Cameo’s 1986 hit “Word Up!” said it best: “Spring is in the air, so light up your grill like you just don’t care.” Ok, so maybe those weren't the exact lyrics, but I like this version better.
We just survived another grueling winter and the grills are finally being dusted off, or in my case de-iced. We can now all come out of our igloos and declare victory. The official international grilling season has begun!
Here are a few ways to step up your grilling game this season.
Grilling has come a long way from flipping burgers and hot dogs. Challenge yourself to master a technique that you never tried before, something that scares you. Last year, I mastered a traditional Colombian technique called “Lomo al Trapo” (Tenderloin in a cloth) . It sounds and looks crazy, but tastes amazing! Steven Raichlen's classic book Planet Barbecue! is a great place to start exploring new techniques you've never heard of.
Grilling and BBQ is all about depth of flavors. This is where your creativity kicks in and you can start channeling your inner child that loved making Pixie sticks from Kool-Aid powder. It’s ok, just embrace the innocence. The most common base for any good rub is salt and sugar. After that, the only limit is your imagination (just please don’t use Kool-Aid). Go for BOLD, but not overpowering. Give whatever you are rubbing a chance to reveal its own natural flavors. Once you nail down a winner, store it in a container, share it with friends and keep coming up with new flavors.
Grills are not just meant for meat and veggies. Grilling fruits opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Step outside of your comfort zone and into the awesomeness zone. The natural sugar in the fruit will caramelize and flavors will become bolder as water evaporates. One of my all-time favorites is grilling lemons and making lemonade. They become very soft and much easier to squeeze. Just add some sugar and rosemary. Your taste buds will forever be grateful.
Get fired up and make this the best grilling season ever! Make the commitment to step up your grill game and stick with it. Come on baby tell me what's the word……Word Up!