Fall’s already a couple weeks old. The air’s getting cooler. The leaves are changing color. And grills across America have started their yearly hibernation.
Well, it’s true. The temperature’s dipped by just a few degrees, and already people have turned away from the tastiest cooking method out there. We’d say it’s a shame, but that wouldn’t quite cut it. So let’s call it what it is: a downright tragedy.
But at Steak U, we believe in a better world and a tastier autumn. That’s why we’re urging you – YES, YOU! – to keep your grill hot and your meals full of flavor this fall.
So throw the cover off your gas-fired dynamo, or take your favorite charcoal-burning kettle grill back out from your garage, and find out why fall grilling can be even better than summer grilling (yeah, we went there). Then discover what you should be doing to make the most of your grill this autumn.
Why You Should Grill During Fall
First off, you should grill during fall for the same reason you grill during summer: it’s tasty as all get out. No other cooking method delivers the same smoky deliciousness and beautiful char that comes from open-flame cooking. Period. Done. End of discussion.
Second, fall weather is perfect for enjoying your grill. Okay, the thermometer’s dipped ten or fifteen degrees. So why wouldn’t you want to be standing in front of a hot grill, breathing in that mix of savory smoke and crisp fall air? Every griller knows how humid, hot, and sweaty a mid-August barbecue can get. But you’ll never overheat when you’re searing a ribeye on an evening in early October.
And we haven’t even started on the fall foods that work great with grilling…
Great Foods for Fall Grilling
Fall’s harvest season, and nothing (we mean nothing) beats fall fruits and vegetables on the grill. There’s no fresher, tastier side to your steak or pork chop than fire-grilled sweet potato, pumpkin, or apple.
If you’re looking for grill-ready foods to complement the season, search no further:
- Steaks & Pork Chops. Put summer meats like hot dogs and burgers away and indulge in heartier, thick-cut fare like steaks and pork chops.
- Sweet Potatoes. The sweet-smoky caramelized flavor of a well-grilled sweet potato is downright indulgent. Grill yours wedge-cut, halved, or whole. Tinfoil wrapped or exposed. There’s almost no way it won’t turn out delicious.
- Squash. Who in the world would oven-roast a squash when they could throw it over glowing charcoal embers instead? Fall is the best time of year to indulge in fresh squash, whether you prefer acorn or butternut.
- Apples/Pears. Halved, lightly oiled, and thrown on the grill to soften and char, these fall classics are the perfect complements to pork chops or ice cream.
- Pumpkin. The falliest of all fall fruits. Pumpkin takes a while to soften on the grill. But after 45-60 minutes, you’ll have a lightly-sweet, flavorful side that tastes delicious with all kinds of different spices.
- Onions. Fresh-grilled fall onions complement steaks and other savory dishes perfectly.
- Garlic. If you can buy your garlic locally, it’ll never be fresher than it is in the fall months.
Fall Grilling Tips
There’s one very simple difference between summer and fall grilling, namely: temperature. When the temperature outside of your grill is colder, it takes longer to get your grill hotter and shorter for it to cool down.
To keep your grill hot and make sure your meals turn out just as your taste buds hoped they would, follow these four easy tips:
- Add a little extra fuel. Whether that means turning the gas up a bit or throwing in a few more briquettes, the extra fuel will give you extra heat, helping balance out cooler exterior temperatures.
- Keep the lid closed when cooking. Sometimes you need an open grill – but when you don’t, keeping the lid closed helps maintain a steady, stable temperature.
- Keep the vents open. It can be tempting to close your grill’s vents as you try to get it warmer. Don’t. Closing your grill’s vents prevents oxygen from reaching the flame, and fire needs oxygen to burn.
- Use a meat thermometer. When you’re playing around with temperature, you’ll want to make sure you cook your meats exactly right. There’s no better way to make sure of this than using a thermometer.
So remember: for a tastier fall, keep your grill’s fires burning.
Not sure which grill to use this fall? Why not check out Steak U’s guide to Charcoal vs. Gas Grills and find out which is right for you.