Our Favorite End-of-Summer Grilling Recipes for a Backyard or Backwoods Cookout

August 23, 2016

As we head into the last days of summer, it’s time to fire up the grill and take advantage of the warm summer nights while you still can. With sunset coming sooner, just keep a few LuminAID lights on hand to illuminate your grill and dinner table after dark.

LuminAID Sales and Operations Manager Daphna made learning to grill her summer project this year, and she shares some of her favorite grilling recipes and guides below.

The Basics: Learn to Grill

Grilled Pizza

Recipe and image from here

Sam Sifton’s How to Grill guide is a great place to start if you are new to grilling. Bookmark this on your phone for concise how-to’s on using gas and charcoal grills, as well as recipe collections for all the different types of things you can grill.

Light it Up!

The easiest way to light your charcoal grill is with Instafire’s charcoal starter. Their single-use pouches weigh only 2.2oz, so they’re easy to pack if you’re planning to grill on a camping trip, and there’s no mess -- you light the pouch and the whole thing burns away! If you grill at home, you can stock up by buying a 2 gallon bucket to keep on hand.

Eat Your Veggies: Easy Grilled Corn with Herb Butter

Light it up grilled corn

Recipe and image from here

When I’m at the store or farmer’s market, I always pick up a few ears of local corn to toss onto the grill. This recipe from Bon Appetit is great, because you can make the herb butter in advance, and swap in different herbs based on what you have available. I like to sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top when I take the corn off the grill. P.S. a slice of bread is a handy tool for spreading butter on corn -- and you can grill that, too!

A Classic for a Reason: Double RL Ranch Burger

Summer Grilled RL Burgers

Recipe and image from here

There’s an RL in Chicago, and I’m not ashamed to admit that my boyfriend and I have gone there for lunch just to split the burger. There’s something really satisfying about a classic burger done exactly right. This recipe is a good guide for taking the standard burger up a notch with special sauce and high-quality toppings.  Watch the video for a step-by-step guide. My only suggestion: spread a little bit of mayonnaise onto the bun and toast it while the burgers are finishing up. This helps keep the bun from getting soggy once you assemble the burger.

Make Ahead: Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Summer Grill

Recipe and image from here

I love recipes where I can prep all my ingredients in advance, especially if I’m going to be cooking over a hot grill. These kebabs can be prepared and marinated up to 2 days in advance, so you can just grab them out of the fridge whenever you’re ready to throw them on the grill. Check out the rest of Smitten Kitchen for great side dishes to go with these kebabs, including tsatsiki and homemade pita!

Not Just For Meat: Grill Your Salad

Grilled Salad

Recipe and image from here

Did you know that you can grill fruit?  And even cheese? This salad looks fancy, but it’s actually really easy. You can pick up halloumi cheese at many farmers markets, Whole Foods, and in many cases even your local grocery store -- it can stand up to the heat of the grill, and slices up really nicely for salads, kebabs, or sandwiches. For the peaches, I would recommend slightly firmer ones, so that they’re easier to cleanly slice. For grilling delicate items like peach slices, a long pair of tongs come in handy and save your peaches from falling through the grates.

Save Room For Dessert: S’Mores

Grilled Smores

Recipe and image from here

Our friends at Cotopaxi have a great guide to the ultimate campsite treat: s’mores.  You can make s’mores at home on your grill, or even in your kitchen -- really, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be making s’mores every night. Right? Anyway, I recommend Cotopaxi’s S’moreo because chocolate is always better with peanut butter.  

Happy grilling!


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