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For Love of the Grill recipes for cooking out

Beer Can Chicken a moist, spiced, and unconventional twist on grilled chicken

Also known as Beer Butt Chicken. I’m a lady, though, so we’ll call them Beer Can Chickens. Essentially, this is what the two titles imply. You prop a dressed chicken on top of a half full can of beer and grill. The beer boils up into the cavity of the chicken, keeping it moist and flavorful as it cooks. It is easy (as long as it doesn’t fall over) and delicious (even if it does).

Beer Can Chicken

1 whole chicken1/2 stick butter, softened2 tbsp rosemary1 tbsp salt1 can of beer

Rub the chicken down with butter, rosemary, and salt. Drink half the beer. Light up the grill and prop the chicken on top of the beer so that it is in the cavity and the chicken is sitting on it. Close the lid and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure it hasn’t fallen down.

grilled to perfection!

Southern Brisket a traditional southern style brisket

Rubbed with a sweet and spicy mix and smoked on the grill, this brisket is tender, richly flavored, and perfectly moist.

Southern Brisket

1 3-5 pound cut of brisket 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tbsp sea salt 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes 1/2 tbsp garlic powder 1/2 tbsp chipotle 1/2 tbsp paprika 1/2 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp cracked black pepper 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp cayenne Hickory chips 1 onion 1 pat butter

The night before you'd like to serve the brisket mix together all of your spices and rub them into the brisket, all sides.

Place tightly in a plastic bag and let sit in the fridge overnight.

Soak your hickory chips in water overnight.

Your brisket will need 4-5 hours to cook and then an additional hour of rest before you can serve it, so be sure to factor that into your day.

Heat the grill to 250-300. If possible, you want the brisket to be over indirect heat, so a top rack is ideal. Place the drained hickory chips in a metal container on the bottom rack for added smokey flavor.

Wrap the brisket loosely in tin foil and place on the grill. Cook on 250-300 for 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 190-195. Check every 45 minutes or so.

In a large pan caramelize the onions in the butter. Add the brisket (and the juices!) to the pan and place in a warm oven to rest for an hour. Slice and serve!

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce a sweet treat from the grill

Freshly picked peaches grilled and served with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel sauce make the perfect summer dessert.

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce

2 large peaches 1 tbsp coconut oil Vanilla ice cream

caramel sauce:

1/2 cup sugar 1/2 stick butter ¼ cup cream 1 tsp vanilla extract

Begin by making your caramel sauce. In a heavy skillet melt the sugar, stirring constantly. Sugar will clump and then melt, continue to stir as it turns an amber brown. Cube butter and stir into sugar until combined. Remove from heat and add cream. Stir rapidly until fully incorporated. Add in vanilla extract and allow to cool.

Slice peaches in half. Brush each half with coconut oil. Grill peaches flesh side down for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Serve hot with ice cream and drizzled caramel sauce.

Eastern North Carolina Barbeque

My personal favorite way to eat pork, Eastern North Carolina barbeque is tangy, spicy, and smokey.

Eastern North Carolina Barbeque & Cole Slaw


1 6-8 pound pork shoulder


Hickory chunks*

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup red pepper flakes

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt, pepper, red pepper for meat prep

Heavy rubber gloves

Cole Slaw:

1 head cabbage

1 red onion

3 carrots

2 celery stalks

1/2 cup  mayonaisse

1 tbsp dried mustard

1 tbsp brown mustard

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp red pepper flakes


*If all you can find are hickory chips you can make packets of hickory in tin foil with slits cut in the bottom.

The day before you would like to smoke, soak your hickory in water.

To smoke a pork shoulder you'll need a charcoal grill, as well as a space (like a smaller charcoal grill or a pit) to heat additional charcoal.  Get started by heating 12-15 pieces of charcoal in each pile. On your main grill, you want to create a charcoal circle. It's important that the meat not be over direct heat, so you'll need to create a ring around the edges.  Take a metal bowl, fill it halfway with water, and place that in the center.

