Get Your Grill On

Try making these vegetable kebabs, marinated in Vom Fass seasonings.

The sun is shining and that rotten green pollen is gone. Crack open a cold one and get those tongs ready, because we’ve collected all the tips and tricks you need for a successful grilling season.

Before Bringing the Heat

Go beyond salt and pepper by adding flavor to your plain meats and veggies with marinades, rubs and spices that carry tastes from around the world right to your grill.

Vom Fass in Waverly Place is known for its many choices of oil and vinegar to sample and purchase. It’s also the place for flavor blends like Billy G’s Eastern Carolina BBQ Kit, the store’s number one sauce, says owner Julie Ginsler.

Vom Fass’ Billy G’s BBQ Kit, which includes Red Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Apple Balsam Vinegar, and Sweet & Spicy BBQ Rub is great for marinating vegetables and meats alike.

“The warming heat from the Red Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil paired with the sweetness from the Apple Balsamic is a winning combination on its own,” she said. “But we take it to a higher level by adding some Sweet & Spicy BBQ Spice Blend.”

The blend contains brown sugar, paprika, salt, mustard seeds, pepper, onions, garlic, celery, chili and marjoram.

“When added to the Red Pepper and Apple combo, it makes a delicious finishing sauce for chicken, pork, shrimp, lamb and beef,” she said.

Marinated & Grilled Veggie Kebobs
Makes about 8 kebobs

¼ cup Vom Fass extra virgin olive oil, such as San Gimignano or tomato-infused
¼ cup Vom Fass balsamic vinegar, such as Aceto Balsamico Platinum
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Vom Fass herbes de Provence spice blend
Salt and pepper to taste

1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 yellow squash, sliced into rounds
2 cups medium-sized button mushrooms
1 red or yellow onion, roughly cut
1½ cup cherry tomatoes


  1. In a bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients.
  2. Thread the veggies, alternating order onto skewers
  3. Place skewers in a baking dish or pan
  4. Brush the marinade evenly onto the skewers.  Let sit 15 minutes.
  5. Lightly oil grill grate.
  6. Place skewers over medium heat and grill for 15-20 minutes, turning and basting every 5-6 minutes until they are tender crisp

Recipe tips:

If you don’t have all the veggies, use what you have. Even pineapple chunks would work well.

No skewers?  Just grill the veggies in a pouch made from aluminum foil.

Turn Up the Heat

Want to get grilling, but not sure how to get started? Check out these tips from Dan Saklad, owner of Whisk in Waverly Place.

1. Start marinating now.

There’s nothing worse than being caught off guard day-of by some unexpected marinating time. This is a good reason check any recipes you plan on making in the next few days and, if marinating is needed, do it today. To keep on the safe side, give yourself at least a full day’s worth of marinating before you plan to grill.

2. Wood’s your secret weapon.

How to make whatever you’re cooking about 16 times more delicious: Seek out wood chips or planks.

3. Have something for everyone (that is, your vegetarian and vegan friends.)

No one wants to be stuck arranging a plate of corn and potato salad alone.  Grill fat slices of marinated zucchini or tofu, veggie burgers, or kebabs. Tempeh and seitan will both be received with gratitude.

4. If there’s bread, grill that too.

Brushing hot dog and hamburger buns with a little butter and then sliding them onto the grill is the next best thing to making them yourself.

5. Truly last-minute grilling? Turn to fish.

Fish cooks in less time than it takes the grill to heat up. A fish sandwich is a welcome alternative to a burger! And shellfish are a good grilling option, too.  Cedar planks are your friend. Grilling baskets are your friend. Cast iron pans are your friend.

6. Embrace searing.

Meat can be seared and then grilled, and veggies can be grilled low-and-slow and then seared. It’s the best of both worlds: a gorgeous, flavorful crust and the smoky goodness of grilling.

Bring On the Meat

Gas or Charcoal? Derek Wilkins, owner of The Butcher’s Market, calls it The Big Debate when it comes to grilling. Both have their perks, he says, depending on what you’re making and the time you have.

“Most weeknights we fire up the gas grill and get dinner done nice and quick. Whenever I have the extra time, I will always go for my Kamado Joe using lump charcoal, as it truly does add a nice light, smoky, fire-roasted flavor,” Wilkins said.

Grill type doesn’t matter when it comes to form. Wilkins says to always oil the grates once they have preheated, right before adding meat or veggies. Dip a paper towel in vegetable oil and use tongs to brush the towel along the grill top.

Temperature is key, so he recommends having a good thermometer on hand.

“If it’s a thin cut of meat, I use a digital-flip style, or if it is a thick cut like a roast, I use a digital leave-in,” Wilkins said.

If your goal temperature is medium-rare, 130 to 135 degrees for beef, remove your meat from the heat at 125 to 130 degrees,and let the meat rest for about 10 minutes. The juices will settle and the meat will rise to its final temperature.

When it comes to seasoning, Wilkins says less is more.

“If you have a good quality cut of beef, you don’t want to cover up the natural flavors of the beef,” he said. “Good old fresh-cracked, multicolor pepper and sea salt crystals are my go-to.”

From his shop, Wilkins recommends The Butcher’s Market House Seasoning, a blend of mesquite, tamarind, herbs, chipotle chili flakes and brown sugar.

“Give it a try,” he said. “You will be glad you did.”

Don’t Forget Dessert

When it comes to summer desserts, fresh is best. Keep the grill hot once dinner is finished and trade out your meat and veggies with halved peaches and plums or watermelon and pineapple.

Top the caramelized fruit with a scoop of ice cream, and you’ll please the whole crowd. And, it’ll be one less dish to clean.

For a different kind of dessert, order a pie from Slice Pie Company. With summer flavors like key lime, coconut cream and lemon chess pies to choose from, it’s sure to please every sweet tooth.

Lemon chess Pie from Slice Pie Company is a refreshing end to a meal. Photo by Bohío Fine Art Photography

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