Grilled Mains to Leave Them Speechless

Yahoo Food

Whether you’re throwing an outdoor bash for a crowd or simply want to turn on the grill and savor the warm weather, we’ve got 10 fail-proof barbecue main dishes to help you celebrate.

Ultimate Grilled Cheeseburger

This burger, inspired by one created in Modernist Cuisine co-author Nathan Myhrvold’s culinary lab, is topped with a tangy cream and vermouth sauce. Adding egg yolks to freshly ground meat makes for a supremely rich burger. 



10 oz. boneless rib eye
10 oz. boneless short ribs
6 oz. hanger or skirt steak
1½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 egg yolks
¼ cup canola oil
1 small leek, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup dry vermouth
¼ cup finely chopped spicy cucumber pickles, plus 3 tsp. pickle juice from jar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
8 slices cheese such as white or yellow American
4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
Lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and pickled jalapeños, for serving


1. Set up a meat grinder with a 3/16″ (4.5 mm) plate. Cut rib eye, short ribs, and hanger steak into 1″ pieces; grind meat separately. (Or ask your butcher to do this.) Mix meats with salt and egg yolks in a bowl; divide meat into 4 patties about 1″ thick and place on a plate. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

2. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and shallots; cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add cream and vermouth; simmer until thickened, 4–6 minutes. Stir in pickles, juice, mustard, and salt.

3. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side. Grill burgers, flipping them once, until cooked to desired doneness, about 12 minutes for medium rare. Melt 2 slices cheese on each burger; serve on buns with sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and jalapeños.

See more: Our Favorite Burgers

Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter

In this recipe, lobster is flash-grilled, then poached in its own shell in a pool of melted garlic—parsley butter.



8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1½ tsp. crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 live lobster (about 1 to 1½ lb.)
¼ olive oil


1. Combine butter, parsley, chile flakes, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl; set aside. Using a cleaver, split lobster in half lengthwise through its head and tail. Scoop out and discard the yellow-green tomalley and break off claws. Transfer lobster halves, shell side down, to a baking sheet; crack claws and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle halves and claws with oil, and season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side. Place lobster halves, flesh side down, and claws on hottest part of grill; cook until slightly charred, 2-3 minutes. Flip lobster over and using a spoon, spread lobster with the garlic-parsley butter; continue grilling until lobster meat is tender, 3-5 minutes more.

See more: See more: Best Grilled Steak Recipes

Grapefruit and Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa

Sweet papaya and tart Ruby Red grapefruit juice tame the heat of the Scotch bonnet pepper in the marinade for the steak, while the vegetables for the accompanying jalapeño-laced salsa get charred on the fire along with the meat. 



1 cup roughly chopped papaya
½ cup olive oil
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, stemmed
Juice of 1 large Ruby Red grapefruit
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1½ lb. beef skirt steak, trimmed
8 garlic cloves, peeled
3 jalapeño peppers, stemmed
4 plum tomatoes, cored
1 small white onion, cut in half crosswise
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
Juice of 1 lime
Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving (optional)


1. Purée papaya and half the oil, plus Scotch bonnet, grapefruit juice, salt, and pepper in a blender into a smooth marinade. Pour ⅔ marinade into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add steak and seal bag; set aside to marinate for 30-45 minutes but no longer. Reserve remaining marinade.

2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn burner off on one side. Grill garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes, and onions on hottest part of grill, turning as needed, until charred in spots and tender, 1-2 minutes for garlic, 4-6 minutes for jalapeños, tomatoes, and onions. Allow vegetables to cool slightly. Peel jalapeños and transfer to a blender along with garlic, tomatoes, and onions. Add remaining oil, plus cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse into a chunky salsa and transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

See more: 4 Great Veggie Burgers

Adobo Brick Chicken

Maricel Presilla’s zesty Cuban-inspired marinade infuses the chicken with flavor, and grilling it flat on a plancha results in delicious crispy skin.



1 (3-lb.) chicken
1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus juice and zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. Spanish smoked paprika 
1½ tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground allspice
10 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Use kitchen shears to cut out and discard chicken backbone. Using your hands, flatten chicken and tuck wing tips back to keep them from burning. Loosen skin over breast and thighs and slide sliced lemons under skin; transfer to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Purée lemon juice and zest, olive oil, oregano, paprika, cumin, allspice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor into a paste; rub paste over chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side. Heat a plancha or flat cast-iron griddle over coals until very hot. Wrap a heavy brick with aluminum foil; place on grill until hot. Place chicken breast side down on the plancha and weigh down with brick. Grill chicken, flipping once, until slightly charred and cooked through, about 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 165°. If the outside starts to burn before the chicken is fully cooked, move plancha to the cooler side of the grill until the chicken is done. Rest chicken 15-20 minutes before serving.

See more: Secrets of the Grill: Chicken

Rubyan Meshwi (Emirati Grilled Prawns)

At Abu Dhabi’s Al Arish restaurant, jumbo prawns are basted in a spicy-sweet ketchup-based sauce before they are grilled.



