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Summer Love: Boy Meets Grill

I WILL grill.

There are countless things to love about summer. Particularly when you have three four-year-olds who are really starting to come into their own. Though they’ve been in the water for a while now (with life jackets, of course), they’re officially taking swimming lessons and are all three doing great. In fact, it won’t be long before they lose the life jackets altogether.

And, just yesterday, we took the training wheels off of their bikes which means that for the first time ever, the trio pedaled with nothing to hold them up aside from their balance (and their running father, too, I suppose).

But this summer will be about more than just milestones. We also have a ton of fun trips planned. We just got back from a family camping trip over Memorial Day weekend and we’ve got two different beach trips that are already on the books. Add in swim meets, trips to the lake, the fourth of July and lazy days at the pool and I think you get the point. There’s a lot to love about summer.

But there is one summertime love that gives all the other ones a run for its money. And that’s my love for the grill. Truth be known, I grill out all year — even when you consider the relatively-grill-less winter months, Caroline and I still average two cookouts per week. But that’s because we stack the deck during the summer cooking out as often as four nights a week.

And this summer is no exception. As long as I have some lump-wood coal and my cast iron grate, I, quite literally, will cook anything anytime anywhere. Period.

OH. And I’ll also take pictures of whatever it is I’m cooking it, wherever and whenever that happens to be. So I can, you know, dork out and text the pics to my buddies. Hence the following collection of iPhone photos. No. These pics aren’t on Instagram. So many people use Instagram that straight pics are the new artsy. Embrace it.

And embrace these:

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  • Be Thankful 1 of 10
    Be Thankful
    Remember when I said I cook out all year long? Case in point, this 18-pound bird smoked to perfection this past Thanksgiving.
    Make a roasted turkey
  • Back to summer 2 of 10
    Back to summer
    But now that it's summer, I'll be grilling out even more. In that spirit, I present you the summer hamburger. Quick note: did you know that the best way to insure that your grilled meat is succulent is to get cuts that are at least one-inch thick. That's why I pack my patties so thick. If that's too big for you, just do what my wife does -- slice the patty in half long ways.
    Make a summer burger
  • Game of chicken 3 of 10
    Game of chicken
    I love me some chicken. This isn't the best pic in the world, but as you can see, this little hen is sitting on a stand and that stand is filled with some apple juice cut with water. I've also added some cherry wood to my grill. The apple and cherry mix well with the particular marinade I was working with that night.
    Make grilled chicken
  • Different strokes 4 of 10
    Different strokes
    While I love cooking an entire bird, I also love to grill bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. All I used here was a light coat of olive oil plus kosher salt / pepper. Well, that and cherry wood mixed with the charcoal. Make sure you soak your wood chips for at least an hour before grilling. You should grill bone-down, but I like to turn them over for the last five minutes and let the flame go to crisp-up the skin a bit.
    Make spicy grilled chicken
  • I’m no dummie 5 of 10
    I'm no dummie
    So I cook drummies. Well, these are actually smoked. They sat overnight in my favorite BBQ rub, and were then smoked for three hours, indirect heat, around 225-ish. I used hickory wood, this time, though the drip pan contained apple juice cut with water. One tip to assure your little fellas stay moist: spritz often with a spray bottle of apple juice. I go over 30 minutes or so.
    Make grilled chicken thighs
  • More than one fish in the sea 6 of 10
    More than one fish in the sea
    But you can't go all chicken all the time. So on this particular night, I went with salmon grilled atop a cedar plank. Again, soak that plank for at least an hour. We used a teriyaki marinade on these bad boys.
    Make grilled salmon
  • The other white meat 7 of 10
    The other white meat
    Don't forget about pork. These little tenderloins can be smoked with indirect heat, or, for something quick and easy, I cooked these direct with a sweet and sour marinade. Twenty minutes. Tops.
    Make grilled pork chops
  • Big daddy 8 of 10
    Big daddy
    But nothing, in my opinion, screams GRILL ME like steaks. Also my opinion -- filets are overdone. As in everyone grills them. So rock you a strip, y'all. And make sure they're over an inch thick. And remember when I said I'd cook anywhere? Not kidding. These were grilled last weekend during our camp out over coals gathered from an open fire mixed in with lump wood coal.
    Make a classic grilled steak
  • Grill marks optional 9 of 10
    Grill marks optional
    And they turned out great. A perfect medium rare.
    Make grilled flank steak
  • Home grill advantage 10 of 10
    Home grill advantage
    So, sure, I'll cook over an open fire any day, and those steaks really were delicious, but it's hard to control your flame over an open fire as opposed to on your grill. So those previous steaks, for example, weren't quite as crispy on the outside as I like. These bad boys here were cooked on my Big Green Egg at home, so not only were they medium rare, but also a touch charred on the outside. Just the way we like 'em.
    Make a Bloody Mary grilled steak

Hey, you know what I just realized? I don’t have any pictures of ribs in that slideshow. In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve not smoked ribs in a while. You know what that means, don’t you?

Papa’s rockin’ ribs this weekend. Y’all come over if you want some. We’ll be down by the pool.

What do you like to grill during the summer?

Read more of JCO Multiplied:
How I Met Your (Single) Mother. And By Met I Mean Married.
Dogs vs. Infants
15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know

8 Reasons Family Road Trips Kill Your Soul Dead
Raising Pretty Girls
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Check out my personal blog over at JohnCaveOsborne(dot)com

 

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