The Leanest, Healthiest Recipes to Throw on the Grill This Summer
“Grilling is actually inherently healthy because you’re taking away the fat and adding flavor with an open flame,” says Project Smoke author Steven Raichlen.
Grill fests usually involve seeking out the fattiest, most celebratory cuts of meat we can find, then lathering on sugar-packed sauces and going for broke. But barbecue days don’t have to be cheat days.
We asked Raichlen and Jamie Purviance, author of Weber’s New American Barbecue, to show us the easiest ways to grill what’s good for us.
First things first: The Expert’s Guide to Grill Heat
A simple Mississippi count is the best way to determine the temperature of your fire, says Raichlen. Hold your hand, palm-side down, four inches above the grill grate. If you can only hold your hand there for two to three Mississippis before you have to move it away, you’ve reached “high heat” (roughly 500°F). A medium-high fire is four to five Mississippis, and medium heat is six to eight.
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TRY THIS: Lemon Chicken Marinade
“A chicken breast is so lean it dries out quickly,” explains Jamie Purviance. “And its uneven thickness makes it even harder to cook.” But when done right, it’s far tastier than when baked.
One thing to try: Add moisture before grilling with a marinade. “You solve the dryness problem by starting the process with a bit of extra moisture.” The key to freestyling your own marinade? Mixing a little acid (e.g., lemon juice), oil, and your favorite seasonings. Here’s a recipe:
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
Whisk together all ingredients. Place chicken breasts in a large, resealable plastic bag with marinade. Press the air out and seal tightly. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
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