5 expert tips to help you grill outside the lines this summer

(BPT) – The arrival of summer brings so much to look forward to: warmer weather, longer days — and the great taste of food right off your grill. And you don’t need a special occasion to fire it up. In recently conducted Honeysuckle White research, 85% of respondents decide to grill or smoke because they simply like to be outdoors.

Whether you’re a grilling newbie or a pitmaster extraordinaire, make the most of your outdoor get-together or evening at the grill, with these tips from Honeysuckle White on how to grill outside the lines.

1. Expand your protein options

Along with grilling new veggies and fruits, you can further enhance the nutritional value of meals yet still enjoy delectable flavors by using Honeysuckle White turkey. Choose from a variety of healthy cuts that make grilling simple and tasty, such as ground turkey burgers, turkey tenderloins and pre-seasoned turkey patties.

“I enjoy cooking with turkey because it allows me to experiment with exciting flavors,” says grilling enthusiast Maciek Zurawski of @grillin_with_dad. “My Hawaiian Style Grilled Turkey Thighs recipe uses Honeysuckle White turkey thighs, pineapple juice, grilled pineapple, garlic and ginger. One of my favorite grilling shortcuts to show up like a grillmaster is turkey thighs. Packed with 19 grams of protein per serving, turkey thighs are versatile and delicious and lend well to exciting flavor pairings while being easy and quick to prepare.”

With the desire for healthier proteins top of mind, turkey is the perfect choice. Grilling leaner, high-quality proteins like turkey offers all the flavor plus more protein and less fat than other meats. Turkey is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including B6 and B12 for energy.

Top recipes to try include flavorful Juicy Lucy Turkey Burgers, Grilled Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage with Peppers, Grilled Mediterranean Turkey Kebabs, Chile Basil Honey Turkey Skewers and Braised Turkey Sausage. Find these recipes and more at HoneysuckleWhite.com/recipes.

2. Experiment with new ingredients

Don’t settle for same-old, same-old when it comes to summer grilling. Wow your guests with turkey options and make every meal an adventure using something you’ve never tried before. The grilling process enhances the natural flavor of any ingredient, sweet or savory.

Try these options:

  • Veggies: Eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, large mushrooms
  • Fruits: Pineapple, pears, bananas/plantains, stone fruits, watermelon

Use foil packets to grill smaller foods like tomatoes, onions, olives and peppers. Try flavorful recipes combining veggies with turkey, such as Turkey Fajita Skewers.

3. Excel with these pro tips

You’ll feel like a grillmaster in no time by following these tips for making sure your proteins turn out perfectly, every time:

  • Bring meat to room temp before grilling for even cooking
  • Let it cook with minimal flipping, turning and moving, in order to keep the meat juicy.
  • To ensure not over- or undercooked, cook to 165 degrees, as measured by a meat thermometer
  • Rest meat at least 5 minutes after cooking, and longer for larger pieces

4. Excite your palate with new flavors

Go beyond traditional barbecue sauces and rubs, thanks to a variety of flavor profiles like these:

  • Sweet and savory: Enjoy a symphony of flavors including brown sugar, chili and paprika with the Cherry Bourbon Turkey Burnt Ends recipe.
  • Jerk seasoning: Take a trip to the Caribbean using cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and smoked paprika, then spice it up with a dash of cayenne and red pepper flakes.
  • Mediterranean meals: Lemon, garlic and olive oil will take you to Greece or Italy, plus a sprinkling of red wine vinegar and herbs like oregano, basil and thyme.
  • Korean barbecue: Enjoy this Asian flavor sensation with a hint of sesame oil (a little goes a long way), then add gochujang (chili pepper paste), soy sauce, ginger, garlic and scallions.

5. Express yourself with new methods

You can cook just about anything you want on your grill, using the right accessories. Try one of these tools the next time you’re feeling adventurous:

  • Grilling plank/cedar board
  • Fire plate/barbecue disc
  • Salt block
  • Smoker box

Anything you can imagine tastes even better grilled, and these cooking methods will encourage your inner chef to thrive.

Once you’ve elevated your grilling techniques using some of these tips, you and your guests can enjoy the amazing flavors only grilling can create, all summer long. For more inspiration and ideas for grilling outside the lines on Instagram, check out @honeysucklewhite.