Grilling Beyond Burgers: Pork, Fish & More 

Grilling is a quintessential part of outdoor cooking, often associated with juicy burgers and hot dogs. However, the world of grilling extends far beyond just these staples. Delving into pork, fish, and other delectable options—including fruits and veggies—can elevate your grilling game and introduce new flavors to your summer cookouts. Here’s a guide to grilling beyond burgers—and remember, be sure to visit Nick’s of Calvert for all of your grocery shopping needs for a perfect cookout!

Grilling Pork: Tips and Recipes

Pork is a versatile meat that grills beautifully, offering a range of flavors in a variety of cuts. From chops to tenderloin, here are some tips for making the most out of pork on your grill—

Pork tenderloin: Pork tenderloin is lean, tender, and cooks relatively quickly on the grill. Marinating the meat can enhance its flavor and keep it moist. 

Recipe idea: Grilled pork tenderloin with herb marinade


  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  2. Marinate the pork tenderloin in the mixture for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Grill the tenderloin for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  5. Let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Pork chops: Pork chops are another excellent option for grilling. Opt for bone-in chops for more flavor and juiciness.

Recipe idea: Honey-Garlic Grilled Pork Chops


  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix honey, soy sauce, garlic, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Marinate the pork chops in the mixture for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Grill the chops for 4-5 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
  5. Let the chops rest for a few minutes before serving.

Grilling Fish: Tips and Recipes 

Fish is a healthy and delicious option for the grill, offering a light yet flavorful alternative to heavier meats.

Here are some tips and recipes to help you grill fish perfectly.

Salmon: Salmon is a popular fish for grilling due to its rich flavor and firm texture. It can be grilled directly on the grill grates or on a cedar plank for added flavor.

Recipe idea: Grilled Lemon-Dill Salmon


  • 4 salmon filets
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  2. Brush salmon filets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and dill.
  3. Place lemon slices on top of the filets.
  4. Grill the salmon for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until it flakes easily with a fork.

Shrimp: Shrimp cooks quickly and is perfect for grilling. They can be skewered or placed in a grill basket for easy handling.

Recipe idea: Spicy Grilled Shrimp Skewers


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Thread shrimp on skewers.
  4. Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are pink and opaque.

Grilling Vegetables and More

Vegetables and other non-meat options can also be stars of the grill. They add variety and complement the grilled meats beautifully.

Grilled Vegetables: Grilled vegetables are easy and versatile. Use a mix of your favorites for a colorful and healthy side dish.

Recipe idea: Grilled Vegetable Medley


  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  2. Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Grill vegetables for 5-7 minutes per side, or until tender and slightly charred.

Grilled Pineapple: Grilled pineapple makes a sweet and smoky dessert or a side dish to grilled meats.

Recipe idea: Cinnamon Grilled Pineapple


  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Brush pineapple slices with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Grill pineapple for 2-3 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear and the fruit is caramelized.

But Don’t Stop There…

All of the above are fantastic and healthy options for grilling. But you don’t have to stop there! There are a variety of other foods that can be thrown on the grill for unique flavor, from sandwiches to pizza! As you hone your grilling skills, don’t be afraid to try new things.

Visit Nick’s of Calvert Today

Whether you’re looking for a frozen pizza to grill or a high-quality pork tenderloin, Nick’s of Calvert has you covered. We always carry the highest-quality meats, produce, and more. Come by our store seven days a week, or give us a call if you have any questions about our products at (410) 414-7105. 

Grilling 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering the BBQ

Using the grill isn’t just an activity for the summer—it’s a great way to prepare meat and vegetables year-round. Indeed, once you master the barbecue, you’ll unveil its potential to turn raw asparagus into a delicious meal side, or a fine slice of steak into a delectable main dish. And whether you’re grilling for friends, family, or yourself, barbequing can suit all occasions and seasons. 

Of course, becoming an expert at the BBQ grill takes time and practice. To help get you there, refer to our beginner’s guide to mastering the barbeque. And of course, for all of the freshest ingredients to throw on the grill, head to Nick’s of Calvert. 

Step 1: Choose the Right Grill

The most basic part of grilling starts with choosing the right grill. The two main types of grills are gas grills and charcoal grills.

