Who’s There? It’s Knockwurst

If you live in the U.S. (or anywhere else on the planet), you’re probably familiar with the hot dog, also known as the frankfurter—a nod to the city of Frankfurt, Germany, likely where its prototype was born. But you may not have heard of the hot dog’s delicious cousin: knockwurst.

Allow us to introduce you. Knockwurst is one of more than 1,000 varieties of sausage attributed to Germany, a country famous for its wurst. According to historians, sausage-making emerged as a way to preserve meat—and to get the most out of the animals that provided it.

So, what sets knockwurst apart from hot dogs (and all the other sausages available in grocery stores)? For answers to a few of our more pressing questions about the sausage, we turned to Kurt Gutenbrunner, world-renowned Austrian chef and restaurateur and expert in central European cuisine.

knockwurst with mustard

Q: What makes this sausage so special?

A: Knockwurst is short, stout, and loaded with flavorful seasonings. “Every butcher has a special mix that he’s proud of,” says Chef Gutenbrunner. “Some use more nutmeg, or more coriander, or more caraway seeds.”

Q: How do you eat knockwurst?

A: It can be eaten as finger food at parties, or with a piece of good bread and a condiment or two. Then there are more elaborate preparations. According to Chef Gutenbrunner, “in the summer, you can use it in wurstsalat”—literally “sausage salad.” (Yes, this is a thing.) “Sliced and mixed with red onions, peppers, apples, vinegar, and chives, it’s fantastic.”

Q: Where does this sausage come from?

A: “Like any wurst, knockwurst has a long history,” Chef Gutenbrunner explains. Germans have been making the sausage for centuries. In fact, before it even entered the mainstream in its native country, knockwurst was considered a delicacy among royalty.

Q: Where is it most popular?

A: While knockwurst is most popular in Germany, the sausage is also woven into the cuisines of its neighbors, like Alsace (a region in France) and Austria. “I grew up with knockwurst in Austria. We loved it and ate it all the time,” Chef Gutenbrunner recalls fondly.

Q: How did knockwurst get its name?

A: In German, it’s spelled “knackwurst,” which comes from “knacken” (meaning “to snap or crack”)—a reference to the unbeatable snap of the casing when you take a bite. “The texture alone is wonderful,” says Chef Gutenbrunner. “You can even just warm up the sausage up and enjoy that snap with a spicy or sweet mustard.”

Q: Anything else?

A: Chef Gutenbrunner wants you to know that when it comes to making knockwurst or any sausage, the key is quality meat. “It matters what you put into the casing,” he says. “It matters what we eat, what animal it came from, how that animal was raised.”

Try this tasty sausage at home with our recipe for Beef Knockwurst & Sauerkraut with Potato Salad & Whole Grain Mustard

Beef Knockwurst & Sauerkraut
with Potato Salad & Whole Grain Mustard

What to Do If You Don’t Have a Grill

adapt grilling recipe for indoors

The char of the grill is the indisputable flavor of summer. Unfortunately, we don’t all have grills. The good news is that Blue Apron grilling recipes are still delicious when you prepare them indoors. With the right tools and a few preparation tweaks, you’ll be able to adapt any grilling recipe to replicate the flavors of the grill in the comfort of your home. 

How to adapt a grilling recipe for meat 

When it comes to making a grilled recipe indoors, the approach will vary depending on what you’re preparing. For protein, you want to make sure the meat is properly cooked, and that you recreate a bit of the caramelized flavor where possible. If you’re craving those iconic char marks, a good grill pan will help.

If you do have a grill pan, you can mostly follow the grilling instructions as written. Just be sure to heat the pan thoroughly before you get started. 

After a grill pan, the best choice for adapting a grill recipe is a cast iron skillet. This heavy pan is beloved for its ability to retain and distribute heat, which makes it a good choice for approximating the high-heat of the grill. 

For a nonstick pan, choose medium-high heat, and use the following cook times as a guideline. For items like burgers or steaks, just cook to your desired doneness. 

Shrimp: 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally

Chicken breast: 6-7 minutes per side

Chicken thigh: 5-7 minutes per side

Pork: 4-6 minutes per side

Beyond burger: 3-5 min per side

How to adapt a grilling recipe for fruits and vegetables 

For grilled fruits and vegetables like onions or peppers, the best alternative is simply to medium dice and sauté until tender in a nonstick pan. 

