Sizzle into Spring: 9 Mouthwatering Grilling Recipes for April
The month of April is a tease, an insouciant, remorseless month that brazenly straddles winter and summer. Seventy degrees today? Could be 27 degrees tomorrow. But those warm days trigger excitement for the grilling/barbecuing season ahead. Yup. Time to do a little maintenance on your cookers so you’ll be ready for some impromptu (or planned) meals for family and friends. What do you like to grill first? Steaks? Burgers? Here are recipes that will be part of our April repertoire. And hopefully, yours.
9 Mouthwatering Grilling Recipes for April
We made it through the winter holidays, Super Bowl Sunday, and even March Madness. (Hopefully, grilling and smoking all the way.) Now, we’re ready for Spring. And brunch. And Bellinis. Especially Bellinis made with sugared and smoked nectarines or peaches.
This variation on beer-can burgers is perfect for breakfast: use pork sausage instead of ground beef, fill with an egg and serve on English muffin or bagel.
Good tomatoes can be hard to find this time of year in many parts of the country, which is why we nominate bruschetta (pronounced “broo-sket-ta) for one of our April-appropriate recipes. Matched with ricotta or burrata cheese and deftly grilled bread, this recipe is killer. Be sure to use your best olive oil.
This is about the easiest and best way I know to cook lamb chops. You find them everywhere in Provence, from backyard cookouts to country inns and roadside restaurants. The basic seasoning is Herbes de Provence, a fragrant mixture of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, and—for a touch of sweetness—fennel and lavender. You can make your own or buy a jar of it at most markets.
I’ve taken all the risk out of the recipe by moving the fire to the sides of the grill—away from where the chicken cooks. You still get that smoky live-fire flavor, but without the risk of the bird burning. Pit masters will recognize this technique as indirect grilling, and it produces some of the tastiest barbecued chicken this side of Memphis. And to make you feel like a pro, I’ve included a mop sauce (a thin vinegar mixture you apply to the chicken with a barbecue mop), so you can hold your own with the big boys on the barbecue circuit. The barbecue sauce is applied the last few minutes of grilling, then sizzled directly over the fire to set the sauce.
Sweet, smoky planked salmon, the way they barbecue it in Alaska—on a charred cedar plank with a delicious brown sugar butter glaze.
You won’t win your grill master’s badge unless you can consistently cook an amazing steak over live fire or on your gas grill. Trust us: This is an amazing steak with a Latin American twist. Practice your margarita skills at the same time. All in the interest of preparing for Cinco de Mayo, of course.
Combine the briny, smoky, umami flavors of country ham with the crusty, gnaw-off-the-bone pleasure of barbecued baby backs and you wind up with ham ribs. I wish I could say I thought of it, but I got the idea from a man utterly obsessed with pork, smoke, and fire: Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston, Texas. Curing the ribs in ham brine prior to smoking produces a gorgeous color, uncommon succulence (in the way most brine-cured meats are succulent), and an astonishing honey-ham flavor.
This simple dessert, which showcases whichever berries are in season, has been enjoyed for years by attendees of Barbecue University, the intense 3-day program Steven teaches annually at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. And because it uses store-bought pound cake—we’ve found Sara Lee’s just holds up better on the grill than homemade—it’s incredibly easy to make and serve.
If only adults will be indulging, add a splash of tequila or Grand Marnier to the cream after whipping.
Also, sign up for our Up in Smoke newsletter so you don’t miss any blogs and receive some special offers! PLUS get Raichlen’s Burgers! PDF for free!