While the charcoal is heating, rub your pork shoulder down with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper.  When your charcoal is gray, add hickory to it place the pork in the center of the grill, over the bowl of water. Place the pork on the grill meat side down, so that the fat/skin is on top.  Cover.

Now create your baste.  Mix together cider, red pepper, black pepper, and salt. Stir well.  Set next to the grill, covered.

Every 30 minutes, you'll need to transfer hot coals to the grill, 5 or 6 each time.  When you do this, also baste the meat.  After you've transferred coals from your secondary station, be sure to replenish it with fresh coals.  Each hour add hickory chunks to your grill.  It is important to carefully monitor your coals.  you want them to be gray and smoking.  Too hot means your meat will overcook too cool and you'll be there forever.

You should factor about an hour and a half per pound of meat.  About 6 hours in, it's time to flip your meat.  This is where the rubber gloves come in! Grip the meat and carefully turn it over.  Add more coals, baste, cover.  With a 6-7 pound shoulder you'll be cooking for 9-10 hours.  When your meat has been cooking about 9 hours, you can start testing it for signs that it is done.  For one, when you grip the meat, it should give.  For a more accurate test you can take it's temperature.  The ideal temperature for your pork to be, at its center, is 155-165.  When it has reached this temperature, you can take it off the grill.  But don't get out the forks yet, it needs to rest!

Sit the pork in your kitchen and walk away.  It needs to sit for an hour so that the juices can redistribute.

After an hour it's time to pull the pork. To start doing this you need to remove the fat.  You can simply cut off the layer of fat on the top.  Next, remove the bone.  The meat should be tender enough that you can simply pull it off the bone.  Now your meat is in large chunks.  Break each chunk down to manageable sizes (that will depend entirely on your pulling style).  Use two forks to literally pull the meat apart into medium size to small chunks.  Place them in a bowl.  This process takes a while.  It's okay to do it in stages. As your meat is pulled, you want to add sauce.  Add sauce at your desired rate.  I like my pork a little wet, but not dripping.  The meat will absorb a fair amount of sauce, so go slowly.

Serve with cole slaw, sweet tea, and hush puppies.  This is how it's done in Eastern North Carolina.

Cole Slaw:

Start by thinly shredding your cabbage.  Next, grate your carrots on one of the smaller sides of a box grater.  Thinly slice your celery and onion.  Combine in a large bowl.  Add red pepper, dried mustard, mayonnaise, brown mustard, and vinegar.  Toss.  Add salt & pepper to taste.


Grilled Asparagus

With nothing but a little oil and vinegar the grill brings the best out of this fresh Spring vegetable.

Grilled Asparagus

10-12 asparagus stalks

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt & pepper

Toss the asparagus in the oil & vinegar.  Salt and pepper.  Grill for 3-5 minutes.  Turn, grill another 3-5 minutes or until tender.

Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers

These burgers, stuffed with tender bacon and salty blue cheese, are what every cookout needs.

Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers

1 lb hamburger meat

1/2 cup blue cheese (crumbled)

6 slices of bacon (cooked and crumbled)

3 tbsp steak sauce


Mix together hamburger meat, cheese, (cooked and crumbled) bacon, steak sauce, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Heat your grill.  For handfuls of meat into balls, and then use your hands to squish them into patties.  Cook on the grill 5-7 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 5-7.

Steak Sandwiches: my grandmother's grilled specialty

A standard on the Waldron family grill, these steak sandwiches with subtle spices and fresh tomatoes have been the subject of conversation for generations.

Grilled Steak Sandwiches

Steak, thinly cut

Snowflake rolls, freshly baked

Grape tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil

Salt and pepper your steak. Grill for 5-7 minutes, or until medium rare. Quarter the tomatoes and toss in olive oil and seasoning. Make your sandwiches and enjoy!

Grilled Carrots

One of my favorite side dishes throughout the year is grilled carrots. Marinated in everything from sesame oil and soy sauce to balsamic vinegar and rosemary to worchestershire sauce, grilled carrots are a subtle, hearty, and delicious compliment to pretty much any meal. In the summer we make them teriyaki style and pair them with sesame salmon. In the fall and winter I love them with roasted (or grilled) chicken and turkey with a generous sprinkle of sea salt. They’re also incredibly easy to put together. Marinate the peeled carrots in the seasoning of your choice for a few hours or overnight and then grill until tender and blackened! Voila, vitamin A!