Charcoal grills are often preferred by barbeque enthusiasts because they allow for a more authentic, smoky flavor. That being said, these grills definitely require a little bit more finesse and experience.

The other option is a gas grill. Gas grills are a favorite because temperature is easier to control and they’re quick and easy to light. If you care more about convenience and ease of use, then the gas grill is the right choice for you. 

Step 2: Gather Your Tools

Mastering the barbeque will require the right tools, so don’t forget to grab tongs, a large metal barbeque spatula, a grill brush, and a meat thermometer before you get started. Of course, if you’re using a charcoal grill, you’ll also need fire starters. 

Step 3: Understand Direct and Indirect Heat

There are two main tricks of grilling that are important to understand: how to manipulate heat and time. Starting with heat, there are two types of heat that can be used to cook your food: direct and indirect. Direct heat cooking is when you cook food directly over the flame—this method is typically used for veggies and burgers, etc. Indirect heat cooking is when you use the heat of the grill to cook food, but you don’t have the food directly on the flame. This method is reserved for meats that need more time to cook in order for tough fibers to soften, such as ribs. 

Step 4: Know Your Timing

Just like heat, timing is another essential element to mastering the barbeque. Each meat and veggie out there has its own ideal cook time (and temperature!), and leaving it on for too long can lead to dryness. As you’re getting started, it’s best to use recipe guides that can provide some parameters around timing and internal temperature of meat. As you get more experienced, you’ll likely be able to ditch these guides. 

Step 5: Get the Best Ingredients

Like all food preparation, it doesn’t matter how great of a chef or barbeque master you are—if your ingredients are low-quality, this will show through in the final product. For the best-tasting results, always use the best ingredients. Fine cuts of meat and fresh vegetables can make a difference. 

Step 6: Let it Rest

After preparing meat on the barbeque, many barbeque experts will tell you that you should let the meat “rest.” Resting is the practice of allowing a piece of meat to sit without being cut into for a certain amount of time after grilling. The theory is that resting the meat allows the juices, which collect in the center of the piece of meat while over heat, to disperse through the meat and contribute to tenderness and juiciness. How long you should rest meat, however, is up for debate. Most will agree that a piece of steak should rest for about three minutes, whereas really tough cuts of meat may require a longer resting period. 

Step 7: Keep Practicing!

Like all things in life, the more you cook using your grill, the more familiar you’ll become with the machine itself and how different foods respond to temperature and time. The more you grill, the more of a grill master you’ll become! 

Visit Nick’s of Calvert Today 

Whether you’re getting ready to host a get-together or are cooking for yourself, Nick’s of Calvert has everything you need when it comes to fresh produce and high-quality cuts of meat. For the days you’re barbequing—and all the days in between, too—visit Nick’s of Calvert. If you have questions about our ingredients or offerings, reach us directly at 410-414-7105. 

A Brief History of the American Cookout

The tradition of cooking meat and other food over a fire in the backyard seems distinctly American. After all, it seems like every generation most of us can recall has been taking part in this unique pastime, particularly on summer holidays like the Fourth of July. But the roots of the modern-day cookout can be traced much further back. 

Cooking Over Fire – Just How Long Have We Been Doing It?

Humans have been cooking food since their discovery of fire, which would take us as far back as the Paleolithic era. Of course, there weren’t any fancy sauces or rubs in those times. No one had access to a Big Green Egg or Blackstone Grill. But, according to Dr. Richard Wrangham, Harvard University professor of biological anthropology and the author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, cooking food transformed the course of human development. 

According to Dr. Wrangham, cooking not only gave humans better food and nutrition. It also helped our brains and bodies develop, making us truly human. Some of this might have taken place in what is now North America. But what about the more recent version of the cookout in this country? Interestingly, the cookout has been here for hundreds of years. 

The Roots of the American Cookout

One of the first explorers to reach America in the late 1400s, Christopher Columbus, did so by way of the Caribbean. While there, the explorers came across indigenous tribes who used wooden frames to slow-cook food. The explorers brought the new cooking technique, which they called “barbacoa,” to the new world with them. The term eventually morphed into “barbecue” as it spread across the southern U.S. 

