Pressed for time and want to serve healthy food fast? Here is a quick solve! Grilling meats and veggies is essential during the summer months. Not only do you get Vitamin D from the sunshine, you can enjoy being around family while making dinner. For those of us who are pressed for time, grilling meat and veggies make for a quick, healthy, and easy meal. However, not everyone knows exactly how to grill or to what temperatures to use.
Equipment and tools
Having the right equipment is essential to cooking a succesful meal. You will need a gas or charcoal grill, tongs, a spatula, and a wire brush for easy cleaning. Also, it is helpful to have a digital thermometer when cooking meats.
Direct Heat and Indirect heat
Whether you are using a charcoal grill or gas grill when grilling meats and veggies, there are a few terms that are helpful for cooking. Foods such as hamburgers, kabobs, and seafood you would use direct heat, which means these products are directly over the flame. This sears the meat and treats a caramelization. Indirect heat, which means the meat is placed on a cooler part of the grill without any heat or flames beneath it. This technique is used when you want more control over the cooking process.
When grilling meats, veggies, and seafood, it is important to know the safe cooking temperatures to prevent foodborne illnesses. While the safe internal temperature for beef, pork, lamb, roasts, and seafood is 145 degrees, it also depends on how you like your steak cooked. All temps listed below are in Fahrenheit.
For steaks 125-130 degrees is considered rare, 130-140 degrees is medium rare, 145 degrees is medium, 150 degrees is medium well, and 160 degrees is well done.
It is important to remember that when letting a steak rest, it will rise about 5 degrees (known as carry-over cooking). Therefore, it is recommended to take the meat off the grill when it is 5 degrees lower than the desired temperature. To test the temperature, use a meat thermometer and place it towards the center but not touching any bone or fat.
Hamburgers have a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, but still depends on how someone likes their burger cooked.
Chicken and poultry products should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If reheating casseroles or leftovers, which can certainly be done on the grill, always reheat to 165 degrees.
Forget about throwing the veggies in water to boil, take your veggies to the grill! Add flavor and add some interest to your dinner table on the grill. Lightly dress fresh veggies in extra virgin olive oil. Use aluminum foil and bake potatoes, roast mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Next, grill asparagus and zucchini right on the top of the grill. If you are a vegetarian, a grilled portobello mushroom or grilled cauliflower steak will taste smoky and delicious. This is a simple way to add flavor to your veggies and these veggies pair well with any proteins listed above for a great summer lunch or dinner. Try this recipe from One Balanced life for a delicious spin on the BLT salad.
This is the Summer time version of the one pot meal! If you have a productive day at work and want to serve yourself or your family a quick and healthy meal when you get home, prep the meat and chop the veggies before you leave for work. Once you get home, throw the playground ball outside, pour a glass of lemon water and enjoy some family time while your dinner is on the grill.