June 23, 2020
Sun’s out, grills out! Using a BBQ not only means you get to enjoy the outdoors while you cook, it also offers some great health benefits. Light up your grill this month and become part of the National Grilling Month celebration!
Whether you use propane or charcoal, a small hibachi or a deck-wide contraption, summertime is synonymous with grilling. The aroma of sizzling burgers and glowing embers often waft through neighborhoods, and no grill season is complete without indulging in roasted marshmallows or making gooey s’mores.
When compared to baking or frying, grilled foods tend to be healthier! Why? Fewer vitamins and minerals are lost in the process. Grilling also helps food retain moisture while allowing fat to drop out of it. To maximize nutrition, choose lean meats such as ground beef, sirloin, skinless chicken, or fish. Instead of using marinade or oil to flavor the meat, try using a dry or low sodium seasoning.
Don’t let your tradition limit your imagination! You can cook just about anything on the grill. Go beyond hamburgers and hot dogs. Grilled vegetables like corn on the cob, zucchini, broccoli, or asparagus, are always a delicious option. Even grilled bananas and pineapple taste great! Peaches, nectarines or even avocados are tasty with a few grill marks. Inside foil packets, you can create a complete meal (and reduce the mess.) Making you hungry yet?
Just like cooking indoors, there are some precautions to consider. Follow these steps during your next BBQ to keep you safe and your food delicious.
- Prior to preparing, let your meat sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes to decrease cooking time.
- Season your foods liberally.
- Choose additive-free charcoal—which is just charred wood.
- Give your grill plenty of time to preheat.
- Skewer smaller pieces of meat and fish to speed up cooking time.
- Press an indent into your burger patties to ensure they don’t bulge in the middle.
- Rest meats prior to cutting and serving to juices can redistribute.
- Marinate foods in the refrigerator (never on the counter or outdoors.)
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under leaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
Did you know that 63% of the US population grills monthly, and 62% of Americans own an outdoor grill (63% gas grill; 51% charcoal grill). The four foods grilled most often are: #1 Hamburgers, #2 Steak, #3 Hotdogs, and #4 Chicken. If you grill for the 4th of July holiday, you are one of many since it is the largest grilling holiday of the year, followed by Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Sonoma Hills is part of the grilling trend. During the summer months, our residents enjoy an outdoor grilling experience more than once a month, especially on summer holidays. At Sonoma Hills, the usual go-to-foods are hamburgers, veggie burgers and hotdogs, served with potato salad or macaroni salad, and a vegetable, such as corn on the cob. The outdoor courtyard, home to the Sonoma Hills grill, is an ideal location for eating the grilled food and gathering of friends.
Now, grab your spatula, apron, and face mask, and start grilling!