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Frugal Outdoor Cooking

Contributed by: Cyndi Roberts

Firing up the grill is a great way to cook in the summer! Here are a few grilling tips and a couple of recipes, too.

For great grilled burgers, form the patty gently. Smashing the meat forces out moisture.

Sear both sides of the burger on both sides, then move the burger and cook with indirect heat till done.

Use a meat thermometer to gauge when the meat is done. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

When grilling chicken, remember that dark meat needs longer on the grill than breast meat. Also, bone-in parts cook longer than boneless parts.

Place the pieces that need to cook the longest on the grill first, and then move them to a cooler area of the grill to finish cooking after they have browned.

Again, use a meat thermometer to tell when chicken is done. Bone-in parts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 degrees; boneless parts to about 160 degrees.

Tropical Glaze for Grilled Chicken

  • 1 small can crushed pineapple
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mustard

Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons of juice. Mix pineapple, reserved juice, brown sugar, lemon juice and mustard.

Brush chicken parts with glaze often during last 10 minutes of grilling.

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Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 or 3 dashes hot pepper sauce (optional)

Mix all ingredients in saucepan; bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Use to baste burgers or pork chops during last 10-15 minutes of grilling.

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Always be sure to cook on a clean grill. If you have a gas grill, leave it on for a couple of minutes after you finish cooking, with the lid down. If you have a charcoal grill, just close the lid and let it burn out. Then you can scrub the grate with a wad of aluminum foil.

Be sure not to cook at too high a temperature and don't lift the lid and peek too many times. You'll just be adding to the cooking time, because the temperature will be lowered.

For a great warm weather dessert, try this cool fruit combination.

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Stir together and spoon over sliced fresh bananas.

Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter and founder of the website of the same name. Visit http://www.cynroberts.com to find creative tips, articles, and a free e-cooking book. Subscribe to the newsletter and receive the free e-course "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".


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