(Family Features) Weekend barbecues, birthday celebrations and family reunions are in full swing, so up your grill game from basic to bold with a few ideas to leave your guests wanting more.
Step outside your comfort zone and create some “wow-worthy” dishes with big flavors with these recipes from McCormick and chef Roger Mooking from Cooking Channel’s “Man, Fire, Food.”
Get started with these ideas:
- Once ribs are grilled until tender, use a sharp knife to carefully slit skin on the back of each rib for easier bone removal.
- Make a giant cheese-stuffed burger by lining a 9-inch round cake pan with foil. Add in half of the ground beef followed by a cheese layer. Top with remaining ground beef and shake on seasoning for maximum flavor.
- Brine pork chops in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours before grilling to infuse with flavor and help make tender and juicy. Top with caramelized apples cooked in a cast-iron skillet.
Find more summer recipes and tips at GrillYourBest.com.
Smokehouse Maple-Brined Pork Chops
- 1/3 cup sea salt
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons and pinch, McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
- 8 cups water, divided
- 4 bone-in center-cut pork chops (3/4-inch thick, about 2 1/2-2 3/4 pounds total)
- vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples, each peeled, cored and cut into six wedges
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
- In medium saucepan, whisk salt, 1/4 cup seasoning, 1/4 cup sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly, until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour in remaining water and mix thoroughly. Transfer brine to large container with lid and cool to room temperature. Add pork chops to brine. Cover and refrigerate 8-10 hours.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush lightly with oil. Season both sides of pork with 2 tablespoons seasoning.
- Grill until bottom side of pork chops are well marked and charred, 7-9 minutes. Flip and grill 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through and internal temperature registers 145° F. Let rest under tented foil.
- Place large cast-iron skillet on grill. Juice one lemon half into small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and remaining sugar to skillet and stir with heatproof spatula until mixture resembles wet sand. Cook with grill open, stirring frequently, until sugar melts and deepens to amber, about 8 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Once foam subsides, add apples. Close grill and cook, stirring gently to coat apples in caramel, until apples are tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining lemon juice and pinch of seasoning; stir gently.
- Arrange pork chops on platter and top with apples. Zest remaining lemon half over dish. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.
Best-Ever Buffalo Rack O’ Ribs Sandwich
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup diced celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh celery leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 rack (about 2 pounds) baby back ribs
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 4 tablespoons hot sauce, divided, plus additional for spreading and serving (optional)
- 1 soft French loaf (12-14 inches), split
- olive oil
- Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- McCormick coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- To make slaw: In medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoned salt and pepper. Add cabbage, carrot, celery, celery leaves and parsley; toss to combine. Sprinkle with additional seasoned salt and pepper, to taste.
- To make ribs: Prepare grill for indirect medium heat at about 350° F.
- Insert butter knife between membrane and bone on backside of ribs. Grab membrane with paper towel then pull to remove membrane; discard. Rub ribs on both sides with brown sugar and seasoned salt. Wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil and place on indirect-heat side of grill. Grill ribs, turning once until meat is tender and pulling away from bone but not totally falling apart, about 1 hour, 15 minutes-1 hour, 30 minutes. Remove ribs from grill.
- Unwrap ribs and let cool until cool enough to handle. Using sharp knife, carefully slit skin on back of ribs and remove bones, keeping slab in one piece.
- Place boneless rib slab on direct-heat side of grill, rounded-side up, and brush top with 2 tablespoons hot sauce. Grill until underside begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip ribs and brush top with the remaining hot sauce. Continue to grill ribs until glossy and caramelized, about 2-3 minutes.
- To assemble sandwich: Scoop out most of soft insides of top of French bread to make room for toppings. Brush cut sides with oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper. Grill on direct-heat side of grill until bread is toasted and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
- Place ribs on bottom of loaf. Brush with additional hot sauce, if desired, and top with slaw, onions and blue cheese. Cover with top of loaf. Cut into four pieces.
Giant Bacon-Cheddar Juicy Lucy Burger
- 2 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, divided
- 2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef
- 8 ounces sliced medium or sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 8 long pickle slices, plus 2 tablespoons brine
- 1 round loaf soft bread (10 inches), cut in half horizontally
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 slices bacon, cooked
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- Line 9-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil, leaving extra foil over edges of pan. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons steak seasoning. Press half of ground beef into cake pan. Layer cheese in middle, leaving 1/2-1-inch border around sides. Sprinkle with additional 2 teaspoons seasoning. Top with remaining ground beef in even layer and press to seal in cheese. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
- Lift burger from cake pan using foil. Press to flatten to about 11 inches in diameter. Refrigerate until ready to cook. (Patty can be assembled up to 2 hours in advance.)
- In small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mustard and pickle brine until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
- Remove most of soft insides from top of bread to make hollow. Reserve insides.
- Prepare grill for indirect medium heat at about 350° F.
- Brush grill grates with oil. Hold burger on foil bottom and flip onto indirect-heat side of grill; peel off foil. Cook until sides of burger are cooked and it feels firm when lifted with spatula, about 8-10 minutes. Using two spatulas, carefully flip burger. Close grill and cook until burger is cooked through and cheese is melted, about 5-8 minutes longer. Move to direct-heat side of grill for 1-2 minutes per side for more char.
- Brush cut sides of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on direct-heat side of grill until bread is toasted and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
- Place bottom half of bread on large cutting board. Spread with half of mustard sauce. Place burger on top and top with tomatoes, onions, pickles and bacon. Spread top of bread with remaining mustard sauce and fill with lettuce. Place top of bun on burger and cut into eight wedges.