breast-side-down on a large cutting board. Using sharp kitchen shears, remove the backbone by cutting along either side of it. Turn chicken over and lay out flat. Press firmly on the breast to flatten the chicken. For added stability, run a metal or wooden skewer horizontally, entering through one thigh, going through both breast halves, and exiting through the other thigh. Tuck wing tips behind back.

1.Combine salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, garlic, vinegar and oil in a small bowl and massage with fingertips until homogenous. Spread mixture evenly over all surfaces of chicken

2.Light one chimney full of charcoal.When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

3.Place chicken skin-side up on cooler side of grill with legs facing towards the hotter side. Cover grill with vents on lid open and aligned over the chicken. Open bottom vents of the grill. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into deepest part of breast registers 110°F. Carefully flip chicken and place skin-side-down on the hotter side of grill with breasts pointed towards cooler side. Press down firmly with a wide, stiff spatula to ensure good contact between bird and grill grates. Cover and cook until skin is crisp and instant-read thermometer inserted into deepest part of breast registers 145 to 150°F, about 10 minutes longer. If chicken threatens to burn before the temperature is achieved, carefully slide to the cooler side of the grill, cover, and continue to cook until done. Do not leave the lid off for longer than it takes to check temperature or chicken will burn.4.Transfer chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Carve and serve with sauce.

4.Transfer chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Carve and serve with sauce.

Coffee and Brown Sugar Crusted Skirt Steak

Caffeine and meat. Throw your guests a curveball and serve up some steak with a kick.

What you need:

  • 1/4 c. finely ground espresso coffee (not instant)
  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. five-spice powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 lb. skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

What to do:

  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. Combine coffee, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, white pepper, five-spice powder and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  3. Remove steak from refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Rub steak with oil and sprinkle with rub. Massage rub into meat.
  4. Grill until charred and medium-rare, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing at an angle. Serve immediately.

Korean Flank Steak Tacos

This dish from Fine Cooking is the perfect Spring meal. It’s colorful, light and healthy. Grill it up for a relaxed patio get-together, or a quick lunch on a lazy Saturday.

What you need:

  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. plus 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 medium English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 lb. beef flank steak, cut with the grain into 3-inch-wide pieces
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill
  • 8 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup prepared cabbage kimchi, coarsely chopped
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)

What to do:

  1. Whisk the vinegar, sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. of the sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl until the sugar and salt are mostly dissolved. Add the cucumber and toss to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the soy sauce, ginger, the remaining 1 tsp. sugar, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl to combine. Brush the steak on both sides with the soy sauce mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Oil the grill grate with the vegetable oil and grill the steak, turning once, until medium rare (130°F), 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steak thinly against the grain. Serve in the tortillas with the cucumbers and kimchi. Top with the cilantro, if you like.

Beer-Simmered Bratwürst and Potatoes

Healthy tacos not your thing? This meat-and-potatoes belly buster from Midwest Living will satisfy even the largest appetites. Güten Appetit!

What you need:

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 uncooked bratwursts
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, sliced lengthwise into 3/8-inch thick slices
  • 4 12 – ounces bottles pale ale
  • 2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • German-Style Quick Pickled Onions

What to do:

  1. Prepare German-Style Quick-Pickled Onions; set aside. Nest two 13x9x3-inch disposable foil pans (for sturdiness). In a pan, combine onions; caraway, coriander seed and mustard seeds; garlic; brats and potato.
  2. Place the pan on a gas or charcoal grill directly over medium heat. Pour in beer. Grill, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are just tender but still firm. Carefully remove pan from heat. Keep grill lit. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove brats and potatoes; transfer 1/4 cup of the liquid to a small bowl and stir in coarse-grain mustard and sugar.
  3. Place brats and potatoes on grill rack and grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until brats are cooked through (160 degrees) and potatoes are tender, brushing often with mustard mixture and turning to brown evenly. Serve with German-Style Pickled Onions.