Cookout Confidential: 4 Easy Grilling Tips That'll Impress Your Guests

Upgrade your BBQ skills this summer with easy, expert grilling tips and recipes from lifestyle consultant Frank Fontana

From the LifeMinute Team

May 18, 2015

Memorial Day is here--which means BBQ season is officially open. Ready to get your grill on? First, make sure you're setting yourself up for success. "A lot of people jump the gun and don't let the grill heat up enough. You want to wait at least 15 minutes with the lid down for it to heat up properly," advises lifestyle consultant Frank Fontana. Here are his tips to make your next grill a total thrill for all.

1. Mix things up with a shish kabob. Not only are they pretty to serve, but you can offer a wider variety of meats and vegetables if you plan an exciting shish kabob cookout. "Do an assortment of fresh vegetables like plum tomatoes, onions, peppers and zucchini. That makes for a great side to your plates," says Fontana.

2. Impress guests with grilled Italian bruschetta. "For an international flair, make bruschetta on the grill," suggests Fontana. To do, slice Italian bread about a quarter-inch thin, drizzle each slice with olive oil, then grill both sides for about two minutes. Top with chopped tomatoes tossed with oregano, garlic powder, and olive oil.

3. Create gourmet condiment stations. Hot dogs and hamburgers are American classics that never go out of style, but you can make this basic meal extra delicious with condiment stations. "I put out relish, sauerkraut, and pickles, but they can be filled with anything you like," suggests Fontana. Think grilled onions, mushrooms, crumbled blue cheese or jalapenos. And don't forget ketchup and mustard. "Here's a little breaking news for you. The new Heinz Yellow Mustard has a brand new recipe, killer taste, and it's a 100% natural," raved Fontana. The yellow topper has a funny new slogan, Ketchup has a new mustard, and hilarious videos and great recipe tips can be found here.

4. Delicious salad dressings are the ultimate multi-taskers. "I'm a big fan of salads. We eat a ton of them at my house and we try to be as healthy as possible," says Fontana. "I have kids, so it's really important to know ingredients. Lighthouse Dressings are in the same mindset as me--no MSG, no preservatives, and all natural ingredients," he explains. "Their flavor variety is insane. When I have no time, I use them for marinades. Sesame Ginger is great for an Asian style grill out. If I'm doing an Italian accompaniment to my bruschetta, I'll use the Balsamic on my chicken--fantastic flavor," he explains. As for your side salads, try OPA Greek Yogurt Dressings. "The rule of them with salads is to drizzle lightly, start soft, then build up so you're not oversaturating your salads and serving your guests mush," warns Fontana.

Calling All Cookout Chefs! Scoop This Special Offer

In honor of National Salad Month, Lighthouse Dressings is giving away $1 coupons on Instagram. "Snap a picture of your most innovative salad, post it on your Instagram account with the hashtag #saladrevolution @lighthousefoods and you'll get $1 off any of their dressings nationwide," explains Fontana. "Now that's a pretty sweet deal."


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