Staff Picks: Best Go-To Grill Recipes

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Long gone are the cold days of winter and rainy spring – summer is upon us and the sun is shining. Now active outside, enjoying the fresh air, soaking up that Vitamin D…we’re all working up a healthy appetite. Which brings us to what is arguably the best part of the summer season: firing up the grill.chicken wings on the grill

One thing you may not know about Team TraQline is that we love food – good food. We love good food a lot. And we especially love trying new recipes. Whether it’s David detailing his latest smoked rump roast triumph or Eric’s perfectly grilled steak (so he says), a new recipe or cooking tip is floating around the TraQline hallways at least once a week.

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In the spirit of the this wonderful season, Team TraQline has put together some of our go-to grilling recipes. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer electric, gas, or charcoal – fire up that grill, grab your trusty tongs, throw on an apron, and try one (or all) of our favorites:

Eric’s Simply Perfect Pick: Simple Grilled Steaks

David’s Kid-Friendly Crowd-Pleaser: Butterflied Chicken with Thyme, Lemon, & Garlic

Brennan’s Light & Delicious Dish: Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp

Molly’s Must Have: 4 Chili & Garlic Chicken Wings

Stacie’s Family Fav: Chile-Marinated Pork: Oaxaca Style /  Cecina Adobada

Scott’s Tailgate Specialty: Grilled Buffalo Wings




Eric’s Simply Perfect Pick:

Simple Grilled Steaks Eric's grill tips


  • Steaks (ribeye or strip steaks are my preference)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper (pinch)
  • Garlic powder (pinch)
  • Corn Starch (about 1 Tbsp per 12 oz steak)


Step 1: Dry your steaks with a paper towel and move to a wire rack.

Step 2: Salt and pepper your steaks to your preference.  For me, I use about 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of fresh ground pepper per 12 oz. steak.   Rub the salt and pepper into your steak.

Step 3: Add a dash of Cayenne pepper and garlic powder – I love the subtle kick that cayenne pepper gives to the steak, but it should be very subtle.  Rub in the spices.

Step 4: Coat the steaks with corn starch.  This will absorb the moisture on the outside of each steak.  Rub cornstarch all over the meat (including sides and back), this will actually give it a white color for a few minutes.  Don’t worry – there’s no added taste!

Step 5: Let the steaks rest for 15-30 minutes.  I put mine in the refrigerator.  This allows the salt to draw out a bit more moisture and the cornstarch to absorb what’s currently on the surface.  ATK suggests putting the steaks in the freezer – feel free to experiment!

Step 6: Get your grill ready– hot to medium hot (this means you can hold your hand 4 inches over the grill for 2 to 3 seconds: about 375° – 400°F)

Step 7: Get those steaks on the grill!  I like mine medium, so for a 1.5” strip steak, I’d cook mine for 5-6 minutes per side.  To gauge doneness of the steak, I like it medium, which means that it feels like the heel of my hand when I close it up (the part just under my thumb). For cooking your steaks, refer to this guide.

Step 8: When they reach your desired doneness, take them off the grill, but DO NOT EAT THEM!  You must wait 5 minutes before eating your steak.  This will not only allow the temperature to rise about 5 degrees, but will also allow the fibers in the meat to relax, absorbing more moisture and making the meat more tender.  This is one of the most tantalizing 5 minutes ­ever.

America’s Test Kitchen Episode


David’s Kid-Friendly Crowd-Pleaser:

Butterflied Chicken with Thyme, Lemon, & Garlic


  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp chopped onion
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (3-pound) whole chicken, butterflied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

David's grill tipsDirections:

Step 1: Whisk together the oil, 2 tablespoons of the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the thyme, 1 tablespoon of the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of onion in a large baking dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat in the oil. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.

Step 2: Preheat the grill to medium. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the grill, skin side down and slowly grill until the fat renders and the skin becomes golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over, close the cover and continue grilling until just cooked through, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from the grill, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Step 3: Mix together the remaining garlic, thyme and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and sprinkle over the cut chicken.



Brennan’s Light & Delicious Dish:

Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp


  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and washed
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Brennan's grill tipsDirections:

Step 1: Preheat Griddle on the STŌK Grill to medium heat, between 300°F­ 350°F.

Step 2: In large bowl, pour melted butter over shrimp. Toss to mix.

Step 3: In separate bowl, mix together cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper.

Step 4: Toss buttered shrimp with bread crumb mixture, making sure to coat all sides of each shrimp with the bread crumb mixture.

Step 5: Place shrimp on preheated Griddle for 3­5 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly.

Step 6: Remove shrimp and place onto serving dish



Molly’s Must-Have:

4 chili and garlic chicken wings


  • 3 to 4 pounds of chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

Molly's grill tipsPrep: Mix flavorings in a bowl or zip-top bag, following the instructions below. Proper marinade time is crucial to developing flavors.

Step 1: Combine the ingredients listed above. Set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture for later use, and toss the wings in the rest of the marinade.
Step 2: Refrigerate the wings (and reserved marinade) for 2 hours.
Step 3:

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil, brush it with olive oil, and spread the wings out on it. Bake the wings for 20 minutes, turn them, and bake for 20 more minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
Heat a grill on medium low. Cook the wings, covered, on indirect heat for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, or until they bounce after you drop them from 6 inches above the grill.

Step 4: After the wings are cooked, mix them with the reserved marinade and serve topped with (optional) additional minced cilantro.



Stacie’s Family Favorite:

chile-marinated pork in the style of oaxaca / cecina adobada


For the pork & adobo:

  • 6 guajillo chiles or 1/4 cup pure chile powder
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar, distilled
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1 piece pork loin, boneless, tenderloin, or chops

For serving:

  • 8 corn tortillas (6 in)

Stacie's grill tipsDirections:

Step 1: If using the chiles, tear them open and remove the veins and seeds. Soak the chiles in the vinegar for 30 minutes, or until soft.

Step 2: Combine the chiles (or chile powder), vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, cinnamon, and cloves in a blender and process to a smooth, wet paste.

Step 3: Cut the pork loin into 4 broad, thin (1/4 inch thick) sheets. Spread each piece of pork with the adobo mixture and stack in a nonreactive baking dish. Cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 4 to 6 hours.

Step 4: Preheat the grill to high.

Step 5: When ready to grill, oil the grill grate. Arrange the slices on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until nicely browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Step 6: Serve immediately, accompanied by the tortillas, the guacamole, and salsa, wrapping the pork and condiments in the tortillas.


Scott’s Tailgate Specialty:

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Wings


  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 pounds whole chicken wings
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Scott's grill tipsDirections:

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a large bowl, toss the wings with the salt mixture to evenly coat.

Step 2: Preheat a gas grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees F).

Step 3: Place the wings on the grill, crowding them together so that they are all touching (this goes against the conventional wisdom of giving meat room so it doesn’t steam; you want them to steam so that they stay moist). Grill, flipping the wings every 5 minutes, for a total of 20 minutes of cooking.

Step 4: In the meantime, heat the butter, hot sauce, vinegar and honey in a saucepan over low heat and whisk to combine.

Step 5: In a clean large bowl, toss the wings with the sauce. Turn the heat up on the grill to medium high. Use tongs to remove the wings from the sauce and put them back on the grill until the skins crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Put the wings back in the bowl with the sauce, toss and serve.