Fall is upon us and while summer has always been known as “grilling season,” hear us out: Chargrilled meals should have a place at your table well after Labor Day.
Grilled food is a fan favorite because it has a unique, deliciously smoky flavor that cannot be matched by any other cooking method. Plus, it’s fast, mess-free, and great for easy weekday meals when you’re feeling lazy and hungry after work. So why would we ever pigeon hole ourselves to just one season on the ’cue?
Not only does Fall bring welcomed cooler temps (no more sweating over the flame!), but think of all the autumnal grilling opportunities that come with hearty meats, sauces that bring the heat, and seasonal veggies that complement the crisp, chillier weather.
It’s time to throw on your sweatshirt and fire up the grill for Fall. For some serious food inspo, we asked seven chefs to dish out their favorite autumn-ready recipes, all of which are best enjoyed hot off the barbecue.
Courtesy of Chef Lance Knowling
“When the months turn cooler, I love making complete and composed dishes from the grill,” says Chef Knowling.
This mixed grill recipe includes three juicy meats, seasoning, and a delightful vinaigrette to top things off. It’s crazy easy to whip up—so while you’re at it, pair it with whatever veggies and sides feel seasonally apropos, like black-eyed peas, grilled carrots, and spinach.
- 4 small chicken legs
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 1 turkey kielbasa
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette (or any nice vinaigrette) plus a little extra for garnish
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
In three small mixing bowls (or 1 large bowl, if you don’t mind your different meats touching) divide the vinaigrette, spices, and lemon juice, and then mix together to make a marinade. Cut the pork tenderloin in half across and toss in the marinade; do the same with the chicken legs, then marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Next, cut the sausage in half and split to expose the middle (creating 4 pieces); put in marinade for 10-15 minutes.
Fire up your BBQ and grill your chicken legs and pork loin to desired doneness, turning as often as necessary to ensure they don’t burn. Finally, put your sausage on the grill just to heat it up before you serve.
Marinated Hanger Steak with Miso Butternut Squash
Courtesy of Executive Chef Bonnie Shuman, Weavers Way Co-op
Nothing quite says “Fall is here” like butternut squash and a nice hearty steak (which, let’s be honest, always tastes better on the grill). For this recipe, any type of squash—from acorn squash to your summer’s bounty of yellow squash and zucchini you’re dying to use up—can be prepared the exact same way with great results.
- 2 lbs. Hanger steak
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
- 4 sprigs thyme, chopped
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tbsp. miso
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tsp. sesame oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
To marinate steaks, combine olive oil, garlic, herbs, and onion in a large shallow bowl and mix to combine. Add steaks to the mixture and turn to coat evenly, massaging the marinade in. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours (or up to overnight).
Mix miso, vinegar, and oil in a bowl. Cut squash in ¼ inch disks and brush with miso mixture, then place on a half sheet to take outside.
Light the grill to high heat and allow to preheat for at least 10 minutes. Place sheet pan with squash on the grill for 2-3 minutes prior to steak. Meanwhile, remove the steak from the marinate and season all over with salt and pepper; grill it over high heat for about 10 minutes to reach medium rare. Remove all food from the grill, allowing the steak to rest 5 minutes before cutting it against the grain and serving.
Grilled Leeks with Sauce Gribiche
Courtesy of Chef David Santos
Leeks are technically part of the onion family, but these leafy greens can and should also be enjoyed as a vegetable. Many recipes call for you to discard the top green portion of leeks, but here you’ll want to leave some of the leaves, which soften and develop a nice flavor on the grill. This super-easy dish is ideal if you’re looking to seriously up your brunch game without much effort; or, you can serve the leeks as a starter or side dish and skip the eggs completely.
For the leeks:
- 8 medium leeks
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
For the eggs and sauce:
- 12 eggs
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp capers, chopped
- 6 cornichons, chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 cup high-quality mayonnaise (try: Sir Kensington)
- several cracks of black pepper
Bring eggs to room temperature and boil a 4-quart pot of water to a boil. Once the water boils, place eggs into the water, lower the temperature, and cover the pot. Cook the eggs for 10 minutes, remove from the pot, and place into an ice bath to chill for 15-20 minutes. Peel eggs, reserving the 8 most attractive eggs for plating and the remaining 4 for the sauce. Mix all the sauce ingredients; chop the reserved 4 eggs finely and add to the sauce. Set aside or refrigerate if preparing ahead.
Start the grill. Cut the tops of the leeks off about 2-3 inches above the white part, leaving some of the green leaves; then, half them lengthwise. Submerge leeks in lukewarm water and gently wash to remove any dirt between the layers. Shake off excess water and place them cut side up on a plate, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the leeks cut side down first over medium high flames for 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t let the grill get too hot or the leeks will burn before they’re cooked. Remove from the grill and arrange 4 halves per plate. Cut the remaining eggs in half and place 4 halves per plate yolk side up for presentation. Spoon with sauce and enjoy.
Courtesy of Lolo Manso, Chef and Owner of Socarrat Paella Bar
When the temperatures dip, cozying up to a big bowl of filling paella is such a mood. This Spanish rice (and meat and veggie) dish is traditionally cooked completely on the stovetop, but grilling the turkey breast first and then finishing the dish on the barbecue adds that smoky “grill food” flavor explosion that makes the meal that much better.
- 3 oz. fennel
- 3 oz apple
- 3 oz mushrooms
- 3 lb. Turkey breast
- 1 ½ cups chicken and turkey stock, heated
- 4 oz. brussels sprouts
- 4 oz. string beans
- 4 oz. asparagus
- 4 oz sweet potato
- 1 cup bomba rice (substitute: arborio)
- 6 oz. clive oil
Dice fennel and mushrooms, then sauté for 10 minutes in 2 oz. of olive oil. Peel and dice apples and add them to the fennel mixture, cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Set aside.
