Summer is here, which means it’s grilling season! I’ve gathered some fun Summer Grilling Ideas to share with you guys so you’re prepared to make the most of the season. This guide is filled with the Best Grill Recipes, along with some summer grilling essentials and tips!
Best Grill Recipes for Summer
Summer Grilling season is here, so it’s time to pull out the best grill recipes to cook up for BBQs, grill outs, and summer get togethers! This is one of my favorite times of year for food, because there are so many great grilling ideas. Of course there are all the juicy meats (burgers, sausages, steaks) we salivate over, but I also love the grilled side dishes and healthier options for a bit of a change.
Grilled sandwiches, grilled chicken, grilled kebabs…so much delicious food to go around! My mind is filled with all the best summer grilling ideas to cook this season. I love firing up the grill with family and friends so that we can eat good and enjoy the weather at the same time.
This Guide to Summer Grilling is filled with all the info you need about using your grill, how to grill meat, tips and tricks to make grilling go smoothly, plus all the tools you’ll need to get through the summer. And of course I rounded up the BEST grill recipes from my site and from around the web to give you tons of grilling ideas to try out. We’ve got grilled chicken recipes, healthy grilled recipes, and even grilled side dishes!
Find the Best Grill Recipes, tips and tools, and tons of Summer Grilling Ideas right here in The Cookie Rookie Guide to Grilling!
Best Grills for Summer BBQs
Obviously summer grilling starts with a grill. There are a lot of different types of grills to choose from, including gas grills, electric grills, charcoal grills, wood-fired grills, and you can get large grills or small grills. What works best for you will vary based on your needs and preferences. Here are a few favorite grill options to choose from.
We have 3 grills and I love them all for different reasons! We have a Big Green Egg, a Traeger Pellet Grill (my newest obsession), and a traditional Gas Grill. I’m adamant that I need them ALL and maybe even need more! :)
Summer Grilling Ideas: Grilling Essentials
You want to be prepared for all that grilling you’re going to be doing this summer. Here are some of the basic tools and appliances you’re going to be using when cooking up the best grill recipes.
- Aluminum foil
- Slotted Spatula
- Basting Brush
- Meat Thermometer
- Grill Brush
- Lighter Fluid
- Foil Drip Pan
- Paper Towels
- Chimney Starter
- Grill Cleaning Wipes
Summer Grill Recipes: Ingredients to Stock up on
Since you’re going to be grilling all summer long, you might want to stock up on some basic ingredients to get you through the season. Most summer grill recipes are going to require some of the following items for cooking. Obviously you’ll want to get the fresh items just before grilling, but other items are easy to stock ahead of time.
Summer Grilling Basic Tips
- Make sure your grill is on a solid surface, away from flammable things.
- Flip meat as little as possible to keep it tender. Cook both sides, but don’t over flip!
- Longer cook time = lower temperature to avoid drying out the meat.
- Use aluminum foil to wrap vegetables, fish, and other items to make foil packet recipes.
- Always clean your grill after cooking.
- Use an instant read meat thermometer to check internal temperatures when grilling meat.
Grilling 101 FAQ
Is it better to grill with the lid open or closed?
It depends on what you’re cooking! Leave the lid open if you’re grilling burgers, vegetables, seafood, or other fast-cooking foods. If you’re grilling meats that need to cook for a longer period on low heat (ribs, thick cuts of meat, etc), keep the lid closed.
How long does it take to burn charcoal?
If you’re cooking with a charcoal grill, consider using a chimney starter to get the fire going. You’ll generally need to give the charcoal about 30 minutes to start burning and get hot enough to grill on.
How do you know when the grill is ready?
If you have a built-in grill thermometer, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, turn to the hand method. This isn’t the most scientific method, but it’s a tried and true technique for grilling!
- Hold your hand just above the grill (about 3 inches, & be careful!)
- Count how many seconds pass until you need to pull your hand away due to the heat (this isn’t a challenge so don’t hold it longer than you need to)
- Use the chart to determine the temperature of the grill
1-2 seconds = 450-500 F (High)
2-4 seconds = 400-450 F (Medium-High)
4-5 seconds = 350-400 F (Medium)
6-7 seconds = 300-350 F (Medium-Low)
7-9 seconds = 250-300 F (Low)
What is considered Medium heat on a grill?
If you want to cook on medium heat, your grill temperature should be at about 350-400 F.
Best Internal Temperatures for Grilling Meat
Cooking meat always requires you to be very adamant about temperatures. Your meat should be cooked within certain temperature ranges for safety reasons, but grill temperatures can also vary for the sake of flavor and how you prefer your meat to be cooked. Here’s a simple outline of grill temperatures for various types of meat. Note that these are internal temperatures of the meat (not the temperature of the grill) and should be read with a meat thermometer.