Of course, grilling and barbecue aren’t quite the same things. But cooking meat and other food over fire is something that has strong roots in this country. Jim Auchmutey, the author of Smokelore, notes that American militia began organizing group barbecues as far back as the Revolutionary War. 

Cooking over flames as a group activity in the U.S. became a way for people to gather and celebrate unified values. And this is one of the reasons cookouts became a traditional way to celebrate our country’s independence or Memorial Day. 

The Modern-Day American Cookout

As you can already see, cookouts in America have been closely linked to politics and war. In the 1800s, some politicians used these events to get close to potential voters by offering them free cooked meat and booze. Ronald Reagan hosted a massive Fourth of July cookout on the White House lawn for three years running. Even today, the Polk County Steak Fry, which is a giant cookout, is the largest organizing event for Iowa Democrats. 

After World War II, there was a massive migration of families from the cities to the suburbs that coincided with a period of economic prosperity. Many families build outdoor brick fireplaces, and gathering with neighbors became a priority in many communities. 

As an option to host as many people as possible in warm weather months, the popularity of backyard cookouts skyrocketed. Interestingly, the iconic Weber grill made its debut in 1951, just in time for the backyard barbecue boom. Major brands like Better Homes & Garden started publishing cookbooks for backyard grilling. And even I Love Lucy aired an episode that featured the characters building a backyard BBQ

Finally, more and more Americans began traveling for leisure to other areas of the country or outside our borders. When they returned home, many were eager to re-create some of the cuisine and culture they encountered in other places. This gave rise to the popularity of things like grilling shrimp, smoking spare ribs, creating beef teriyaki skewers, and backyard tiki bars. 

Let Nick’s of Calvert Help You Have an Amazing Cookout

Now that you know the history of the American cookout, you’re probably getting pretty hungry and thinking about when you can schedule your next barbeque. Nick’s of Calvert can help make your grilling experience an overwhelming success. As your hometown grocer, we offer a full-service meat counter, which is the centerpiece of our store. 

Nick’s is proud to deliver the freshest meats at the most affordable prices in the area. We offer only the highest-quality beef, pork, chicken, and seafood. And our store also offers catering, prepared foods, a line of signature products, and one of the largest varieties of beer, wine, and spirits in Southern Maryland. Contact us or visit our store today to get the assistance you need to make your next cookout a success. 

Using the Grill for the First Time this Season – Grill Opening Tips

You safely tucked your grill away last Fall to keep it safe from the harsh winter weather. But what should you do with that equipment when spring arrives and you’re ready to use it again? Well, that can depend on a number of things.

Fall cleanup can be a busy time. If you didn’t clean your grill thoroughly before putting it away, you should certainly do so now. And there are a few things you’ll want to do before you use a new grill as well. Here is what you need to know about using your grill for the first time this season.

Using Your Grill for the First Time This Season – Grill Opening Tips

Whether you have a charcoal grill or a gas grill, it is important to keep it clean. Food tastes better when prepared on a clean grill. Clean grills are also safer and last longer. Provided your grill needs some attention this spring, here are some of the steps you can take to get it ready for the warm weather and grilling season.

1. Remove Ash from the Grill
Removing any ash from the base of your grill should be the first item on your list. To begin, take out and set aside the lower and upper grills. You can use a small shovel to remove the ash and get the remainder with a wet paper towel. Make sure you dispose of any ash in a metal container.

2. Heat Up the Grill
Now it’s time to clean the grates. This is easier when they’re hot. Heat up your grill for about 20-30 minutes on high. Keep your hands safe with heat-resistant gloves. Then, use a wire brush to scrub the grates, removing grease and debris.

Once all of the dirt and grime have been removed from the grates, turn off the grill and let it cool. You can finish by wiping the grill down with warm soapy water and then drying the area thoroughly to prevent rust.

3. Oil the Grates
You can protect the grates on your grill by seasoning them. While the grill is hot (you may have to heat it up again), coat the grill with food-safe oil. If you repeat this process after each use of the grill, it won’t have as much dirt buildup.

4. Clean the Burner Tubes
If your grill is gas-powered, it’s also important to clean the burner tubes with a nylon or steel brush. Begin at the center and move outwards in a circular motion. This ensures any dirt is moved away from the burner holes.