If your recipe calls for making a foil packet, you can use the oven instead of a grill. Just follow the steps of the recipe, then place the packet in a 450°F oven until the vegetables are tender. 

For corn on the cob, the solution is to boil them. Although this method won’t create the same charred exterior, it actually has a few advantages. Boiling corn is faster than the grill. Your cleaned cobs will only require about 2-3 minutes in a pot. Another perk: boiling gives you an opportunity to flavor the inside of the corn kernels. Salt the water before you add the corn, and the corn will absorb the flavor. 

For more summer grilling inspiration, check out the Blue Apron guide to grilling. 

3 Tips for the Best Possible Burgers

Burgers are a simple pleasure, but sometimes making them can feel complicated. Even though they don’t have many steps or ingredients, a little technique will go a long way in helping you prepare a delicious burger.

Tips for Cooking Burgers

Tip 1: Dimple the patty. When you begin to cooking a burgers, either on the grill or on a stovetop, the high heat causes the strands of protein to contract. This makes the patty itself shrink and plump up. This is a normal part of the cooking process, but if you’re not careful, it can result in globe-shaped burgers. To prevent your patties from getting too round, just press down lightly in the middle. The goal is to make a dimple in the center of the meat that will fill out when cooked. This way, it’s easier to build a stable burger in the end. 

Preparing the Burger for Cooking - Dimple Process

Tip 2: Mix gently and season well. For the most flavorful burger, season the meat twice. First, season the meat mixture and stir gently to combine. Be sure to not to over-mix; working the meat too much can lead to a tough burger. Just a few stirs to incorporate the seasoning will do the trick. Second, season the outside of the patties after you form them. By seasoning both the outside and inside of the patty you’ll get a burger with a flavorful crust and a tender bite. 

Adding Salt & Pepper to the Burger Patty

Tip 3: Keep the bun handy. Nothing is more disappointing than taking a burger off of the grill and realizing it’s smaller than the buns. To prevent this tragedy, keep the buns nearby while you’re shaping burger patties. Use the shape of the bun as a size-guide, but remember: proteins contract. Make the patties a little bigger than the buns and they’ll shrink down to size. 

Shaping the Burger Patty for Cooking

Ready to try out these techniques? Take your burger experience to the next level with Blue Apron’s elevated craft burger.

Recipe: Tim Hollingsworth’s Grilled Peach Cobbler

Grilled peach cobbler
Sweet, smoky, and just peachy

Chef Tim Hollingsworth’s love for the grill extends far beyond burgers. This grilled peach cobbler recipe was inspired by one of the Chef’s favorite childhood desserts. Here, he gives it a grown-up twist with some complexity from bourbon-spiked batter and smoke from the grill. 

This recipe was designed to work with a Traeger pellet grill. If you don’t have one, just follow the instructions for baking in the oven. For extra credit, serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Smoky Peach Cobbler

For the macerated peaches 
  • 10 Peaches 
  • 2 Tbsps brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice 
For the batter 
  • 3 Tbsps butter
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 Tbsps bourbon 
For dusting 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar 

1. Blanch the peaches by submerging them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Work in batches of 3-4 peaches. Allow to cool. 

2. After peaches have cooled, peel and slice into wedges. 

3. In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup and lemon juice. Macerate for 30 minutes. 

4. While the peaches are sitting, place a 10.5” x 7” baking pan in the oven or grill and preheat to 350°F. 

5. Melt the 3 Tbsps butter in the baking dish while the oven preheats. Swirl the butter around to coat the pan, and then pour it out into a large bowl. Add the remaining batter ingredients, and mix to form a thin consistency. 

6. Add the batter to the bottom of the baking dish. If necessary, use spatula to spread it into an even layer. Top with the macerated peaches. 

7. Whisk to combine the cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Dust this over the top of the peaches. 

8. Smoke in a pellet grill or bake in the oven for 45 minutes. 

Want more recipes from Tim Hollingsworth? Order a box from Blue Apron x Tim Hollingsworth today.

