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Barbecue Secrets

A meal to launch this year's barbecue season!

May 20, 2010

15 Steps to a Great Grilled Dinner

This article originally appeared in Westjet's Up magazine. I've adapted it to suit the occasion.

Even though it isn’t officially summer for another month, I’ve always considered the Victoria Day long weekend to be the official beginning of the summer grilling season. So just follow these simple steps for a quick, delicious grilled meal for family or friends that will get your grilling muscles toned up for a sizzlin’ summer!

This is meant for a family of four, and it’s designed to be super-convenient so you can do it right after work if you want. Adjust according to the size of your family or party.


1. Stop at the supermarket and buy:

4 one-inch-thick rib eye or New York strip loin beef steaks

6 cobs fresh corn

1 or 2 bunches fresh asparagus

1 lemon

1 fresh pineapple

1 pint vanilla ice cream

You’ve already stocked up on the following basic ingredients so you don’t have to waste precious time running around the store: beer, wine, lemonade, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic cloves, fresh ginger, lemon, tapioca starch (corn starch will do), olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper, and a can of cooking spray.

2. In one smooth motion, arrive home, put on some summer music, and pour you and your partner a drink.

3. Get one of the children to shuck the corn and put the cobs in a bowl of cold water. Get the other to set the table and make some lemonade.

4. While you’re catching up with your partner, in a shallow pan (like a lasagna tray) combine a few glugs of soy sauce, a splash of sesame oil, a couple of smashed cloves of garlic, and some grated or finely chopped ginger. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half into the mixture. Add about a tablespoon of cornstarch and a generous grinding of black pepper.

5. Stir all the ingredients into a smooth mixture and add the steaks, turning them to coat them. Set them aside, and turn them every five minutes or so.

6. Start your propane or natural gas grill (use charcoal if you like, but in this case we’re going for speed and convenience) and let it preheat on medium-high for about 15 minutes.

7. While the grill is preheating, top up the drinks. Wash and trim the asparagus and dry the stalks by wrapping them gently in a paper towel or dry dishcloth. Transfer the asparagus to a mixing bowl.

8. Trim the pineapple and cut it into half-inch | 1.2 cm thick slabs. Lightly salt and pepper the slices and set them aside.

9. Place the corn cobs and the steaks on the grill. Close the grill (keep it closed throughout) and turn on a timer for four minutes.

10. Turn the corn and the steaks at the four-minute mark. Turn on the timer for another four minutes.

11. Turn the corn again. Check the steaks for doneness by prodding them with your finger. If they’re springy to the touch, they’re done. Take the steaks off the grill, put them on a platter, and tent them with foil.


12. Drizzle some olive oil on the asparagus and sprinkle it lightly with salt. Toss the spears to coat them, and place them crosswise on the grill, taking care not to lose the stalks through the grate. Turn the corn once more. Close the grill and set the timer for two minutes.

13. Yell to gather the family for dinner, and take the asparagus and corn off the grill. Turn the heat to medium and lightly coat the cooking grate with the cooking spray. Place the pineapple slices on the grill.

14. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the asparagus; make sure there’s butter on the table so people can slather it on their corn; and arrange the vegetables and steaks on a platter. Dinner is served.

15. Halfway through eating your steak, get up and turn the pineapple. By the time the main course is done, the fruit will have nice char marks. Serve it with a dollop of ice cream and enjoy the sunset.


Happy grilling, everyone!