6 Totally Wild Ways to Use Your Grill for a Summer BBQ

by Ben SanfordMay 31, 2017

Rekindle Your Relationship With Your Barbecue Grill

Barbeques and cookouts truly are the perfect way to spend time with friends and family in the warmer months of the year, but traditional barbequed chicken can get tedious. Even if you throw in the occasional steak every now and again, by the time you make it to August, you’re nearly sick of the grill.

Well don’t let this happen to you this summer – instead, look for healthy and decadent options to add to the standard grilled meats and poultry, and keep your enthusiasm for the backyard barbecue extra high this season. With that in mind, this list of unconventional grill methods will definitely spice up your summer cookout and inspire you to renovate your old school grilling habits.
summer bbq

Smoking Meats on the Grill

The key to good smoked meat is leaving it on the grill for a long enough amount of time. When planning to smoke your meat, be sure to leave plenty of time for a long, slow cook. Make sure your coals are ready by combining both lit and unlit coals; Kingsford has some great suggestions for preparing your charcoals to maintain adequate heat for long periods of time.

The key to delicious smoked meat is to add a hunk of presoaked wood into the grill as you work on your meat. Hickory, maple, and oak all work well.

Pro tip: The best grill masters smoke their meat dry and add sauce after the meat is cooked.

summer bbq smoking meats

Slow and Low

When you grill your meat slow and low, be sure to maintain temperatures between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Similar to the techniques you use for smoking your meat on a grill, when cooking slow and low, meat will take between 3-4 hours for ribs and up to 15 hours for pork.

Pro tip: The New York Times recommends keeping the lit charcoals on one side of the grill while the meat sits on the other side, and placing a foil basket under the meat to catch those succulent drips.
summer bbq slow and low

Caveman Style

Allow your coals to taper into embers, then fan away loose ash so it doesn’t get in your meat. Place your meat, patted dry and generously coated with salt and pepper, directly on the coals. Sear your steak, or other meat, for roughly two to three minutes.

Miraculously, the ash will brush right off the steak when it is finished cooking. Dwight Eisenhower apparently swore by this method, cooking up to three-inch steaks directly on his coals!

Pro tip: After the meat is cooked, place veggies like peppers or potatoes directly on the coals; place the meat on a grill rack over the veggies so the juice drips onto to the veggies for extra flavor.
summer bbq caveman style

The Vineyard Method

In Bordeaux, France, vineyard owners have adopted a unique grilling method that combines the caveman style with smoking. Vineyard owners take their trimmings from the grape harvest, called canes, and pile them into a bonfire.

Once the flames have dwindled into embers, it becomes the perfect grill surface. The French call this grilling method “sarment.” Myfrenchheaven.com has great step-by-step instructions for this rare grill method.

Pro tip: Cover the meat in fresh shallots to add more depth to the flavor.
summer bbq vineyard method

Colombian Style Lomo al Trapo

“Lomo al Trapo” translates literally to “Beef tenderloin in cloth,” but trust us, your taste buds will think it’s much more than that. Get your meat nice and salty by wrapping or rolling it in about two cups of salt, then wrap and tie it up in a fabric rag and throw it on your grill, or even onto your open charcoals.

The meat will be cooked and flavorful within 20 minutes. Food 52 has a great recipe for Lomo al Trapo with drool-worthy photos by James Ranson.

Pro tip: If the fabric begins to burn, don’t freak out. When the meat is done, the fabric shell will easily crack open to reveal delicious and tender meat inside.
summer bbq lomo al trapo

Himalayan Salt Block

Like the slow and low method, cooking on a salt block requires patience and restraint; in order to cook successfully on a salt block, you need to wait for it to heat up completely, about 20 minutes.

Place your meat on the salt block, and flip it anywhere between two and five minutes, depending on the thickness of your cut. Make sure you flip with metal utensils; plastic will melt!

Pro tip: Grill asparagus or other easy-to-cook veggies on your salt block to curate the perfectly salted meal.
summer bbq salt blocks

Become the Grillmaster of the Party This Summer!

Barbecue parties are an age-old tradition that bring friends and family together for good food and fresh, warm summer air. But traditional grilling methods can get tired and boring as the years go by. From France to Colombia, this list provides unconventional methods from all over the world to ensure your grill party will amaze and satiate your hungry guests, weekend after weekend!


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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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