The Blue Apron Guide to Grilling

how to grill
Char for days

The char of the grill is the signature flavor of summer. Not only is grilling fast and infinitely adaptable, it’s also an evening activity unto itself. The grill is a lovely place to gather outdoors when it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. Of course, even a cooking method commonly considered easy can be a little perplexing sometimes.

Making sure your food is properly cooked is a good place to start. Cooking times vary on the grill. Some items, like shrimp, are done in a flash. To master the art of grilling (almost) any protein check out the Blue Apron guide to grilling meat, featuring a chart grill of times and advice from the Blue Apron test kitchen.

When it comes to the grill, you shouldn’t stop with the main course. Our guide to grilling fruits and vegetables explains why grilling side dishes can actually make dinner preparation easier. It also offers quick advice on cooking times and ideas for what to make with your grilled pineapple, asparagus, and scallions. 

The grill brings a lot of flavor, but it can’t do the work all on its own. Seasoning meats before bringing them to the grill is essential. Rubs and marinades are two popular ways to introduce some spice to your grilled dinner. Check out our guide to rubs and marinades to learn about the best ways to use them, and to find a few recipes to get you started. 

make a marinade
Spiced and flavorful

Of course, not everyone has a grill. For those who are spending more time inside this summer, we have a solution for you, too. Blue Apron’s guide to grilling inside can show you how to get the charred smoky flavor you crave, even if you don’t have a yard. 

Once you’ve mastered grill times and chosen your favorite grilling technique, here are a few recipes to help you flex your new skills. 

Grilling recipes

Grilled Caesar Salad from Henrietta Red 

grilled radishes

Grilled Steak Tacos with Roasted Salsa Verde 

how to grill steak
Steak tacos

Smoky Marinated Eggplant with Herb Salsa from Hyacinth 

grilled eggplant
Charred and ready to eat

Is a Rub or a Marinade Better for Flavorful Grilling?

Marinades and rubs go hand in hand with grilling. Both methods are used to add more flavor to your meal. But what, exactly, is the difference, and how do you know when to do what?

how to make a marinade grilled chicken
Marinated grilled chicken

How to make a marinade 

Marinades are a liquid solution spiked with spices. To marinate a protein, you immerse it in the liquid, and leave it to sit in the refrigerator for an hour or more. The flavors can vary based on your personal preference and the types of herbs, spices or liquids you’re adding to the mix. Marinades typically have an acidic component, like lemon juice or vinegar, that is said to help break down protein molecules and tenderize your meat. However, even with long soaking times, marinades primarily flavor the surface of meat, poultry or seafood. The liquid won’t actually penetrate all the way through. That makes this technique best suited for thin cuts of meat, like skirt steak. 

When marinating, make sure that you have enough liquid to coat your protein, but keep in mind that you can’t use the liquid as a sauce once it has touched raw meat. If you’re hoping to use your marinade on the finished meal, set some aside before using the rest to coat the raw meat. After your protein is done refrigerating, let any extra marinade drip off before placing on the grill. Excess oil and fat can lead to flare ups and uneven temperatures when grilling. 

How to make a rub

A rub is composed of salt, pepper, herbs, and spices. Sometimes sugar enters the mix, but there is not usually a liquid component. Similar to marinades, rubs season the surface of the food, but won’t penetrate all the way through. Unlike marinades, however, rubs don’t require an extended period of resting time to pick up the flavor. Once the rub is on, you’re all set to grill. Rubs make it easier to achieve a nice sear because of their dry nature. In order to sear a marinated piece of meat, you’d have to wait for moisture to completely evaporate. If your rub includes sugar, the caramelization will make achieving a nice crust even easier. Just be sure to keep a close eye on the grill; sugar can go from caramelized to burnt pretty quickly.

Start exploring the world of rubs and marinades with the recipes below. Adding flavor doesn’t have to stop here. After your protein comes off of the grill, adding a sauce can introduce new flavors to the dish. Bright and herbal sauces like chimichurri or salsa verde are a perfect complement to grilled steak and chicken. For a super easy flavor boost, keep it simple and brush store bought barbecue sauce on your cooked meat.

Lemony Tangy Grilled Chicken 

  • 1 Cup Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs 
  1. To make the marinade, combine all ingredients except the chicken in a large bowl. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides, and add the seasoned chicken to the bowl of marinade. Turn to coat. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. 
  1. Preheat your grill to maintain a temperature of 450-500°F. Oil the grill grates. Grill chicken for 7-8 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. 