5. Clean the Grill Sides & Sheets
Next clean the sides and grill sheets with warm soapy water. Make sure you wipe off any soap thoroughly so that it doesn’t contaminate your food. And dry moisture to prevent rust.

6. Check Your Fuel
Finally, check that you have sufficient fuel to start the season. It would be a shame to do all that work cleaning your grill and not have what you need on hand to cook that first delicious meal.

How to Season a Brand New Grill Before Using It

Before you use your grill for the first time, it’s a good idea to season it. Many factories put a coating on the grill that protects it during shipping. You don’t want that stuff on your food. Here are the steps you can follow to get this done and have you cooking in no time:

  • If it’s a gas grill, ensure the hose and regulator are tightened properly with no leaks.
  • Remove the grill pieces and scrub them well with warm water, a small amount of dishwashing liquid, and a soft brush.
  • Rinse with warm or hot water and dry with a cloth.
  • Replace the grill pieces on the grill.
  • Pre-heat your grill for 30 minutes with the burners on high and the hood open to burn off any protective coating.
  • If the grill pieces/hot plates are cast iron, turn off the burners and lightly coat the top side with cooking spray or canola oil (no olive oil, margarine, or butter) and rub it in with a paper towel.
  • Heat the grill for another 30 minutes, and then let it cool.

Let Nick’s of Calvert Help You Elevate Your Grilling Experience

Now that you know how to get your grill in tip-top shape, you’re probably ready to stock up on some delicious food to cook on the grill. Nick’s of Calvert can help. As your hometown grocer, we offer a full-service meat counter, which is the centerpiece of our store.

Nick’s takes pride in providing the freshest meats at the lowest prices. We sell only the highest caliber beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. Choose from choice daily cut and trimmed steaks our one of our gourmet entrees prepared each day. Contact us or visit our store today to get assistance from one of our highly trained butchers.

Chicken Wings & Football – How to Prepare Tailgate Worthy Chicken Wings

If you’re a football fan, you probably also love everything that goes along with the game – team jerseys, friendly rivalries, tailgating, and delicious food. And what better food to serve up at your next tailgate than a big platter of chicken wings?

Whether you love them sweet, spicy, or somewhere in between, there is a chicken wing recipe that will impress your friends. Here are some tips for preparing tailgate-worthy chicken wings and a few recipes to get you started.

Tips for Preparing Tailgate-Worthy Chicken Wings

When you cook chicken wings, you have several options. You can bake, fry, or grill them. Another choice that is growing in popularity is fixing them in an air fryer. But you may not have one of these at your next tailgate.

However you decide to cook them, one of the best things about chicken wings is the crispy skin. But this can be a challenging effect to achieve. After you remove your wings from the package, pat them completely dry with a paper towel. If possible, leave the wings sitting on a cookie sheet in the fridge for a few hours, ideally overnight.

If you don’t have the time to let your wings sit, you can get your crispy skin another way. Place the dried wings in a plastic bag or bowl, then shake them up after adding some salt and baking powder. Use one-half teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of baking powder for every pound of chicken wings.

How Do You Like Your Chicken Wings & Football?

If you’re going to bring wings to a tailgate party, you might want to consider offering a variety of flavors so that you can appeal to your different guest’s tastes. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are few ideas:

Grilled Buffalo Wings


  • 3 lbs. whole chicken wings
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup hot sauce


To prepare, combine the garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Place your wings in a large bowl and toss them with the mixture. Preheat your gas grill to 350 degrees (medium heat). Place the wings on the grill close enough together so that they are touching (this keeps them moist). Flip the wings every 5 minutes for a total cooking time of 20 minutes.

At the same time, heat the hot sauce, butter, honey, and vinegar on low heat in a saucepan and combine with a whisk. Once your wings are cooked, combine the wings with the sauce. Then, turn up your grill heat to high and place them back on the grill for up to two minutes on each side until the skins are crisp.

Fried Garlic Parmesan Wings


  • 4 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)


To prepare, season the wings with salt and pepper and fry at 400 degrees. Combine the garlic, parmesan cheese, hot sauce, and butter in a bowl. After the wings have cooked, toss in the sauce mixture to coat.

Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings


  • 3 lbs. chicken wings (or drumettes)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic


To prepare, whisk together the soy sauce, water, pineapple juice, vegetable oil, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a large ceramic or glass bowl until all of the sugar has dissolved. Add the chicken wings to the mixture and coat them thoroughly. Let the wings sit for a minimum of an hour.

Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease several baking sheets and set them to the side. Remove the chicken wings from the marinade and place them on the baking sheets. Bake the wings in the oven until the glaze is evenly browned and the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about one hour.

Visit Nick’s of Calvert for High-Quality Chicken Wings & Ingredients

However you decide to prepare your chicken wings for your next football tailgate, you should start with the main ingredient – high-quality meat. At Nick’s of Calvert, we offer customers a full-service meat counter, which is our store’s centerpiece. Our store takes pride in delivering the freshest meats at the lowest prices. Visit us today to pick up all of your supplies for your next football tailgate, chicken wing party, or other special event.

Pairing the Right Craft Beer With Your Grilled Burger

When you own a BBQ grill, it seems like it’s always grilling season. Sure, there’s plenty of items you can put on the grill, but few things compare to a traditional, juicy burger. Whether you’re enjoying a no-frills, simple recipe, or one of those fancy super burgers, it’s going to taste much better if you have the right craft beer to enjoy alongside it.

Burgers and beer are nothing new. But how you match up the two can make or break your outdoor meal. In fact, some beer can get lost in the flavor of your extravagant burger, while others will overwhelm the meat. But beer is an excellent complement to food because of its ability to enhance and interact with so many different flavors.

Before you even consider the right craft beer, make sure you start with a quality cut of meat. Our butchers will help you select the best cut of meat for your burger/beer combo. Also, understanding that the makeup and chemistry of beer make it an ideal pairing, here is a look at what style of craft beer pairs well with different types of burgers.

Cheesy Burgers

Who doesn’t love cheese on their burger? Most of us do, and that’s good news because cheese is the perfect complement to beer. When you create a cheeseburger, it’s tough to go wrong with any craft beer you choose, but here are few ideas.

Sam Adams Boston Lager is an excellent option as an easy-drinking beer that has notes of caramel. Another is True Respite Ultimate Dreamy Team, which is a hazy IPA .

Spicy Burgers

If you love a spicy burger, consider pairing it with the right craft beer. You can accentuate the heat in your meal with a good IPA. Alternatively, if you wish to cool some of that heat, choose a pilsner or Helles-style lager.

If you’re looking for a good IPA to try out, there are probably a thousand choices. One popular one is Crooked Crab I Fought the Claw IPA, which is a bit hoppy with some citrus and other lively notes. For a pilsner and Helles-style lager, check out Aslin Brewing Company’s Much Ado.

Sweet Burgers

There are some interesting burger combinations you can make, some of which combine savory and sweet elements. For example, some burgers have caramelized onions, and we’ve even seen burgers with donuts substituted for buns.

So, how do you choose the right craft beer to go with one of these creations? In short, you need something light to balance out the heaviness of all that sugar. Porters will give you the balance you need nicely. One craft beer you can try is Stone Smoked Porter, which has an interesting Vanilla Bean flavor.

Savory Burgers

When your burger is topped with something savory like bacon, mushrooms, avocado, egg, or even pasta, you’ll want to choose your craft beer wisely. Your burger is already packing a lot of flavors, so you could opt for a simple lager such as House Beer.

On the other hand, amber beers, Porters, and nutty brown ales also complement savory foods. A few options include Rogue American Amber Ale and AleSmith Nut Brown Ale.

Classic Burgers

Let’s assume you want to grill a class beef burger. Start off with some high-quality ground beef or chuck, add your lettuce, tomato, onions, and condiments, and you’re ready for some refreshments.

There are several approaches to pairing a craft beer with your classic burger. You can pair it with an American Pilsner that is light and will allow your burger’s flavor to shine. You can also pair it with an India Pale Ale or American Pale Ale that matches your burger’s flavor intensity.

Meatless Burgers

How you pair a meatless burger is going to depend on the base for the burger, which can range from nutty grains to black beans to earthy mushrooms. Something that goes with most meatless burgers is a wheat-based ale, such as a Belgian White Ale or an American Wheat Ale. Another option that could work is a Saison craft beer like the one from 2SP Brewing Co.

