When the first days of summer hit, we can't wait to fire up the grill and have ourselves a cookout. There's no better way to cook a meal than outside over an open flame. Many people will just throw some store-bought hamburgers or hot dogs over the fire and call it a day, but the grill has much more potential than that. from baby back ribs to lobster, we've rounded up our favorite recipes for grilled main dishes.
One of our favorite things to cook on the grill is a rack of ribs. The question is whether or not to use sauce. We think both preparations are delicious. Our Memphis-style ribs are cooked with a flavorful dry rub containing cayenne, cumin, paprika, and other spices. Our Kansas City-style ribs, on the other hand, are basted and served with a sweet and spicy ketchup-based sauce.
Chicken, beef, and pork might dominate barbecues, but seafood belongs on the grill, too. Thick, hearty swordfish steaks hold up to open flame well, and a light mango salsa makes them super summery. Lobster is perfect for grilling—the shell protects the meat from the heat. Slather it with a cilantro-chile compound butter and let the butter melt into the shell, essentially poaching the lobster as it grills.
Don't let the vegetarians at your next cookout go hungry. We love grilling veggie burgers, like our black bean burger with cumin, paprika, coriander, and both poblano and chipotle chiles or quinoa burger with carrot, celery, arugula, and beans.
Find enough dishes to keep grilling all summer in our collection of bbq mains dishes.
Grilled Lamb Chops and Squash with Herb Salad and Sunchokes
A three-day brining, smoking, and charring process adds incredible flavor to these ribs from chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston. The result tastes like grilled bacon.
Pineapple Avocado Hot Dog
Grilled lobster is a popular dish in Boston, where shellfish from the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction is plentiful.
Charles Vergos, the late proprietor of the beloved Memphis restaurant Rendezvous, invented this style of ribs served “dry,” with no sauce.
This burger, inspired by one created in Modernist Cuisine co-author Nathan Myhrvold’s culinary lab, is topped with a tangy cream and vermouth sauce. Adding egg yolks to freshly ground meat makes for a supremely rich burger. Get the recipe for the Ultimate Grilled Cheeseburger »
Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa
A bright salsa made from ripe mangoes, cilantro, red onion, and lime is the perfect foil for thick swordfish steaks.
Chile heat brings out the sweetness of whole red snapper in this Jamaican recipe.
Our take on a classic meatless burger calls on a slew of vegetables for flavor, color, and texture: carrot, celery, arugula, beans, and—the ingredient that really makes it—quinoa, the high-protein South American grain that has a nutty flavor and toothsome bite. This veggie burger is infinitely versatile when it comes to toppings, but we particularly like it with a cumin-accented relish of roasted red peppers.
At Smokestack in Kansas City, spareribs, a particularly flavorful cut, are served with a sweet and spicy sauce.