Grilled Ham a new take on a holiday favorite

A fresh grilled ham, marinated in bourbon, is a fresh way to treat this favorite cut of pork.

Grilled Ham

ed note: This recipe calls for a fresh, uncured ham. Adding wood chips to the grill gives the pork a smokey flavor, but because it is uncured the flavor is more in the style of a pork chop than traditional honey baked ham. 

10-15lb ham, uncured


1 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup red pepper flakes

1/4 cup chipotle powder

5 cloves garlic


2 tbsp red pepper flakes

2 tbsp chipotle powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 stick butter

Hickory chips for the grill

The day before you’d like to cook and serve your ham, prepare your brine by combining all the ingredients in a large pot of water and submerging the ham completely. Cover and let sit, in a cool place, for 24 (or up to 48) hours.

The next day pat your ham down and place on a lined baking sheet. Mix together seasonings and rub evenly over ham. Cube butter and lay across ham. Heat your grill and place the ham over indirect, medium-low heat. Soak hickory chips in water and wrap in tin foil. Place on the grill next to ham. Cover and let cook, checking to baste occasionally.

Cook for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature meets 150F. Once finished remove from heat and let rest 45-60 minutes before slicing and serving.

Grilled Peach Salad

This salad is quick, easy, and delicious. The flavors of all the different ingredients come together to make a salad that is really dynamic. The sweet juicy peaches play well off the crunchy spicy nuts, and the chicken is both savory and sweet. It’s a pretty perfect summer salad, if you ask me.

Grilled Peach Salad

1 chicken breast

1 peach

1/4 cup candied pecans (recipe here)

4 cups mixed greens

3 tbsp honey

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Parmesan cheese

Mix together cayenne and cinnamon, and rub into chicken breast.  Cook over medium heat until cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking heat up your grill or grill pan.  Brush the grill with vegetable oil.  Slice your peach and brush each side with vegetable oil as well.  Grill over medium heat for 4 minutes on each side.

When the chicken has cooked, slice and return to pan.  Pour honey over the chicken and allow to simmer.

Build your salad with mixed greens, grated parmesan, candied nuts, peaches, and chicken slices.  Top with the dressing of your choice (we recommend raspberry vinaigrette)

Serves 2

Grilled Pizza

In the heat of the summer, the best pizza comes from the grill. Topped with the meat, veggies, and spices of your choosing this pizza is light, toasty, and delicious.

Grilled Pizza


1 tbsp dry active yeast

2 ½ cups bread flour

1 ½ tbsp olive oil

¾ cup warm water

1 tbsp kosher salt


3 chicken breasts

1 eggplant

goats cheese

green onions

barbeque sauce

Olive oil & salt to finish

Whisk together olive oil, yeast, salt, basil, and water. Whisk until fully incorporated, at least 2 minutes. Add half of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour and knead for ten minutes, until the dough feels like a stress ball.

Coat a glass bowl with olive oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl, turn once, and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for at least an hour. Punch down and let rise another 15 minutes.

Coat your chicken with sauce and grill until cooked. Slice your eggplants, cover in sauce, and grill. Chop into chunks.

Heat your grill to high. Roll your dough out into small rounds (these are personal sized pizzas) and coat one side with olive oil and salt. Grill, oil side down, for 3-5 minutes. Remove from grill and coat the uncooked side. Flip it over and spread your cheese over the cooked side. Top with chicken and eggplant. Place back on grill and let cook for another 2-4 minutes.

Finish with onions and sauce. Repeat until each guest has a pizza. This recipe makes 6.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin chipotle lime pork tenderloin

Tenderloin is something that I usually associate with roasted apples and fall holidays, so the challenge of creating a recipe for this time of year was exciting. We decided to marinate the meat with limes and chipotle and grill it, which created a crisp blackened skin and a moist, juicy cut of meat. Served with wilted turnip greens fresh from the Columbus County Community Farmer’s Market and crispy smashed potatoes, this was a perfect summer meal.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin

1 tbsp chipotle

3 limes

2 tbsp olive oil

6-12 hours before serving, combine pork, chipotle powder, lime juice, and oil in a bag. Refrigerate, turning occasionally.

