Labor Day might mark the unofficial end of summer, but it’s sure not the end of the grilling season. Maybe you’ll use the 3-day holiday to reprise some of the family’s warm weather favorites. But if you’re ready for something new, here are seven recipes culled from our enormous recipe vault, dishes we’ll be serving at our get-togethers.
7 Grilling Recipes for Labor Day
This cocktail is a perfect complement to barbecued foods and always popular at Barbecue University, the school Steven founded 20 years ago for aspiring pit masters. Citrus fruits are crusted with sugar, then caramelized on the grill. Add the sparking prosecco (or Lambrusco, if you prefer a red sangria) shortly before serving. What a great way to kick off a party!
Had your fill of smoke-grilled wings this summer? We didn’t think so. We picked up a jar of peach preserves at the farmer’s market last weekend and have big plans for it: these sticky, sweet, slightly hot, and super-satisfying wings. Or, you can use the glaze on chicken drumsticks. Extra points if you’ve made your own jam from the beautiful fruit in markets now.
Though we like shrimp grilled with their shells on for maximum succulence, feel free to substitute peeled and deveined shrimp in this recipe, which was inspired by Steven’s friend, grilling great Chris Schlesinger. The shrimp (or prawns) are tossed after grilling in a fragrant and explosively flavorful sauce featuring olive oil, lemon juice, pine nuts, and fresh basil leaves. Serve as an appetizer or main course.
If you’ve spent time in the American Southwest, you’re likely familiar with cactus pears, also known as prickly pears. This recipe came about when Steven noticed the beautiful raspberry colored, egg-shaped fruits growing near the set of his show Primal Grill in Arizona. He knew the prickly pears, which are melon-like, but slightly tangy, would make a great foundation for pork-compatible barbecue sauce. If your local market doesn’t carry prickly pears, find them online through melissas.com.
Always a crowd-pleaser, beer can chicken (Steven literally wrote the book on this classic recipe) is a great way to use your favorite rub and/or barbecue sauce. It’s always and flavorful and can be smoke-roasted in less than 1 1/2 hours. Budget-friendly, too. If desired, you can substitute Cornish hens (one per guest), positioning them on small juice cans—the kind that hold pineapple or apple juice. The cooking time will be about 1 hour.
More savory than sweet, this singular cornbread incorporates three beloved ingredients–Jack cheese, bacon, and jalapenos. (You could sub Hatch chile peppers, roasted and peeled, for the jalapenos; they’re in season for a couple more weeks.) For extra appeal, indirect grill the cornbread in a cast iron skillet over medium-high (400 degree) heat. Add smoke? Yes, please.
One of the delights of the fall fruit harvest are crisps and cobblers. Any nice cooking apple will do, or you can use other fruits, such as peaches, blueberries, or even desert prickly pears. (Read more about them above.) Prepare the crisp before your guests arrive, then smoke-roast the crisp in a cast iron skillet while your guests eat the meal you’ve prepared. We wouldn’t say no to a scoop of smoked ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top.