Year-round outdoor grilling

Who says that you need to turn off that barbecue and hang up your mitts when the temperatures drop? Some of the best recipes ever can be prepared outside at any time of year, from steaks and ribs to appetizers and desserts.

Just be sure to stock up on fuel and give yourself ample time to heat the grill and cook your food. We also recommend warming up a cast-iron covered skillet or Dutch oven (put it right in the grill!) to keep your fare piping hot for serving.

Start with these tasty offerings to kick off the cooler months.

Capital Smoked Chili

Serves 6

  • ½ lb. bacon, diced
  • 1 ½ lb. beef stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 lb. pork stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ tbsp fresh serrano chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ tbsp fresh poblano chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee or dark ale
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • Freshly shredded cheddar cheese

Place large Dutch oven on grill grate and preheat grill to 350 degrees with lid closed. Add bacon to Dutch oven and cook until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon or tongs and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings.

In the drippings, cook the beef, pork and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add garlic, peppers and seasonings. Cover pot, close grill lid, cook and stir for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, broth and coffee/ale. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add chocolate. Cover pot, close grill lid and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours or until meat is tender. Garnish with cheese.

Fredericksburg's Fireball Chicken

Serves 6

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup Fireball cinnamon whiskey
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs

In a medium saucepan, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, pineapple juice, cider vinegar, onion powder, garlic, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add Fireball and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Set sauce aside.

Preheat grill to high heat, then lightly oil grate Place thighs on grill and cook until no longer pink in center and somewhat charred on the outside, about 7 minutes per side. Baste chicken with prepared sauce until thoroughly coated, close grill lid and cook for 2 minutes. Turn chicken over, coat other side with sauce and cook for 2 minutes.

Serve on hot platter drizzled with remaining sauce.

(Try apple juice instead of pineapple for a less-sweet version. For a thicker sauce, whisk 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch together and stir into the sauce while it simmers.)

Manassas Battlefield Bananas

Serves 6

  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream

Preheat grill for low heat, then lightly oil grill grate. Halve bananas lengthwise, then widthwise. Sprinkle with lemon juice. In a small bowl, blend brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and pecans. Roll banana pieces in sugar, spice and nut mixture until well coated. Arrange bananas on large sheet of aluminum foil and place on preheated grill. Cook for 3 minutes per side.

Serve in a large bowl on scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with a sprinkling of remaining sugar, spice and nut mixture.

Many thanks to our chefs, PicklesT, AgileMJOLNIR and Charlie for these tasty ideas. Please send us your recipes!