Now that you have this list, it’s time to begin planning your next BBQ. No matter what craft beer and type of burger you choose, Nick’s of Calvert can help you put together the perfect combination.

Not only is our full-service meat counter the centerpiece of our store, but we also offer one of the largest varieties of beer, wine, and spirits in Southern Maryland. If you can find the craft beer you’re looking for, let us know, and we’d be happy to special order it for you. Stop by our store today.

How to Grill Veggies on the Grill

You probably already know it’s a good idea to add some more vegetables to your diet. Maybe you love veggies but aren’t sure how you can fix them in a way that is different and appetizing.

If you haven’t thought about grilling your vegetables, or have tried and failed miserably, we can help. Here are some simple tips to help you grill all types of vegetables for delicious meals and snacks.

Preparing Vegetables for the Grill – Direct Grilling

You can grill just about any type of vegetable provided you take a few minutes to prepare it. If you think about it, just tossing a full onion or eggplant on the grill isn’t going to produce the results you desire.

You’ll get more flavor from your vegetables the more surface area you give them for grill marks. This also makes it easier for you to move the items around on the grill. Here is how you can prepare some common veggies for grilling:

  • Onions– Peel and quarter through the root.
  • Tomatoes– Choose perfectly ripe tomatoes and cut them half crosswise.
  • Asparagus– Remove the woody ends.
  • Bell peppers– Quarter and seed.
  • Mushrooms – Remove stems and halve or slice if large.
  • Eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash– Cut into lengthwise strips.

To prevent your veggies from sticking, make sure your grill is clean. You’ll also want to brush your vegetables with oil (olive oil works best) after you slice and prepare them. But you don’t want to use too much oil. This can make your veggies have a greasy flavor, cause flare-ups on your grill, and defeat the purpose of trying to add something healthy to your meal.

Grilling Your Veggies – Some Indirect Methods

Some vegetables are a bit unwieldy and messy to place directly on the grill, no matter how well you prepare them. Smaller mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini rounds are a few examples.

You can keep these smaller items from falling through the grate or rolling around on your grill by using a grill basket or placing them on a skewer. If you don’t have either of these items, you can create your own “basket.” Take a roughly 24” piece of heavy-duty foil and fold it in half. Crimp the edges to create a “basket” that will keep your food inside while grilling.

Whether you use a skewer, grate, or makeshift basket, you’ll still want to prepare your vegetables for grilling the same way you would as if you were directly grilling them. By slicing them and brushing them with oil, you can ensure the veggies won’t stick and will come out tasting delicious.

How Long to Grill Your Vegetables?

Some vegetables only need a minute or two on the grill and others need longer to cook. To prevent burning, sear your veggies on medium to high heat and then move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Use a thin metal spatula or a good set of tongs to carefully move and flip your vegetables around the grill.

Depending on the size of your veggies and your grill, your experience will vary, so watch your vegetables carefully. But here is a general rule of thumb for some popular veggies:

  • Grilled corn– 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally
  • Grilled asparagus– 4 minutes
  • Grilled zucchini– 4-5 minutes on each side
  • Grilled tomatoes – 5 minutes per side
  • Grilled mushrooms– 2-3 minutes per side

If you’re grilling a mix of vegetables, you’ll want to grill the heartier ones first. For example, grill your onions and peppers before your mushrooms, squash, and zucchini. The last items to go on the grill should be things like tomatoes and asparagus.

A Few Additional Notes About Grilling Vegetables

Some vegetables don’t do well on the grill. Leafy greens, celery, and cucumbers are examples because of their high-water content.

But you can serve your vegetables with a green salad, sandwich, wrap, or omelet and get delicious results. Finally, consider adding a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar to your vegetables if you are going to serve them as a standalone side dish with your meal.

Get the Freshest Vegetables at Nick’s of Calvert

Now that you know how to grill veggies to perfection, the next step is to hit your local grocer for your supplies. Nick’s of Calvert offers only the freshest produce and makes service to its customers one of its priorities. Come into our Prince Frederick store today for all your grocery, spirits, and catering needs, or give us a call at (410) 414-7105 with any questions.

