Grill Perfection

By Margo Graf

“Summer” and “grilling” are almost synonymous words. Can you do one without the other? Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but these two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Since it is the prime season to fire up the grill, we have a few tips and tricks to achieve grill perfection.

Instead of placing a salmon filet straight on the grill, slice up a lemon into 3/4-inch rounds and use as the conduit. Place the lemon circles onto the grill and then the salmon on top. Close the lid and cook for 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. This method will ensure the salmon does not stick or break off on the grill. Any citrus will do here, so mix it up with oranges or for the more daring – grapefruit.

A spiral cut hotdog is a fancy party trick that actually has culinary benefits. Spiraling your dog allows for more even grilling, creates more surface area of charred, caramelized goodness, and the spiral crevices hold condiments perfectly. To do this, you will need a skewer, knife and hotdog. Push the skewer into one end of the hotdog through to the other end, so that the entire hotdog is on the skewer. Then take a knife and cut at an angle down the hotdog. You must turn the hotdog while you cut, and make sure to slice it all the way down to the skewer. If you are a visual learner, you can watch a video on YouTube demonstrating this. Finally, place on the grill… and you know the rest.

Whenever you must grill something that has the tendency to fall apart (i.e. shrimp), use two skewers for the kebab instead of one. It holds everything in place and makes turning the food much easier. This works for all types of meat and veggies. (Always soak the skewers beforehand for 20 minutes in water or coat with olive oil so they do not catch on fire!)

Grilled banana s’mores are a fun and relatively healthy dessert. Some people wrap the banana in foil, but you can leave them in the peel just as well. Take a banana (or four) and place them so that they are sitting naturally. Slice the peel lengthwise, removing a 1/2-inch sliver on the topside. Then cut down into the banana deep enough so there is room to squeeze in chocolate and mini marshmallows. To make more space, you may have to carve out some of the banana as a pre-grill snack. It should look like an overstuffed banana boat full of chocolate treasure. Place on the grill and cook for ten minutes or until the marshmallows are melted.

When it comes time for clean up, aluminum foil can come in handy. Be careful how you use aluminum, as studies have shown it can leech into foods. But in this case, it works perfectly. While the grill is still warm, scrunch up a ball of aluminum foil and place between tongs. Use this as a metal brush to remove the grease and leftover food from the grill. It should take off the crud with ease.

(Bonus Tip: Rub the grill with an onion before cooking to help reduce food sticking in the first place. Onions contain moisture and acidity that help breakdown food residue. You can also use it for cleaning the grill after.)

What are your favorite summertime recipes? Share with us in our comments section on our website: or on We hope you have a delicious summer, enjoy your grilling glory!

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