(Charcoal) grill me!
April 26, 2015 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Partner and I are going glamping (well, bungalow-in-the-middle-of-nowhereing) this week. Since we live in an apartment, we get very, very, very excited whenever we have access to a charcoal grill...

As in: we want to charcoal grill breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I hear you can even bake dessert if you use a cast iron dutch oven*.

The only recipe I know we're doing for certain is Alton Brown's paella recipe. The rest is open season!

So, what are your favorite grilling recipes that really bring out the beauty and complexity of a skillfully used charcoal grill?

Bonus points if it's ethnic, spicy, smokey, or just gastronomically "out there." No limits!

We prefer to stick to natural lump charcoal, and we really like to play around with different flavors of wood chips. Also, since we're staying in a place that has a full/modern kitchen, we'll be able to stock a decent amount of meats, vegetables, etc and are bringing our entire spice cabinet with us.

*I do not currently own a cast iron dutch oven, but I will pick one up (as well as any other special grilling accessories) if it's going to significantly improve the quality of my culinary experience. We will be bringing a 12 inch cast iron skillet, and a paella pan.
posted by nightrecordings to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I have a number of go-to's for grilling and they all tend to be on the simple side:
Rib eye, salt and pepper, grill until medium rare, with one turn.
Grilled lemon pepper chicken - chicken thighs liberally coated with good fresh lemon pepper (I like Sunny Spain from Penzey's), turn 3 or 4 times during cooking, watch for flare-ups
Tonight we just had grilled tomatoes - cut the top off tomatoes, scoop out the insides, salt liberally and set upside down on a plate to drain, put a small piece of fresh mozzeralla inside, sprinkle each with 1/2T of herbed bread crumbs and grind pepper on top. Roast over coals until the cheese melts.

When we camp, we wrap up potatoes in foil and put those on glowing goals after everything else is done and then retrieve them in the morning for making hash browns for breakfast.
posted by plinth at 5:17 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

This might not fall in to complicated, exotic or out there, but peaches (even if they aren't the best peaches) grilled and topped with GREAT vanilla ice cream is awesome. If you want to get fancy I bet there are complicated sauces you can add.

Sounds awesome, have fun.
posted by beccaj at 5:17 PM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo Pepper have been a recent household favorite here, eaten with pita warmed on the grill and hummus.
posted by Graygorey at 5:20 PM on April 26, 2015

I was going to make a similar suggestion to beccaj's -- grilled nectarines with lemon mascarpone. You can prep the streusal in advance and just take it with you in a ziplock bag.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:39 PM on April 26, 2015

This tandoori-style chicken is good.

Grilled pizzas are all the rage right now. Haven't tried it (I also live in an apartment) but it sounds so good.
posted by lunasol at 6:30 PM on April 26, 2015

Do you know what the grill is like? Is it suitable for both low, indirect heat (and smoke) and direct, super-high heat?

If you can get clean, high heat, that's great for any kind of yakitori, or grilling fish.

On the other hand, freshly smoked fish is great with eggs for breakfast.
posted by WasabiFlux at 6:51 PM on April 26, 2015

Baba ghanouj is grilled, 'ethnic', simple, and delicious! Alton Brown makes his in a food processor, but when I've made it, I've just roughly mashed it like Elise's from Simply Recipes.

What about chicken tikka masala or anything tandoori?

For something to bring home and extend the grill-use/memories: apparently you can make your own smoked salt. Here's one recipe, here's another. I've never tried this but always wanted to! It's awesome in the kitchen and so expensive to buy.

If you have the ability, maybe smoked ice cream? If you don't have the facilities, you could just try smoking the cream and whipping it, and then eating it with fruit or some kind of (grilled?) cobbler or just from a spoon.

And there is, of course, the classic American s'more. Here's a bunch of fancy variations from the Kitchn!

Thank you for this post! Smoke is one of my favorite flavors and I'm really enjoying these ideas. I don't have a grill either, so I'm cooking vicariously through you!
posted by spelunkingplato at 6:56 PM on April 26, 2015

You can't go wrong with Alton Brown. Look up his roast lamb, and the seared tuna, both charcoal based. I love them and use these recipes to impress guests.
posted by nickggully at 7:53 PM on April 26, 2015

If you want dutch oven recipes, the Boy Scouts have you covered. Here are 555 recipes.

The cobbler is always a hit at our campouts.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:12 PM on April 26, 2015

Theres' a book called Smoke, by Tim Byres that is fantastic and has a bunch of recipes for breakfast as well as dessert ideas. If you can pick that up he's got whole meals in there you can glom on to (I found this at my local bookstore).

Taco's are always great. Perhaps a Lamb Barbacoa or Carne Asada Taco's with Mojo?
posted by bitdamaged at 9:32 PM on April 26, 2015

Last night mr jane grilled a turkey after he rubbed it with cumin, cinnamon, coriander and a little bit of thyme. We served it with foil packet potatoes + sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus to rave reviews from our guests. A whole turkey might be a lot (but it freezes well), maybe the same treatment to a turkey breast?

Also recommending grilled pizza.
posted by sarajane at 5:16 AM on April 27, 2015

Oh, and lamb shoulder marinated it lots of garlic, olive oil and lemon is fantastic grilled.
posted by sarajane at 5:17 AM on April 27, 2015

Marinate some beef and make grilled bulgogi. Also, try grilled pineapple. Yummy!
posted by jraz at 10:19 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Grilled, marinated vegetables? Squash, eggplant, bell peppers, artichokes, leeks, onions, tomatoes and probably a lot of other stuff sliced and grilled then marinated while still hot in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chili. Tastes good both hot, warm and cool

Homemade merguez? I haven't tried yet but it is at the top of my list for a dinner where I also put my tagine over the coals. (I've been known to put every available clay pot in the house on the grill with different stews in them. Now when we have induction, and I can't use the ceramics indoors, this will get worse). I'm also planning a yakitori night. Maybe already this next weekend
posted by mumimor at 2:12 PM on April 27, 2015

I forgot: also make bread on the grill. I turn my wok up-side down and find inspiration from middle eastern breads Basically I make a yeast dough, let it rest, then roll it out very thin, and then put it on the upside-down wok. It always bakes wonderfully in very, very short time, and it is so delicious I cannot keep up with demand. But if it is just the two of you, this is simple and lovely. With the Baba Ganoush suggested above - perfect
posted by mumimor at 3:52 PM on April 27, 2015

Seconding Jraz's suggestion of bulgolgi: the sweet marinade combined with smokey charcoal is delicious, and very easy to make! In a similar vein, you could try BBQ baby back ribs / brisket. Seafood on charcoal can be a bit tricky, but if you don't overcook them, calamari, whole fish and prawns in their shell cooked over coals, and served with some lemon, and a beer is one of my favourite meals. Chuck a whole eggplant on the grill and watch it collapse in on it's gooey self, before serving it as a simple side that you will burn your fingers to get at. I also enjoy chargrilled corn slathered in fish-sauce flavoured lard / butter flecked with spring onions.
posted by travellingincognito at 7:45 AM on May 3, 2015

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