Summer Grilling with Hass Avocados
Summer is synonymous with grilling and outdoor barbeques. So much so, that many have made it one of their favorite American pastimes. Become the grilling hero of your neighborhood cookouts with these grilling tips, simple decorating ideas and Hass Avocado recipes.
Great Grilling 101
- Get the best out of your grill by cleaning it well beforehand with a grill cleaning brush. Applying a thin layer of vegetable oil or using a grill wipe before you begin cooking can help prevent sticking of messier foods.
- The secret to grilling excellence is applying the proper amount of heat. If you use propane, you can easily control the temperature of your grill. If you're a charcoal purist, allow plenty of time to get an even white ash. The coals should have no visible black pieces and not too many glowing red pieces. It is also a good idea to have a meat thermometer on hand to check the internal temperature of your foods. High heat (the kind that puts a good sear on steaks) is 500 degrees Fahrenheit; medium is 350 F; and low is 300 F. At 500 F, you should be able to hold your palm six inches above the coals for just 3 seconds, medium for 7 seconds and low for 12 seconds.
- Create heat zones in your grill, pushing the bulk of the white-hot coals to one side and keeping a smaller layer on the other. This way you can cook different foods at the same time. Food won't cook evenly or well on an over-crowded grill. Spread the food out and cook in batches.
- Avoid the impulse to flip the food constantly or open the lid often. And don't press hamburgers and steaks with a spatula as that just squeezes out the juices, resulting in a dry product.
- Never leave a grill unattended. Have all your utensils at hand before you put the food on the grill. Some things to have ready include long-handled tongs, a long handled mop or brush, elbow-length hot pads and a spray bottle of water to control flares.
- To prevent bamboo skewers in your kebabs from burning, soak them in water for 10-20 minutes before you thread on the food.
- Keep it simple and easy to clean-up. Prevent damage to your table by securing newspaper or butcher paper for table cloths using masking tape. They do not tear as easily as regular paper table cloths and you don't have to worry about permanent barbecue stains on your linens. If you are looking for the color appeal of a paper table cloth yet still want to protect your table, double up by tightly securing a layer of brown paper or newspaper first and then place your paper table cloth on top. Accent and brighten up with colorful bandanas as napkins.
- Place plastic utensils and paper napkins in clean terra cotta flower pots, colorful children's sand pails or empty tin cans with the labels left on. You can also purchase inexpensive summer herbs and flowers to use as table decorations. Wrap them in tissue paper or small brown paper bags tied with raffia. They make a great take home gift for your guests or an easy way to add to your garden afterward.
- If your celebration is going to carry into the night you can light up your celebration with hanging lanterns, string lights, or decorative votive candles. Simply place on a decorative platter you don't mind getting wax on and surround with found objects to fit your theme - like seashells or colored pebbles. Or if you have little ones - save some of your empty baby food jars. Wash them thoroughly, remove the label and lid for a neat addition to your table. You can also achieve this look with inexpensive mason jars.
- A small child's swimming pool or galvanized tub filled with ice is a good way to keep canned and bottled drinks cold. Be sure to purchase additional bags of ice ahead of time to ensure you have enough ice to go inside the drinks as well.
- You've tried grilling just about everything, but have you ever tried grilling Hass Avocados? Delight your guests with your grilling prowess; serve them sizzling Hass Avocados fresh from the grill.
- Kabobs make a great grilling addition to your menu but you can also make them into easy appetizer food. Thread firm avocado chunks, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese balls, salami cubes and Kalamata olives on bamboo skewers for a fast, tasty appetizer. Try our Antipasti Kabobs.
- Everyone has their favorite topping for burgers, sausage and chicken. Be sure to have plenty of selection on hand including the master topping of them all - Hass Avocados. You can serve them mashed in guacamole or pre-sliced. Looking for a way to make your burgers sing with flavor? Season the meat with ranch dressing mix and garnish the burgers with smoked cheddar and mashed Hass Avocado like in our Avocado Ranch Burger recipe below. Yum!
- Turn grilled chicken into something special with a dollop of Avocado Salsa. Make a triple batch for dipping with chips and raw vegetables.
- Potato Salad is a classic summer cookout side dish. Yours will be the talk of the neighborhood when you include creamy chunks of Hass Avocado. Try our avocado potato salad recipe below.
Avocado Ranch Burgers with Smoked Cheddar Recipe
Haute Grilled Avocados Recipe
Hass Avocado and Red Potato Salad Recipe
Grilled Chicken with Avocado Citrus Sauce Recipe