Clean and quarter brussels sprouts, then heat 2 oz. of olive oil in paella pan; saute brussels sprouts until brown, about 5 minutes. Add apple sofrito and saute for another 2 minutes, then add Bomba rice and saute for yet another 2 minutes. Add stock, season with salt and pepper, then bring to boil on top of the stove.
Finally, move the paella pan onto a grill and cook until done (about 20 minutes). It should be juicy but semi-dry with a nice brown color forming on the bottom—this is called Socarrat.
Season turkey breast with salt and pepper and place onto the grill for 10 minutes. Lower the heat on the grill and cook until golden brown, about one hour (until internal temp is 165 degrees). Rest turkey for at least 20 minutes before you slice it.
To serve, place sliced turkey, sweet potatoes, string beans, and asparagus on top of the rice, with cranberry sauce on the side.
Glazed St. Louis Ribs with Jalapeño Mango BBQ Sauce
Courtesy of Chef Glenn Rolnick, Virgil’s Real Barbeque
Ribs on ’cue are a labor of love — but be patient, because you can’t rush perfection and the end result is worth it. The key to a crispy, smoky outside and a tender inside is the slow cook on the grill with multiple lathers of BBQ sauce. For best results, Chef Rolnick suggests marinating your ribs for 6-12 hours ahead of time in the fridge.
And of course, top it all off with some sweet-and-spicy jalapeno mango sauce (because we don’t have to totally say goodbye to summer yet, right?).
Ingredients for Jalapeño Mango BBQ Sauce (makes about one quart)
- 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
- 1 large ripe mango, peeled and pit removed, cut into medium-sized pieces
- 7 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ white onion, sliced
- 2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 large Jalapeños, sliced in half with seeds (remove stem)
- 6 oz. pineapple juice
- 1 cup brown dark sugar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 ½ cups ketchup
- ½ cup yellow mustard
- 5 tbsp. molasses
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp. fresh cilantro
- 2 limes, juiced
Ingredients for the Ribs:
- 2 racks of St Louis Pork Ribs
- 2 tbsp. Smoked Coarse Salt
- ½ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1 cup Dry Rub
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 Tsp granulated onion
- 2 cups orange juice (or apple juice)
- 2 cups jalapeno mango BBQ sauce
- 2 cups water-soaked wood chips, preferably Hickory or Cherry.
Directions for Jalapeño Mango BBQ Sauce
In a large one-gallon sauté pot, add vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger and bring to a boil on high flame for approximately 12-15 minutes, until it reduces by half. Add all remaining ingredients except for lime, then bring back to boil for another 12-15 minutes. Blend everything together using a stick blender, then add the lime juice. Strain through medium-hole strainer and cool down.
Directions for ribs:
Generously season ribs from top to bottom with salt and pepper mix; combine dry rub, garlic, and onion and continue to season. Refrigerate and marinate.
When you’re ready to cook, place ribs into a sided baking pan with the curved side upward and pour your orange (or apple) juice into the pan. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil.
Place pan directly onto grill and cook on low flame with indirect heat for 2.5 hours, keeping the temperature around 285-295. Meanwhile, soak wood chips in cold water; once done, strain water, then place chips in a smoker tray, or wrap in heavy-duty foil and poke holes.
Remove ribs from the pan and place directly onto grill grate; place smoker tray or foil-wrapped chips next to ribs. Cover the grill and cook for one additional hour on low-low flame. Brush tops of ribs with all the BBQ sauce, then cool for yet another 30 minutes to let the glaze brown nicely. When finished, let the ribs sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Brussel Sprouts
Courtesy of Chef John Barczak, Claude’s at the Southampton Inn
Update: We’ve found our new favorite football Sunday snack. You simply can’t go wrong by wrapping an autumnal seasonal veggie in cured meat, grilling it to perfection, and covering it all in tangy BBQ sauce.
“The combination of the crunchy bacon and the charred element of the sprouts with the BBQ sauce is incredible,” says Chef Barczak.
- ½ lb. bacon strips, sliced lengthwise
- 1 lb. brussels sprouts, washed and patted dry
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
Preheat the grill to medium heat (about 350-400 degrees). If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 1 hour first to prevent them from catching on fire.
Lay your strips of bacon down on a clean surface. Wrap each brussels sprout with one halved strip and secure on skewers; repeat until done. Marinate for 10-15 mins in the BBQ sauce, then grill the skewers on all sides until the bacon is cooked and crispy (about 10 minutes). Once done, remove from the grill and baste with more BBQ sauce.
Grilled Salmon with Sweet Red Chile Sauce
Courtesy of Frank Majowicz, executive chef at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa
A light fish like salmon tastes great on the grill and year round. To turn up the heat for the chillier months and to give the fish a perfect amount of Fall flair, slather it up with this sweet-yet-zippy sauce. Four simple ingredients and only 10-15 minutes of cooking before dinner’s ready? We’re so in.
- 4-7oz. salmon portions (boneless, skin on)
- 2 Tbsp. Texas EVOO
- 2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
- 2 Tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 Tsp. sweet red chile sauce
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450-550 degrees) by brushing the cooking grates and closing the lid.
Generously coat the flesh side of the salmon fillets with oil and season evenly with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill the Salmon skin side down over direct high heat with the lid closed for about 6-8 minutes, or until the fish lightens in color and becomes more firm to the touch; you want to be able to lift the fillets off the cooking grates without them sticking.
Turn the salmon over, close the lid again, and cook for another 2-4 minutes, or longer to reach desired doneness. Remove fish from the grill, brush with chile sauce, and serve.