How to Become a Grill Master This Summer

Leigh Ann Chatagnier | Julia Mueller | April Anderson

The temperatures are finally on the rise, which means it's the perfect time to enjoy your next meal outside. But instead of turning on your oven and heating up your entire house in the process, get behind the grill and actually cook your dinner al fresco style, too. Cooking on the grill can seem intimidating if you don't have much experience, but it's actually easier than you might think. Whether you've got a hankering for a juicy burger, a thick piece of steak or even a pizza, here are 14 easy-to-master recipes that will turn you into a total pro in no time.

Tasty Pork Chops for the Novice Griller

Pork chops are a great weeknight meal option, and perfect for novice grillers, since they only need to cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Let your chops rest for a few minutes before serving so they stay juicy, and then dig in.

Leigh Ann Chatagnier

Sky-High Blue Cheese for a Confidence Boost

Being able to cook the perfect burger is an essential skill you need to master before becoming a total boss behind the grill. And once the burger is ready to go, you should pay equal attention to the toppings. Pile your burgers with tangy blue cheese, crisp lettuce, red onion, tomato and a toasted brioche bun for a meal so tasty you'll hardly be able to believe you made it yourself.

Leigh Ann Chatagnier

Perfectly-Seasoned Steaks for Full Control

No matter which type of steak you prefer, from a flat iron to a rib eye, cooking them on your propane grill will always give you full control. Bring your steak to room temperature before grilling, and then season it with a simple mixture of melted butter, salt and pepper. The meat is the star of the show here, so there's no need to marinade or deal with overly fussy seasonings.

Jennifer Farley

Delicious Grilled Pizza for All of Your Friends

Just because you've got a craving for homemade pizza, doesn't mean you need to crank up your oven. Throughly coat your dough with flour so it doesn't stick to the grill, and give the crust a quick cook before adding your toppings. Whip up a bunch of crusts and invite your friends over to make their own custom pizzas. Then just pop them back on the grill for 5 minutes and you'll be feasting on fresh pizza in a flash.

Nici Holt Cline

Quintessential Chicken Drumsticks for Prep Work Perfection

When you think of a backyard barbecue, serving up perfectly grilled drumsticks is an absolute essential. Whether you choose to go with a marinade or a dry rub, a little prep work goes a long way when it comes to flavor. Top them with your favorite barbecue sauce before chowing down, too!

Julia Mueller

Grilled Biscuits for a Surprise Detail

Take your biscuit game to the next level at your upcoming cookout. When you grill biscuits instead of bake them, the slightly smoky char is the perfect complement to a light, buttery topping. Bonus: no one will see this side coming.

Jackie Dodd

Spicy Skirt Steak for a Hint of Spice

Thin strips of skirt steak are a definite carnivore crowd-pleaser, especially when served with a generous helping of spicy chile sauce. Just make sure you put the sauce together ahead of time so it has a chance to thicken in the fridge.

April Anderson

Charred Sweet Potato Wedges for Unexpected Variety

Knowing how to grill fresh veggies is just as important as mastering the meats. These grilled sweet potatoes are a great alternative to regular fries, and they can be paired with anything from a classic burger to a nice, juicy steak. Slice the sweet potatoes in rounds or wedges, but keep the peels on for a nice rustic touch.

Jennifer Farley

Juicy Baby Back Ribs for the Finger-Lickin' Sauce

Fall-off-the-bone ribs are easier to make than meets the eye: all you need is a tasty spice rub and a good 2 hours to let them slowly cook on the grill. When they're nice and tender, smear apple butter barbecue sauce on the ribs and cook for an extra 5 minutes –they'll be finger lickin' good.

April Anderson

Crispy Beer Can Chicken for Your Six-Pack

Ditch the store-bought rotisserie chicken and make one that's 10 times better right on your grill – using a beer can. Cooking the chicken upright on an opened can of beer means the steam from the beer will keep it moist inside. You can literally set it and forget it while you and your friends finish off the other 5 cans.

Jackie Dodd

Succulent Salmon Filets for Fish Lovers

Making a quick and healthy meal has never been easier. Season your salmon filet and place it on the grill skin-side down, and then let it cook for 5 to 6 minutes while resisting the urge to touch it. Pair it with your choice of veggies, and you won't believe a meal so good can also be so good for you.

Julia Mueller

Tender Pork Loin for All of the Compliments

These thick slices of juicy pork loin will drive your dinner guests wild. But, remember to remove your tenderloin from the grill a few minutes before it reaches your desired doneness, since it will continue to cook while you let it rest. The last thing you want is a tough tenderloin!

Julia Mueller

Crowd-Pleasing Asparagus for a Healthy Option

Asparagus is a healthy side dish you can easily put together in 10 minutes or less. Coat your asparagus tips in olive oil so they don't stick to the grill, and use your tongs to flip them every 2 to 3 minutes. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving for a hint of freshness, and then watch every piece disappear.

Jennifer Farley

Smoky Tri-Tip Steak for the Win

Instead of grabbing your usual t-bone or ribeye next time you're at the store, change it up with a thick tri-tip steak. Marinade and season it just like you normally would, and allow it to cook for 12 to 15 minutes per pound of steak. Then, enjoy every last bite of your hard work – you've proved yourself as a grilling pro!

Julia Mueller