Daphne Oz’s go-to grilling menu

Just in time for the warmer weather, WW Ambassador Daphne Oz shares her favorite grilling tips and recipes from WW's Year-Round Grilling cookbook to bring new life to your summer meals.

Fact: Food just tastes better when eaten outdoors. And the arrival of the warmer weather means we’re moving our eating and cooking outside. Yes, folks: Grilling season is officially here!

To help you kick off BBQ season, we tapped WW Ambassador Daphne Oz for her greatest grilling tips and fave recipes from WW's new Year-Round Grilling cookbook. Hungry for more? Check out the cookbook for additional recipes that can be cooked on the barbie or in a grill pan.

Daphne’s best grilling tips

These pointers add loads of fresh flavor while helping you stay within your Budget. Check out The WW Guide to Grilling for even more expert advice as well as WW's best BBQ product recommendations.

1. Combine textures

A huge benefit of summer cooking is the bounty of fresh, in-season produce. “Summer produce does so much of the work for you since it’s already perfectly ripe and flavorful,” says Oz. Her trick to keeping recipes especially interesting is to combine cooked and raw textures of the same fruit or veggie. For example, she’ll make a charred and shaved raw zucchini salad with feta and mint or create a salsa out of grilled and sweet fresh corn. And for dessert, she’ll toss sliced grilled and fresh peaches together and serve over tangy whipped cream. Drooling yet?

2. Skip the added oils

One very good reason to grill your food: The cooking method doesn’t require a lot (or any) added oils, which will help keep you within your Budget. Using your favorite grill spray on your barbecue or grill pan will usually do the trick.

3. Give your meat a few minutes to “rest”

When grilling up your main course meats, Oz recommends letting the protein rest at room temperature before throwing it on the grill. “Ideally, you want your meat to have been out of the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking, so you’re basically starting from room temperature. This will ensure even, beautiful cooking.” Reminder: To avoid foodborne illness, don’t leave raw or cooked meat out for more than two hours (or more than one hour if the temperature is above 90 °F).

4. Practice hands-off grilling

Once your meat is on the grill, resist the urge to flip, prod, and press. “It’s tempting to keep flipping food around on the grill, but to maximize flavor with char and sizzle, you really don’t want to touch it too much,” says Oz. Repeat after us: Step away from the spatula.

5. Take a temperature check

Oz recommends keeping a meat thermometer handy for guess-free, perfect results, but know that the intense heat coming off your BBQ is going to keep the cooking process going even after everything comes off the flame. “If you’ve invested in a meat thermometer, figure the final number will be about 5 degrees hotter than whatever you pull it off at,” says Oz. “For instance, if I pull chicken off when it reads 160 °F, then it will finish cooking to 165 °F as it rests for 10 minutes before we dig in!”

6. Don’t skip dessert

That’s right, we’re grilling dessert, too! “I love grilling because it lets you do the cooking without ever leaving the party!” says Oz, and with a dessert like WW's Grilled Peanut Butter–Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie, whipping up a sweet ending to your meal is as simple as mixing up the batter, pouring it into a cast iron skillet, and setting it on the grill.

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Ariel Scotti is a lifestyle reporter and editor specializing in health, wellness, and food.

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