2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. brown mustard seeds
1 tsp. ground oregano
1 tsp. whole white peppercorns
3 chiles de árbol, stemmed
¾ cup tomato paste
⅓ cup ketchup
3 tbsp. malt vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. tamarind concentrate
1½ tbsp. soy sauce
1½ lb. unpeeled jumbo prawns or shrimp, preferably head-on
Lemon wedges, for serving


1. Grind sugar, mustard, oregano, peppercorns, and chiles in a spice grinder into a powder; transfer to a bowl. Stir in paste, ketchup, vinegar, oil, tamarind, and soy sauce; reserve ⅓ cup sauce. Add prawns to bowl and toss; let sit 20 minutes.

2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.) Grill prawns, flipping once and basting frequently with reserved sauce, until slightly charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

See more: Grilling 101

Grilled King Crab Legs

Sweet king crab legs gain a smoky edge when grilled. 



2 lb. Alaskan king crab legs, thawed
Lemon wedges, for serving
Clarified butter, for serving


Build a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat.) Add crab legs; cook, turning, until shells are charred and crab meat is heated through, about 8 minutes. Serve with lemons and butter.

See more: Building Marinades

Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Fresh heads of romaine lettuce are split down the middle, grilled until charred and smoky, and then topped with blue cheese and bacon for this satisfying salad.



6 strips bacon
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
5 heads romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise, rinsed and dried
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled


1. Heat bacon in a 12” skillet over medium heat, and cook, turning once, until crisp and fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate, reserving 2 tbsp. drippings, and let cool; crumble and set aside. Transfer reserved drippings to a bowl, and add oil, vinegar, and Worcestershire; whisk until smooth, and set dressing aside.

2. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.) Working in batches, if necessary, place romaine halves cut-side down on grill, and cook, turning once, until charred and slightly wilted, about 4 minutes.

3. Transfer lettuce cut-side up to a serving platter, and season with salt and pepper; drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle with reserved bacon and blue cheese.

Shashlik (Russian Lamb Kebab with Tomato Prune Sauce)

Robust lamb and onion kebabs steeped in a tenderizing seltzer and vinegar marinade are paired with a sauce of tomatoes, prunes, and herbs.



½ cup minced dill
½ cup seltzer water
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1½ tbsp. ground coriander
1½ tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1½ lb. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2” pieces
3 small yellow onions (2 cut into 2” wedges, 1 minced)
¼ cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
16 pitted prunes, roughly chopped
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
1 cup minced cilantro
½ cup minced parsley
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 (12”) metal skewers


1. Combine half the dill with seltzer, vinegar, 1 tsp. coriander, and paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add lamb and onion wedges; cover and chill overnight.

2. Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add minced onion and garlic; cook 6-8 minutes. Add remaining coriander, plus paste, chile flakes, prunes, salt, and pepper; cook until caramelized, 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer. Cook until thick, 15-20 minutes. Stir in remaining dill, plus cilantro, parsley, and juice.

3. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side (see How to Cook on a Grill). Thread lamb and onions onto skewers. Grill over coals, turning as needed, until cooked to desired doneness, 18-20 minutes for medium rare. If outside burns before lamb is cooked, move to cooler side of grill until done. Serve with sauce.

Coffee and Soy Marinated Flank Steak

Strong coffee pairs with soy sauce and lightly caramelized garlic and onions in a marinade that leads to ultra-juicy flank steak.



4 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 cup strong coffee
1 cup soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
½ tbsp. dried oregano
Kosher salt, to taste
1 2-lb. flank steak


1. Melt butter in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions; cook until slightly caramelized, 12–15 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. Whisk in coffee, soy, Worcestershire, vinegar, chile flakes, oregano, and salt. Reserve 1 cup marinade. Add steak to bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn burner off on one side. Remove steak from marinade and grill, flipping once, until browned, about 10 minutes. Using a brush, baste with reserved marinade, turning as needed until cooked to desired doneness, 15–20 minutes for medium rare. If outside starts to burn before steak is cooked, move to cooler section of grill until done. Rest steak 10 minutes; slice thinly on the bias.

Quinoa Veggie Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Our take on a classic meatless burger calls on a slew of vegetables for flavor, color, and texture: carrot, celery, arugula, beans, and — the ingredient that really makes it — quinoa, the high-protein South American grain that has a nutty flavor and toothsome bite. This veggie burger is infinitely versatile when it comes to toppings, but we particularly like it with a cumin-accented relish of roasted red peppers.



⅓ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
2 cups baby arugula, blanched, shocked, finely chopped, and squeezed dry
1 (15-oz.) can great northern or cannellini beans, rinsed, drained and mashed
2 cups cooked quinoa 
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. oregano leaves, finely chopped
1 egg 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 red bell peppers, roasted, stemmed, seeded, peeled, and finely chopped
½ small yellow onion, minced

6 hamburger buns, split and toasted


1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12” skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, carrot, onion, and celery, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add arugula, quinoa, breadcrumbs, oregano, egg, and mashed beans; season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine. 

2. Divide mixture into six 5 1/2-oz. patties, about 4” wide x 1” thick; place on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ready to use.

3. To make the relish, mix parsley, juice, cumin, peppers, onion, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 20 minutes to allow flavors to marry.

4. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 burgers, and cook, flipping once, until toasted on each side and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining oil and burgers. Divide burgers between toasted buns, top with relish and serve.

Note: Individual veggie burgers can be formed and then frozen, sealed, for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator and cook as needed.