Internal Temperature for Steak
- Rare 130-135 F
- Medium Rare 140 F
- Medium 155 F
- Well Done 165 F
Internal Temperature for Burgers
- Rare 120-125 F
- Medium Rare 130135 F
- Medium Well 150-155 F
- Well Done 160-165 F
Internal Temperature for Chicken
Grilled Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F. Anything less is considered unsafe to eat.
Internal Temperature for Salmon
I recommend cooking Salmon to an internal temperature of about 130-140 F.
Internal Temperature for Ribs
Grilled ribs taste bet when cooked to an internal temperature of about 190-200 F. This makes them super tender and juicy. However, they are safe to eat as long as they are cooked to at least 145 F.
See the recipe card below for a basic recipe on How to Grill a Steak. Then read on for all of our favorite grilling recipes!
How to Grill a Steak
A nice juicy steak is one of the best grill recipes for summer! Learn the basics of how to grill a steak to perfection.
- 4 Steaks
Trim excess fat from the steak (but leave a little bit for flavor)
Let the steak sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before cooking
Prepare the grill and heat up about 30 minutes before cooking
Pat away extra moisture from the steak, and then season to your liking
Sear steaks until they lift without sticking to the grates
Turn your steaks over once and continue cooking
Use meat thermometer to check internal temperatures. A medium-rare steak should heat to about 140 F. Medium will be closer to 155 F and Well Done should be at a temperature of 165 F.
Remove the steaks from the grill when the thermometer reads about 5 degrees lower than you want it (the meat will continue cooking after removed from the grill).
Let the steaks cool briefly before serving
Lastly, We have gathered all of our fave grilling recipes for you! Enjoy!
30 Summer Grilling Ideas (The Best Grill Recipes to Cook up This Summer)
I’ve gathered 30 of the best grill recipes for summer for you to try out. Whether you prefer chicken, beef, fish, healthier options, or even just a fun side dish, there’s a delicious summer grilling idea here that you’ll absolutely love!
Best Grill Recipes: Chicken
- Pineapple Habanero BBQ Chicken Kebabs – The Cookie Rookie
- Stuffed Caprese Chicken Sandwich – The Cookie Rookie
- Grilled Caprese Bruschetta Chicken – The Cookie Rookie
- Chicken Burgers w Feta/Sun-dried Tomatoes – The Cookie Rookie
- Grilled Chicken Fajitas Kebabs – The Cookie Rookie
- Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken – The Cookie Rookie
- Spicy BBQ Chicken Tostadas – The Cookie Rookie
- Honey Sriracha Grilled Chicken Thighs – Joyful Healthy Eats
- Grilled Chicken Souvlaki with Dairy-Free Tzatziki – Downsiftology
Best Grill Recipes: Meat Lovers
- Grilled BBQ Brisket Burritos – The Cookie Rookie
- Loaded Cowboy Burgers – The Cookie Rookie
- Hawaiian Pizza Hot Dogs – The Cookie Rookie
- Grilled London Broil with Corn Salsa – Nutmeg Nanny
- Smokey Grilled Apricot Lamb Kebabs – Running to the Kitchen
- Marinated Skirt Steak with Chimichurri – Grandbaby Cakes
- Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Balsamic Grilled Peaches – Foodie Crush
Best Grill Recipes: Healthy Options
- Grilled Caesar Salmon Foil Packets – The Cookie Rookie
- Grilled Portobello and Summer Squash Quesadillas – The Roasted Root
- Whole 30 Grilled Salmon Recipe – The Cookie Rookie
- Grilled Chicken Breast with Black Bean Sauce – Omnivore’s Cookbook
- Teriyaki Burgers with Grilled Pineapple – Well Plated
- Grilled Shrimp Salad – Rachel Cooks
- Grilled Vegetables with Basil Vinaigrette – Averie Cooks
Best Grill Recipes: Side Dishes
- Grilled Lemon Butter Asparagus – The Cookie Rookie
- Mexican Grilled Corn – The Cookie Rookie
- Grilled Fruit Kebabs – The Cookie Rookie
- Foil Packet Nachos – The Cookie Rookie
- Grilled Fruit Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing – A Spicy Perspective
- Grilled Vegetable Platter – Damn Delicious
- Grilled Corn Salad with Feta – Skinny Taste
Well, I hope this Guide to Summer Grilling Ideas inspired you to get the grill out and start cooking! Summer isn’t complete until you’ve had a BBQ, so pick your favorite recipes and try them out with your family and friends. Whether you prefer chicken, beef, or fish, or vegetables, you’ll find something here to suit you.
Fire up the grill and enjoy your summer!
Watch the video to see how to make Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa