Outdoor Grilling

Outdoor Grilling

I will always associate summer with grilling.  It’s ingrained in me.  This past weekend provided me with the perfect opportunity to try out my new REI Camp Kitchen and Instastart Grill Stove.  A couple of friends and I headed over to a park in Brooklyn for an afternoon of soccer (the World Cup has inspired us), good company and great food.

Before we get into my day, here’s some advice on grilling, I am an expert, after all.

Oil your product, not your grill.  This is a mistake I see over and over again.  People oil their grill, to ensure that the food doesn’t stick, but that can impart an acrid smell and taste.  Oiling your product helps in three different ways: 1) it keeps your meats from sticking to the grill, 2) it helps adhere your seasoning, and 3) it gives you those nice grill marks.

Experiment grilling with different foods.  Vegetables, like asparagus and corn (which is what I cooked), gain a nice smoky flavor when grilled and it brings out the sugars in fruits creating an amazing caramelization.  Some of my other grilled favorites are romaine hearts for salads and pineapple.

Always let the finished product rest, especially meats.  I know you’re hungry and ready to get to the good part (the eating) but giving it a few minutes allows for the juices to redistribute resulting in a more flavorful bite.  Trust me, it’s worth it.

Back to my day at the park… after a very competitive two-versus-two match (my team won), we got to work on dinner.  The REI Camp Kitchen was easy to assemble and had plenty of space for me to work with; I’ll be taking this baby with me everywhere!

On the menu today: pork chops, asparagus and corn.

For the pork chops, I brushed with olive oil, then lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and tajin for a little tang and spice.  I cooked the chop for approximately 8 on each side, turning counter-clockwise 45 degrees after the first four minutes on each side; this gives you the nice hatch marks.  It’s easier to cook single pork chops rather than the doubles, I used.

While the pork chops were resting, I simply buttered and grilled the corn and asparagus.   Then, voilà, dinner was served!


Post in partnership with REI. All opinions shared here are my own.