You Go, Grill

July is National Grilling Month — but don’t think that means grilling is just for the summer. According to an Acosta Sales and Marketing report in 2015, 61 percent of shoppers grill more than eight months out of the year, which adds up to a lot of charcoal!

“Grilling is a true American pastime and provides the perfect opportunity to bring the kitchen outdoors,” said Peter Mayes, director of meat and seafood, aka the “Grillmaster,” at Fresh Market.

While grilling may be a fun and popular cooking style, it can come with setbacks, from dry burgers to unevenly cooked steaks. Thankfully, Mayes has tips to cure all your grilling woes, and some suggestions to spice up your menu.

  1. Don’t flip.

“Resist the urge to flip and flatten burgers while grilling!” said Mayes, the number one mistake most grillers make. “This will release the juices and results in a tough, dry patty. Instead, cook the burgers until they’re halfway done, flip once and continue to your desired temperature.”

  1. Kebab it.

“Kebabs are great for entertaining because you can prepare them in advance and make a variety of flavors for a wide palate of taste buds,” said Mayes.

  1. Liven up your sides.

Mayes says you can grill anything from avocado to potato salad. “To grill, slice red skin potatoes in half inch rounds, drizzle with olive oil, place on grill and cover for about five minutes. Flip potatoes and repeat — easy as that!”

Roughly chop the potatoes and toss with sliced scallions, lemon juice, a spoonful of course grain mustard, salt, pepper and fresh parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  1. Don’t skip dessert.

Mayes suggests sweet grill recipes like peach halves brushed with butter, or grilled bananas to round out the perfect banana split. Fruits are great for grilling!

  1. Keep steaks simple.

You only need three ingredients to prepare a delicious, juicy steak: coarse salt, freshly cracked black pepper and steak, Mayes says. If you have trouble cooking your steaks evenly, it may be because they are at the wrong temperature before you ever put them on the grill. He says steaks should go on the grill at room temp; it usually takes around half an hour to get them there.

“Whether you are entertaining a large crowd or preparing a steak dinner for two, firing up the grill elevates your meal to a new level of deliciousness!” said Mayes.

Happy grilling!

For more grilling tips and recipes, visit

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