This past week I had the great fortune of attending the Women of the Grill event, hosted by blogger and grill expert Robyn Lindars, in partnership with LAND O LAKES® Deli Cheese. On a rooftop in midtown overlooking the water, I spent several hours with other bloggers and test kitchen experts, drinking wine, eating and learning the basics of grilling!
Robyn, the ‘Grill Grrl’, began her foray into this form of outdoor cooking after she and her husband purchased a grill for their Florida home. Soon, she began hosting grilling parties for her friends in her backyard and learned along the way that many women don’t grill because they simply don’t know how! When a survey reported that 57% of women would begin experimenting with outdoor cooking if they knew how, Robyn decided to team with LAND O LAKES® to teach more ladies how to be more confident (wo)manning a grill!
I, personally, was very grateful for the lesson! Growing up in New York City, we didn’t grill often. When we did, my parents always manned the BBQ while my sister and I prepped the meal. This past Wednesday night, however, it was my turn to step up and hone my skills!
Robyn taught us how to make four different kinds of grilled pizzas, using LAND O LAKES® Deli Cheese as an alternate idea for ways to add flavor to your meal. Along the way, she shared with us some of her best grilling tips. These were the particular highlights for me as a novice griller (though you can check out all her tips and recipes on her blog):
1. There are two types of heat on the grill: direct (which means placing your food directly over the charcoal) and indirect (meaning your food cooks on the grill, near the source of the heat). Essentially, indirect heat is like baking something in an oven. When grilling pizza, you can use the indirect heat to ‘bake’ your dough!
2. Charcoal grills will give you smoky flavor while gas is more convenient. You can still obtain the smoky flavors of charcoal grilling by adding foil packets filled with wood–though I personally prefer charcoal!
3. Using an instant-read meat thermometer will help ensure that your meat is neither under or over cooked. You can also take food off of the grill a few minutes before it reaches the desired temperature, as it will keep cooking after it is taken off the grill.
4. Starting burgers and other meats over direct heat and moving them to indirect heat (and adding cheese) will help give the burgers a little char, while allowing the cheese to melt simultaneously and before the meat finishes cooking.
After we finished grilling, we got to eat! The LAND O LAKES® folks and their agency were amazing and helpful; they even provided me with gluten free versions of the pizza we made! We also delighted in grilled caesar salad (made by test kitchen expert, Amber) with crunchy bacon and grilled cheese croutons to start, and finished off the meal with grilled cheese dessert sandwiches: Cinnamon bread filled with American cheese and nutella, topped with confectioner’s sugar. They are so creative!
We finished the night with a grill tool gift set and new aprons and recipes. Amazing!! Thanks LAND O LAKES®!
I so enjoyed being a part of this event and urge you all to read Robyn’s blog for grilling tips, Grill Clinic dates and recipes! I personally am going to test her Mexican grilled pizza with gluten free dough this summer! What are your favorite things to grill?