I just got back from a trip to Cedar City, Utah. One of my friends said that her husband was a great cook and asked if I would like to come to dinner. It is not very often that I turn down such an invitation.

Before I knew it, we were on the way to her home. It was a cool evening, but that did not stop her husband Dave from barbequing on the back patio. He had a giant heater hooked to the ceiling behind him. With the heat from the grill in front and the heat in the back, it was toasty warm outside.

I had one of the most wonderful evenings, filled with delicious smells and a wonderful sunset. It was truly an evening to remember. It was so nice to slow down and spend some time grilling and watching the colorful sunset to the west. The delicious London broil and grilled asparagus were an added plus to our relaxing evening. I was sure glad I was not late for dinner.

I came home committed to grill all winter.

I do not know what it is, but food cooked outdoor just seems tastier. For the next few weeks, I would like to share with you some ideas for grilling outdoors. I also have a wonderful way of grilling a turkey so keep watching this space. You will not believe how I cook a turkey outdoors.

Yes, the most popular form of outdoor cooking is barbecuing. Whether you make a barbecue of bricks and briquettes or buy a deluxe gas grill, you are probably one of millions who appreciate this artful cooking method.

Grilling meats, fish and poultry may be familiar, but have you tried vegetables, fruits, or desserts on a grill? For example, warm, juicy Grilled Pineapple is a treat for everyone. Peel and core each fresh pineapple; slice 1/2-inch thick. Grill over hot coals until lightly browned on each side.

Serve warm.

There are ways to prepare an entire meal on a grill while the dinner guests gather around and help with the basting, turning and timing.

The idea of cooking outside on a grill brings back many memories of relaxed, outdoor recreation accompanied by delicious foods and wonderful friends. From sizzling steaks and hamburgers, to a quick side dish or salmon with a zesty vinaigrette dressing, grill cooking is versatile, convenient and fun. It is quickly becoming today’s most popular outdoor cooking method. And we love the easy cleanup!

Entertaining is much more relaxing and casual out of doors.

Many types of grills are available for outdoor cooking. The key to successful grilling is effectively regulating the heat. Cooking times vary depending on the size, shape and cut of the food, and the temperature of the coals.

Adjust heat by changing the placement of your grilling rack, if possible, or spreading out your coals, using tongs to move a few to the outer rim. Usually, food is placed at an average height of three to four inches above the coals. If you plan to grill a thick cut of meat that needs to cook longer, move it farther away from the coals so that it will cook more slowly and thoroughly. Heat cooks thinner cuts more quickly, so they can be placed closer to the coals.

Don’t crowd foods. Arrange food so that air can circulate evenly around each item. Hibachis and kettle grills are equipped with air vents at the bottom to regulate the amount of oxygen. Opening the vents increases the heat, while closing them shuts off the oxygen flow and lowers the heat. If you are cooking on a grill with a lid, leaving the lid down allows heat to circulate and evenly cook the food without flare-ups. Lifting the lid more than is necessary in recipe instructions increases the cooking time. A squirt gun, turkey baster or spray bottle helps to eliminate flare-ups.

To help determine when your food is completely cooked, use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature. This insures the meat is cooked just right.

Here is a great recipe to get you started.

Barbecued Pork Spareribs

Rebecca’s super sparerib supper from a super cook.

  • 4 country-style ribs*
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce**

On the Grill and At Home

In a large saucepan, cover ribs with water and boil 45 to 60 minutes until tender. Pour off water and add barbecue sauce. Grill over hot coals 10 minutes on each side until brown and crispy and evenly cooked. Brush with barbecue sauce the last 5 minutes on each side. Serve with the extra sauce. Serves 4.

*About Spareribs: Two forms of spareribs are common — country-style (meaty) spareribs or a rack of ribs without the extra meat. They are quite fatty, which gives a better flavor. You might prefer to boil or pressure cook the ribs before grilling to tenderize and remove some of the fat. Marinating is a popular way to gain flavor. Add barbecue sauce near the end to prevent burning.

**Barbecue Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

In a 1-cup covered jar, combine ketchup, lemon juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic powder. Shake well, covered, to blend. Use on meats or poultry. Makes 3/ 4 cup.

About Rubs

Dry rubs and seasonings enhance the delicious flavors of your mean!

Rubs have become a fashionable way of seasoning meat before cooking instead of marinating. You might like to try combining all of your favorite seasonings and herbs into one mix. Don’t hesitate to add a little spark such as cayenne. Added before cooking, this mixture greatly enhances the flavor of meats and poultry and is a good way to introduce your family to new flavors and tastes. Rubs are used both wet and dry. A commercial rub I am especially fond of has a high sugar and salt content, which makes it especially delicious.

Kabob Bar

Kabobs are called brochettes (meaning skewers) in France. S hish kebabs are a popular Middle Eastern dish consisting of chunks of marinated meat, fish or vegetables that have been threaded on a skewer. In Indonesia, saté refers to spicy meat, poultry or seafood threaded onto skewers and often served with a spicy peanut sauce.