Choosing the Right Meat for the Grill and How to Grill It

Do you get bored with the same meats on your grill week after week? You shouldn’t have to because there are so many different options. A perfect backyard BBQ meal is the result of a combination of the right cut and type of meat and cooking technique.

If you are ready to take your grilling game to the next level, here is what you need to know.


When most people think of firing up the grill, they choose some type of beef as the main course. Whether you are grilling burgers, flank steak, or a NY strip, the quality of the beef you purchase and your technique matters.

Choosing the Right Cut of Beef

If you are making burgers, regular ground beef will have the most flavor only because it has the highest fat content (roughly 25%). If you want a burger with less fat content, choose something like ground chuck or ground sirloin.

When choosing steaks to grill, you will want to think about how you plan to grill it as well as your budget. For example, flank and skirt steaks and beef tri-tips are budget-friendly and do well with a dry rub or marinade. A NY strip or filet mignon is more costly, but also incredibly flavorful.

When picking out your meat, here are some of the ways you can judge it:

  • Marbling– Pay attention to the fat (white lines) on the meat. This gives the meat flavor and moisture during the cooking process.
  • Grade– Higher grades of meat will generally have more marbling. For beef, look for USDA grades that are Prime, Choice, or Select (Prime is the highest).
  • Color– Beef should dark red or cherry in color, not brown.
  • Cut – Different cuts of beef work better with different styles of cooking. Smaller cuts are better for grilling and larger ones are ideal for smoking.

How to Grill It

Hamburger patties are quick and easy to cook on the grill. Maintain a medium-low heat to make sure your burger cooks evenly and achieves the proper internal temperature before the outside of the burger burns. Your target internal temperature is 160° F. For best results flip your burger once and do not press your burger with you grill tool (i.e. spatula) as it will allow juices to escape and dry your burger out. You will also want to use high to medium heat to cook steaks on the grill, again flipping them just once to lock in the juices and avoid drying them out. And remember, temperature matters.


If you want to grill pork, most people go for the ribs, but other popular options are pork chops as well as a pork butt or shoulder roast.

How to Choose Pork for Your BBQ

Pork doesn’t come in grades like beef, but certain breeds will have higher levels of marbling, such as Berkshire and Duroc. Pork should be red to pink in color, never green or brown.

How to Grill It

If you are cooking ribs, they need low heat for a long time. When cooking pork chops you should consider two levels of heat. First, sear your chops over a high heat for about 3 minutes per side to create the grill marks on the outside of the chop. Then, lower the heat to medium and cook for about 7 minutes to finish cooking the chops. When grilling pork of any type, make sure you do not overcook it so that it becomes dry.


Chicken is excellent on the grill! You can grill chicken wings, drumsticks, or boneless breasts. Or, you could just cut up a whole chicken and put it on the BBQ.

How to Choose Chicken for Your BBQ

Poultry comes in grades A, B, and C, but you are likely to only see Grade A chicken at your local grocery store. Poultry should also be pink, not white, or brown.

How to Grill It

Chicken is one of the easiest meats to grill, and it’s so versatile. You can marinate it with lime juice or teriyaki or coat it with your favorite BBQ sauce for additional flavor and moisture. Grill your chicken on medium heat. Chicken breasts and thighs will tend to cook the most evenly. For white meat, your chicken is done at about 170-degrees and you should aim for 180-degrees with dark meat.


Turkey on the BBQ? You bet! Similar to chicken, you can purchase turkey breast cutlets that are low fat and delicious when grilled.

How to Choose Turkey for Your BBQ

When choosing turkey for your next BBQ, simply use the same criteria that you would for chicken.

How to Grill It

Since turkey can dry easily, it’s a good idea to marinate it before grilling to lock in some of its moisture. Grill your turkey similar to chicken and aim for the same internal temperatures.

Get Help Choosing the Right Meat for Your Next Cookout

The good and bad news is that you have a ton of options when it comes to choosing the best meat for your next cookout. If you are still not sure where to start, we can help. Nick’s of Calvert offers a full-service meat counter and our store takes pride in delivering superior customer service. We are also known for providing some of the freshest meats in the area at the most affordable prices. Visit us today in Prince Frederick or call us at (410) 414-7105.