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Bring on the BBQ: Smoky Grilled Favorites

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Bring on the BBQ: Smoky Grilled Favorites

Fire Up the Grill, It’s Time for Smoky Goodness

Ah, the sweet aroma of charcoal and sizzling meat – there’s nothing quite like it. As the weather warms up, it’s time to dust off the old grill and get ready for some mouthwatering, smoky delights. Whether you’re an avid griller or just looking to expand your culinary horizons, this guide to smoky grilled favorites will have you feeling like a certified pit master in no time.

As an unapologetic grill enthusiast, I’ve spent countless summer evenings perfecting the art of flame-kissed perfection. From tender, juicy burgers to perfectly charred veggie skewers, my grill has seen it all. But today, I want to share some of my favorite smoky recipes that are sure to take your backyard barbecue to the next level.

Smoky Grilled Brussels Sprouts: A Veggie Revelation

One of my favorite side items to make is brussels sprouts. I cook them in a variety of ways, but my absolute favorite is on the grill. You see, I’m a firm believer that pretty much anything can have its flavor improved by the magic of the grill, and brussels sprouts are no exception.

As I learned from Melissa Cookston’s website, the key to perfectly smoky grilled brussels sprouts is all about setting up your grill the right way. The two-zone fire method is the way to go – that is, putting all or almost all of your charcoal on one side of the grill, leaving the other side just warm from radiant heat. This setup gives you so many options when it comes to grilling and smoking.

First, you can cook thicker cuts of meat without the risk of excessive charring. Secondly, you have a safety zone to place food and avoid flare-ups. And third, you can introduce a whole lot more smoke flavor into the equation. That’s exactly what makes these brussels sprouts shine.

To prepare the sprouts, I simply cut off the bottom core, then roughly chop them up. I toss them in a resealable bag with some olive oil and my favorite seasonings, give it a good shake to distribute everything evenly, and then transfer the seasoned sprouts to a loose foil pouch. I place the pouch on the cooler side of the grill, add a few chunks of wood for some extra smoke, and let them cook for about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

The result? Tender, charred-to-perfection brussels sprouts that are simply irresistible. And if you really want to take them over the top, a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a generous helping of freshly shaved Parmesan cheese will do the trick. Trust me, your guests will be begging for seconds (or thirds!).

Smoky Vegan Carrot Dogs: A Plant-Based Twist on a Classic

As much as I love a good ol’ fashioned hot dog, sometimes I like to switch things up and try something a little different. That’s where these smoky vegan carrot dogs come into play.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Carrot dogs? Really?” But hear me out. These little plant-based puppies are the perfect solution for my vegan and vegetarian friends, as well as anyone looking to cut back on meat consumption. Plus, they’re loaded with flavor thanks to a simple marinade and a turn on the grill.

To make these carrot dogs, I start by selecting some nice, long carrots and trimming them to hot dog-like shapes. Then, I whip up a quick marinade of soy sauce, liquid smoke, garlic, and a few other seasonings to infuse them with that delicious smoky essence. After letting the carrots soak up all that flavor, I toss them on the grill, basting them with the leftover marinade as they cook.

The result is a surprisingly convincing “hot dog” experience, with a tender, juicy texture and a mouthwatering smoky finish. Top them with all your favorite condiments, and you’ve got a weeknight dinner or backyard barbecue dish that’ll have everyone coming back for more. Trust me, even the most die-hard meat-lovers won’t be able to resist these vegan carrot dogs.

Smoky BBQ Meatloaf: A Grilled Twist on a Classic

Now, no smoky grilling guide would be complete without a good old-fashioned barbecue dish, and this smoky BBQ meatloaf is the perfect solution.

I’ll admit, meatloaf isn’t exactly the most exciting dish in the world, but trust me, this grilled version is a game-changer. By cooking it on the grill instead of in the oven, you get a delightfully smoky and charred exterior that perfectly complements the tender, flavorful interior.

To make this masterpiece, I start by mixing up a classic meatloaf blend of ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings. But the real magic happens when I shape the mixture into a loaf and place it on a sturdy grill-safe pan or foil tray. I then fire up the grill, using that trusty two-zone setup to create a smoky environment for the meatloaf to work its magic.

As the meatloaf cooks, I baste it with a homemade barbecue sauce, allowing the flavors to meld and the exterior to develop that irresistible charred crust. The result is a meatloaf that’s bursting with smoky, tangy, and savory notes – a far cry from the dry, bland versions you might remember from your childhood.

Serve this bad boy up with some creamy mashed potatoes and a fresh, crunchy salad, and you’ve got a backyard feast fit for a king. Or, you know, just a hungry group of family and friends. Either way, it’s sure to be a hit.

Smoky Grilled Chicken Thighs: Tender, Juicy Perfection

No smoky grilling roundup would be complete without a killer chicken dish, and these smoky grilled chicken thighs are the perfect way to satisfy that craving.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Chicken thighs? Aren’t those the tough, greasy parts of the bird?” Well, my friend, that’s where you’re mistaken. When grilled to perfection, chicken thighs can be the most tender, juicy, and flavorful parts of the whole chicken. And with a little help from the grill and some well-placed smoke, they become an absolute showstopper.

The key is to start with high-quality, skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs. I like to give them a quick marinade in a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, and a few other seasonings to help them soak up all that delicious flavor. Then, it’s off to the grill, where I set up my trusty two-zone fire and let the thighs work their magic.

As the thighs cook, I baste them with a homemade smoky barbecue sauce, which not only adds an extra layer of flavor but also helps create that mouth-watering caramelized crust. And by positioning the thighs on the cooler side of the grill, I’m able to achieve that perfect balance of juicy, tender meat and crispy, charred skin.

Seriously, these smoky grilled chicken thighs are the stuff of backyard barbecue dreams. Serve them up with a side of creamy coleslaw and some grilled corn on the cob, and you’ve got a meal that’ll have your guests begging for seconds (and thirds, and fourths…).

Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce: The Secret Weapon

Of course, no smoky grilling extravaganza would be complete without the perfect accompaniment – a homemade barbecue sauce that’s bursting with flavor. And this smoky apple BBQ sauce is the secret weapon you’ve been looking for.

I’m a firm believer that a great barbecue sauce can make or break a dish, so I’ve spent years perfecting my own signature blend. This particular version features a delicious combination of sweet, tangy, and smoky notes that pair perfectly with just about any grilled creation.

The key ingredients? A blend of apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, and a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. But the real star of the show is the smoky element, which comes from a generous helping of smoked paprika and a splash of liquid smoke. Trust me, this stuff is liquid gold when it comes to taking your grilled favorites to the next level.

Whether you’re slathering it on some juicy burgers, brushing it onto those smoky grilled chicken thighs, or even using it as a dip for your crispy brussels sprouts, this homemade barbecue sauce is guaranteed to become your new go-to. And the best part? It’s super easy to whip up in just a few minutes, so you can always have a batch on hand for your next backyard barbecue.

Bring on the Smoke-Filled Goodness

So there you have it, my friends – a sizzling lineup of smoky grilled favorites that are sure to make your taste buds dance with joy. From the humble brussels sprout to the mighty meatloaf, the grill has a way of transforming even the most ordinary ingredients into something truly extraordinary.

And remember, the key to achieving that perfect smoky flavor is all about setting up your grill the right way. The two-zone fire method is the way to go, giving you the flexibility to cook a variety of dishes to absolute perfection.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your tongs, fire up the grill, and get ready to indulge in some seriously smoky, grilled goodness. And don’t forget to check out Home Cooking Rocks for even more mouthwatering recipes and grilling inspiration. Happy (smoky) grilling!


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