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Back Issues
2012 - Spring Issue
Casas Bonitas
Outdoor Living
Article: Jessica Muncrief
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The backyard grill is certainly your go-to cooker for perfect steaks, sausages and burgers, but you might be surprised to find that your outdoor grill is much more versatile than you imagined. Inventive grillers have been realizing for years that both gas and charcoal grills can be easily adapted to create a whole plethora of dishes, many of which you might not have even considered preparing outside your regular kitchen. The Internet is full of ideas, recipes and tips from both professional cooks and weekend grillers, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

    Photo Captions

1.) Big Green Egg

2.) Big Green Egg

3.) Grilled Pineapple

4.) Fire Magic Gas Grill

5.) Grilled Banana Split

6.) Grilled Peaches

7.) Rotisserie Holder
     for Fire Magic Grill

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Baked Goods

No matter what type of grill you have or how old it is, you can actually use your grill to bake bread, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pizza and even quiche with almost no extra equipment. All you need is a cover to hold the heat in and allow it to circulate in the enclosed area, which is exactly how a conventional oven operates. Any type of grill will work, but know that a gas grill is the easiest method as you have more control over the temperature. Charcoal and wood grills may also impart a smoky taste to your baked goods, which might be a great flavor for rolls or pizza, but not so appetizing on something sweet.

The key to perfect oven cooking is properly managing temperature and time. To prevent charring your food, you will want to use indirect heat. If your grill has three burners, just use the two side burners and put your pan in the middle or light just one side and put your food on the other side of the grill. If you have a thermometer, heat to the temperature required and bake as directed in the recipe. If not, don't discount baking on your grill, but be prepared for a little trial and error before you get that perfect golden-brown. A pizza or baking stone will also help even out the heat distribution.


You probably know by now how wonderfully flavorful vegetables such as corn, onions, squash, mushrooms and artichokes are when grilled to perfection, but you might not have considered how good fruits can be on the grill. The grilling gurus at say almost any fruit is appropriate for grilling, but be aware that hard fruits, such as apples, pineapples and coconuts, are easier than softer fruits, like apricots and bananas, that can quickly become mushy. When grilling softer fruits, it is recommended that you leave the skins on and pay close attention to the level of firmness; most will not need to cook longer than three to eight minutes. Medium heat is best for fruits, so save them for last when the coals are dying out. has lots of great tips and ideas for grilling fruits including this simple, healthy and very tasty grilled peaches recipe.

  Grilled Peaches
  4   each   fresh peaches
  4   tsp   olive oil
  4   tbsp   honey
  4   scoops   vanilla ice cream (or flavor of choice)
  1.   Preheat the grill to medium heat the brush the grates with oil.
  2.   Wash the peaches; then cut them in half.
  3.   Remove the pit from each peach.
You may have to use a spoon to pry under the pit and loosen it.
  4.   Brush the outside of the peaches with olive oil.
  5.   Place the peaches on the grill cut side down.
  6.   Grill for 3-5 minutes or until the peaches start to soften and show nice grill marks.
  7.   Serve each peach with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with honey.

Rotisserie Meats

It is hard to match the flavor and tenderness of meat slow-roasted on a rotisserie. As you know, you can turn any grill into an oven so you could just roast the meat in your grill as you would an oven, but to get the juiciest, slow-roasted meat you will need a rotisserie attachment for your grill. This attachment will consist of a long spit used to skewer the meat and a mechanical devise that slowly rotates, allowing the meat to cook consistently and evenly. The rotation also allows the meat to continually baste itself as it cooks, resulting in a pleasantly crisp outer coating.

As with baking, indirect heat is the key to optimal roasting. Some rotisserie attachments will come with a special rotisserie burner that automatically provides the best level of heat. If you do not have a rotisserie burner, keep your gas burners on low heat and place a drip pan beneath the food. In charcoal and wood grills, build your fire around the edges of the grill as opposed to in the center. ///
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