Heat the grill to med/high heat or 375F. Grill for 6 minutes on each side, or until an internal temperature of 140-145 is reached. Remove from heat and let rest 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Grilled Potato Chips

Thinly sliced potatoes drizzled in olive oil and grilled crisp deserves a place in every cookout.

Grilled Potato Chips

3-6 yukon gold potatoes

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Slice your potatoes into 1/4″ chips. Brush olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side, so crispy but not overcooked. Enjoy!

Grilled Potato Salad

I grabbed a handful of my favorite summer vegetables, but you could vary this recipe to include whatever you wanted. I see this potato salad as a staple in our summer, changing as our garden produces new vegetables and as things come and go out of season. No matter what ingredients you’re using, the vegetable to grill sensation is outstanding.

Grilled Potato Salad

3 medium new potatoes

1 red onion

1 red bell pepper

1 squash

1 cup green beans

4-6 tbsp mayonaisse

2 tbsp dijon mustard

2-3 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

Boil potatoes for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked through.

While your potatoes are boiling, slice your squash in half, cut your peppers in thick strips, and slice your onion, lengthwise, in thick layers.  Snap your green beans.

Get your grill fired up.  Brush all of your vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Put your squash on first, then your peppers and onions about ten minutes later.  Cook another ten minutes, and turn.

Once your potatoes are cooked, scooped them out of the water and drop your beans into the boiling water.  Cook 2 minutes and strain.

After your vegetables on the grill have cooked another 10 minutes, remove them.  Roughly chop everything (I like a chunky potato salad) while it’s hot and mix together.  Add mayonnaise, mustard, and seasoning.  Give it a good turn and serve hot, or chill and serve cold.  And enjoy!

Oysters on the Grill

We’re not real fancy with our oysters, and most times you’ll see my dad or brothers eating them right out of the shell, but I prefer them with a little extra. Tabasco sauce is a great topping, as is horseradish. My favorite combination is a saltine with horseradish on it, topped with the oyster and a little hot sauce. Guaranteed to clear your sinuses.

Oysters on the Grill

A few dozen in-season oysters

Saltines to match


Tabasco sauce


Keep your oysters on ice until you put them on the grill.  Heat your grill to 300-400 degrees.  Lay the oysters directly onto the grill and close your lid.  Check them every five to ten minutes.  As soon as the shells open, they’re ready to serve.  Use a shucking tool to remove the oyster from the shell, and either eat or slide that sucker onto a saltine.

Pork, Fig, & Rosemary Browned Butter

Grilled figs and pork, bathed in browned butter.

Pork, Fig, Rosemary, and Browned Butter

2 boneless pork chops

6 black mission figs

1 cup beer

2 tbsp honey

1 stick of butter

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

2 garlic cloves

4 slices goat cheese

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Place pork in a bowl and pour honey and beer over, completely submerging.  Stick in the fridge and marinate at least 4 hours, or up to 48.

To Grill This Dish:

Remove the pork from the marinade.  Pat dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.  Fire up the grill.

Cut figs in half.  Brush both sides with olive oil.  Set aside.

In a medium skillet over low heat, melt butter with rosemary and sliced garlic.  Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until it is dark brown.

Grill pork for 5-7 minutes.  Flip.  When you’ve flipped the pork, put the figs on the grill open face down.  Place cheese on top of the pork, allowing it to melt slightly.  Cook 5 minutes and remove everything.  Let meat rest at least 5 minutes.

Combine figs and pork on a plate.  Top with browned butter sauce and serve.

To Roast This Dish:

Remove the pork from the marinade.  Pat dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oven to 350.

Slice figs in half.  In a roasting pan combine pork and figs.  Slice the butter and place the pats around the dish.  Slice the garlic thinly and sprinkle over everything.  Add rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Cover.  Let cook about 30 minutes.  Top with cheese and serve.

