New Orleans regularly tops the list of best food cities in the United States, and grilling is a big part of its cuisine. Spicy Cajun and Creole seasonings are a perfect complement to classic BBQ foods such as chicken and beef as well as oysters, shrimp and seafood favorites.
Fire up the grill and use these expert tips to wow family and friends Big Easy-style!
In New Orleans, we have the advantage of access to the best in fresh seafood. Fish and shellfish are healthy, delicious and lend themselves to a variety of flavors and seasonings.
Seafood has a tendency to stick to the grill, so keep it well-lubricated. Simply dip a piece of paper towel in vegetable oil and use a pair of tongs to wipe it across the grill as needed.
When grilling, fresh seafood is always easier to work with than frozen.
If you plan on marinating the fish, it should be done no longer than 30 to 60 minutes to prevent acids from breaking down the flesh. Baste lean fish frequently during cooking to keep it from drying out.
Firm fish, such as tuna, swordfish and salmon, can be placed directly on the grill. Grilling baskets are useful for cooking more delicate fish that may fall apart.
A good rule of thumb for cooking fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Err on the side of underdone, as you can always put the fish back on the grill if necessary.
Skewers are great for grilling and serving shrimp and scallops. Add flavor by alternating chunks of vegetables with the seafood. Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes before grilling so they don't burn.
General Grilling Tips and Tricks
Make a batch of flavorful Cajun BBQ rub and keep it on hand. It's also good on non-grilled foods such as eggs.
Cajun-style grill foil packets are the Louisiana equivalent of the classic New England clambake. It's an easy way to prepare a protein, potatoes and vegetable in one portion.
New Orleans chef Miles Prescott developed a love of grilled oysters while working at some of the top local restaurants. Try his classic preparation or one of the gourmet options.
For a twist on grilled veggies, place potatoes (sweet or regular), onions and leeks directly on the hot coals. When done, pull away the burned outer crust and enjoy the fabulous smoky flavor inside.
Clean debris before cooking by heating the grill and using a long-handled fork to rub the cut side of an onion across it.
Never leave a hot grill unattended. Establish a three-foot "safety zone" around the grill to keep kids and pets at a safe distance.
The Louisiana Fire Prevention Code prohibits the use of grills on apartment balconies and patios, but you can still enjoy safe and convenient grilling. Springs at River Chase and Springs at Fremaux Town Center have BBQ stations available for use by all residents.