Some people think of summer as the time of the barbecue, but I’ve long said anyone who thinks there’s a grilling “season” is an abject coward who ought to be slapped. (Which is probably why I’m not invited to many parties, I’m realizing.)
Anyway, in my humble-ish opinion, autumn grilling is the best grilling of all. There’s little better than standing near a hot grill on a cool day with a warm beer and a cold jacket. Or maybe the beer is the cold part, whatever. The point is, autumn grilling is a pleasure, especially when the foods you prepare capture the essence of the fall season. From using extra wood chips in the coals to grilling on cedar planks to adding apple and maple to myriad meat recipes, I make the most of my grill in the fall, and you should, too.
Don’t have a grill? Check out your local stores, as there might be some “end of season” sales. We recommend trying to snag any of these grills.
Now, onto the fun. Here are three great fall grilling recipes to try this season.
Grilled Maple Chicken with Apples
Few tastes say autumn like maple. Another good example? Apples. So hey, let’s put ’em together, add some chicken breasts, and grill up a fall feast fit for a fête! The secret with this one is to make sure the chicken is submerged in syrup for a few hours before you grill, and that you rest the apples in syrup for at least 10 or 15 minutes, too. (Oh, by the way, this is a Steven John original, so if you don’t like it… it’s all my fault, I guess.)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 whole apples (I recommend Honeycrisp)
- 1 apple, diced
- .5 cup maple syrup
- .25 cup maple syrup, kept separate
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 orange wedges
- 1 tbsp mirin (or soy sauce)
- Put everything except the whole apples into a large bag and mix it around, then let it chill for a few hours, occasionally manhandling the bag to mix it all up more.
- When it’s close to cooking time, pre-heat your grill to medium heat.
- Peel and core the apples, slice them into half-inch-thick rings, and then lay the slices out on a cookie sheet or large plate/platter.
- Drizzle syrup and then mirin/soy over the apple slices, and flip them every couple of minutes.
- Start grilling the chicken, turning occasionally.
- After 5 minutes, get all apple slices on the hot grill, nestled near the chicken breasts/
- Turn apple slices after 2 minutes, then keep cooking for as long as the chicken needs but without letting the apples burn (dark grill lines on the bottom are great, an entirely singed bottom ain’t).
- Serve immediately, and with a savory green like kale or Brussels sprouts and bread or a baked potato, ideally.
Quick-Grilled Slow-Braised Chuck Roast
Now here’s a meal that will only take you 10 minutes on the grill, but about three hours overall. I got a recipe from the good folks at Porter Road then modified slightly and made it myself. And oh man, did it work. Got a good grill and a slow cooker? Then you’ll definitely want to make this!
- 1 chuck roast (about 2.5 lbs)
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 3 carrots, thickly coined
- 2 tbsp of fat or a high-smoke oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cup of red wine
- 4 cups stock/broth (I used Epic Homestyle Chicken Bone Broth)
- Salt and pepper
- Heat your grill to high, and your slow cooker to medium, adding high heat oil.
- Pat beef with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil and tablespoon or 2 of wine.
- Grill the roast for 1.5 minutes on each side, just until faint grill lines appear, then set aside.
- While the beef is searing on grill, place diced onion in crock pot followed by garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add thyme sprigs and remaining wine to crock pot and cover.
- When liquid in slow cooker begins to reduce, add chuck roast, potatoes, and carrots, and then pour in enough stock/broth to cover sides but not top of meat.
- Slow cook for three hours, and then sweet Jesus, will you have a mouthwatering meal on hand.
Cedar Plank Bacon-Wrapped Andouille Sausage
These days, I get most of my meat in the mail. That would have freaked me out just a couple years back, but there are so many good options and frankly, I have so much less free time, it just works out. I used meats from Karv for this entree. And one quick note: don’t forget to soak your cedar plank, which will not only add flavor but also help prevent the bacon from burning to a crisp before the sausage cooks through.
- Heat grill to low/medium heat.
- Wrap each sausage fully in bacon.
- Grill the wrapped sausages on your cedar plank, turning every few minutes until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit (or actually about 155 degrees Fahrenheit, as it will keep cooking a bit).