Salmon & Vegetable Kabobs

Tender salmon and fresh vegetables grilled to perfection.

Salmon and Vegetable Kabobs

2 salmon filets

1 squash

1 red pepper

1/2 red onion

10 mushrooms

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Salt & pepper

Slice salmon, pepper, squash, and onion.  Remove stalks from mushrooms.  Put all ingredients in a bag/bowl for 30 minutes to marinate.

Slide pieces on skewers, alternating between salmon and the various vegetables.  Grill for 10 minutes.  Flip and grill an additional 10 minutes.

Skillet au Gratin

Heavy cream, fingerling potatoes, and spices slow cooked over a gentle flame.

Skillet au Gratin

2 cups small baby potatoes

5 red potatoes, quartered

1 cup heavy cream

2 garlic cloves

1 cup vegetable stock

1 block sharp white cheddar, cubed

2 pats butter

1/4 cup flour

2 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rosemary

Combine all spices in a small bowl. In a small pot combine butter, flour, smashed cloves, and most of the spices over low heat. Stir together as butter melts. Add cream, stirring in. Add stock and 1/3 of the cheese. Let simmer until cheese is completely melted.

In a small/medium cast iron pan combine potatoes and the remaining cheese. Sprinkle remaining spices on top of the potatoes. When the cream mixture is ready, pour into the skillet. Pour from the sides so as not to disturb the spice layer on top. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.

Grilled Squash Salad

This is a light and refreshing with a burst of lemon and some good charred grill flavors.

Grilled Squash Salad

2-3 medium size squash, whatever variety you prefer

1 red onion

1 cup chopped cherry, yellow pear, or grape tomatoes

Juice of two lemons

4-6 okra


2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing on the vegetables

Fresh basil and oregano, chopped

This salad is great because it can really be made up of whatever you have on hand.  Slice your squash and okra and brush with oil.  Grill for 2-4 minutes on each side over medium heat.  Remove, chop, and combine with chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, oil and vinegar, salt, and herbs.  Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Steak & Cucumber Lettuce Wraps

These are light, refreshing, and so packed with fresh vegetables that it was hard not to feel good about what we were eating.

Steak and Cucumber Lettuce Wraps

1 medium skirt steak

1 cucumber

1 tomato or a handful of cherry tomatoes

1/2 red onion

1 jalapeño

1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Head of lettuce

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup chopped green onions

3 limes

Chop cucumber, tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and green onion. Toss together with lime juice and cheese. Set a side.

Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Over medium heat on a grill or in a pan, cook the steak for 5-7 minutes per side, depending on its thickness. Let rest five minutes, then slice.

Peel leaves of lettuce off the head. Fill each leaf with a few pieces of steak and some of the salad. Serve.

Lemon & Chardonnay Grilled Fish

A fish, dressed and stuffed with lemons and rosemary, then grilled and topped with a chardonnay sauce, is heaven.

Lemon & Chardonnay Grilled Fish


1/2 cup Chardonnay

3 tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 3 lemons

1 tbsp chopped lemon rind

3 cloves minced garlic

1 inch fresh ginger, minced


1 4-5 pound white fish, such as shad (in the herring family), scaled & cleaned

1 lemon

5 cloves garlic

2 inches fresh ginger

Salt, pepper

Olive oil

Rinse your fish off and place it on a piece of tin foil larger than the fish. Stuff the cavity with half of your sliced lemon, sliced and peeled ginger, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Top the fish with the remaining ingredients and fold the foil up over the edges. Place on the top rack of the grill and heat to 350.

In a bowl mix together chardonnay, soy sauce, lemon juice, rind, garlic, and ginger. Pour over fish occasionally, reserving enough to sauce the finished fish. Cook fish for 45-60 minutes or until the skin flakes off easily. Remove from the oven and serve it whole.  Use a fork or a knife to open the fish up, peeling the skin back.  Allow your guests to pick the meat out, and offer the sauce on the side to top the pulled meat.

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