When most people think about grilling, they picture a relaxing end to a hot summer day with savory steaks and burgers on the barbecue. But barbecuing is not simply a summer sport, and now that the invigorating fall air is on its way, you should not put your grill away just yet. Fall barbecues actually have a lot to bring to the table. While you probably don't want to keep the summer menu going, autumn meals are just as delicious, and possibly even more fun to put together. The intricate spices, aromas, and flavors of autumn allow you to add a creative, imaginative flair to your meals that summer barbecues just can't give you. Here are 5 things that may tempt you into taking your grill into fall with you.
5 Reasons Why You Should Bring Your Grill With You Into Fall
There is really nothing like the ambiance of autumn. The combination of oranges, reds, yellows, and browns bring a feeling of peace and relaxation mixed with energy and excitement. Summer is over, so the heat wave is gone, but winter is not here yet. It's a time of creativity and contentment that can roll over into your meals. If you do it right, autumn barbecues have the capability of replacing summer as your favorite time to light up the grill and invite everyone over for a party. These five tips will make you and those around you turn fall into your go-to grill time.
1. The weather is cooler, making grilling more enjoyable.
Instead of the sweltering heat of summer, fall breezes and crisp, fresh air invites you to step outside and breathe in life. Whereas the hot temperatures of summer tend to make people gravitate towards the air-conditioned rooms in the house, autumn temps allow them to hang around and relax outside.
This outside setting lets you be more creative with your seating arrangements and limits your pre- and post- party cleaning needs. You can set up chairs and picnic tables in your backyard and eliminate the necessity of anyone tracking dirt into your house unless they need to use the restroom.
Your creativity does not have to stop there, though. Fall barbecues are the perfect time to move the party's location to places like a nearby park or beach. Fire up a bonfire or your grill, set up chairs around the warmth (it is perfectly acceptable to tell guests to bring one or two of their favorite folding chairs themselves, saving you the hassle of running around trying to find enough seats,) and bring some speakers for mood music.
2. Your menu options are much more varied.
Autumn is the season of spices, pumpkins, apples, and more ingredients that we shy away from the rest of the year. Take the opportunity to be imaginative with your recipes and run with it! Instead of steaks and hot dogs, try grilling turkey, chicken and pork chops. They all taste great with an apple bourbon glaze, or marinated in rosemary and other delicious spices. Don't stop there, though! Step up your sides and desserts with some unique fall-based dishes. Try a grilled apple salad, spicy potato salads, and of course, the ever popular pumpkin and sweet potato pies. This is your chance to up your culinary game and master the art of autumn cooking!
3. The lazy days of autumn mean more relaxation and less rush.
Summer barbecues are often a rush as people line up to get their food and hurry to eat it before everything melts, they overheat, or the bugs get to it before they can. Autumn cooking gives you a change in the entire atmosphere as people change their actions and their eating. In the cooler temperatures of fall, the bugs tend to disappear, the heat is no longer an issue, and your guests can take their time to enjoy conversation while they go for second plates of your excellent grilling. You can even change your grilling technique from hurrying to get out of the heat and to your guests, to relaxed, long, slow meals cooked until the meat is so tender it falls off of the bone.
4. You can use charcoal grills instead of gas or propane.
Gas and propane tend to be the go-to grills for the summer for many reasons. They work great for summer foods, heat up quickly, and cook fast. But in the fall, those criteria are not necessarily needed. Instead, fire up your charcoal barbecue, start a slow banking of the coals, and then lower the heat by cutting back your airflow. This allows you to perform the long, slow cooking process that creates tender, juicy meat. For a rating of some of the most popular portable charcoal grill options available, this guide about choosing the best one may help you decide which grill to invest in for your next autumn barbecue.
5. Autumn is the best time for smoking barbecues.
When you use charcoal when you are grilling, the smoky smell permeates the air and lets the entire neighborhood know that someone is having a barbecue (and they are always envious!). But charcoal also gives you the chance to enhance the flavors of your food with different soaking options. Instead of just using basic charcoal briquettes, add a professional touch to your food by soaking wood chips in water. Try hickory, apple, or cedar for that extra autumn flavor.
Make Your Grill Part of Your Fall Wardrobe
Just like when you begin determining what gets packed up once summer is over and what should start to come out of the closet, let your grill stay out as part of your autumn essentials. Let the extra creativity that a fall barbecue allows you to have give you a chance to change your atmosphere. Throw in some festive autumn decorations, have a beach barbecue, and let yourself and your guests relax and enjoy the freshness of the air and the flavors of autumn.