Grilled Chicken with All-Purpose Dry Rub

  • 2 tsp paprika 
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar 
  • 1lb boneless-skinless chicken breast or thighs 

1. To make the dry rub combine all of the ingredients except chicken in a large bowl,. Mix to thoroughly combine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, and enough dry rub to coat both sides.

2. Preheat your grill to maintain a temperature of 450-500°F. Oil the grill grates. Grill the chicken for 7-8 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. This rub would also work well on beef, pork, or even shrimp.

Find even more grilling tips in the Blue Apron guide to grilling 

How to Grill Inside

For some, summer is grilling season. That’s great in theory, but in practice, not everyone has a grill. Apartment dwellers shouldn’t be left out of the fun just because they don’t have easy access to a yard. Blue Apron Chef Andrew Mumma set out to find the best way to enjoy the flavor of the grill without starting a fire in your home.

grilling inside
Cook in > cook out

Chef Andrew tested out three different methods, but the simplest technique prevailed. An indoor smoker filled his home with smoke, and left foods with a bitter taste that bore little resemblance to the grill. The electric griddle was easier to control, but couldn’t deliver the grill’s signature char or grill marks. After testing, the humble grill pan emerged as the best way to grill indoors, it getting outside just isn’t an option. 

How to use a grill pan

A grill pan is a heavy pan with raised lines that mimic the grates of a grill. It’s used on the stovetop like a traditional skillet. When it comes to grill pans, the heavier the better. With a material like cast iron, not only will you be able to get the pan hotter, it will retain heat better once food is added. 

how to use a grill pan
A staub grill pan

Although it isn’t an exact replica of a grill, a grill pan will help develop a nice char on meat and vegetables. To achieve this, the pan needs to get very hot. Preheat the pan on the stove before adding anything, and don’t be afraid if you start to see some smoke. It’s normal for a grill pan to get very smoky. Just make sure the hood fan is turned up to the highest setting, and an exterior window is open to air things out a bit. 

Use the grill pan for chicken breasts, then slice and serve over rice with barbecue sauce, or alongside a panzanella.

For a vegetarian option brush sliced eggplant with olive oil, and incorporate into a grilled eggplant sandwich or salad

Find even more grilling tips in the Blue Apron guide to grilling 

How to Grill All of Your Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have just as much of a place on the grill as a steak or a hamburger. In fact, grilling fruits and veggies can actually make preparing a meal easier. Not only will you end up with a delicious dinner, you won’t have to juggle cooking anything else inside on the stove or in the oven. Plus, the grill is versatile. You can vary your method for grilling fruits and vegetables based on your comfort level and personal taste preferences. For grilling times, check out the chart below, and read on to learn more about the best methods for grilling fruits and vegetables. 

grilling temperature chart

Cooking directly on the grill grates

For the most grill flavor, your best bet is to cook straight on the grate. This method requires keeping the pieces of food large, so they don’t fall through the grates as you’re cooking. You can keep some things whole, like ears of corn. For veggies like zucchini, try cutting into long planks instead of small rounds. Season lightly with salt and pepper, or with a rub or marinade of your choosing. No matter what, this method is bound to get you some nice char marks and smoky grilled flavor. The main thing to remember is that the density of the item will impact the cook time. For example, potatoes will take longer to cook than sweet peppers. Keep the items in separate rows or sections on the grill while cooking, so you can easily pull off like items when they’re done. Once the produce has been grilled, you can chop it into smaller bite-sized pieces and combine.

grilled vegetables
Zucchini on the grill

How to grill in a foil packet

With this method, you’ll chop the food down into bite-sized pieces from the start. To make a packet, tear a large piece of aluminum foil from the container and group the food in the center of one side. This is your opportunity to season your vegetables. Fold the other side of the aluminum foil over like you’re closing a book. Crimp the 3 open edges together to seal. The foil packet can then go directly on the grates without the worry of food sticking to the grates or falling through. This method traps the heat in, and steams whatever is inside. You won’t get the same char or smoky flavor, but you will end up with a delicious meal or side dish.  

How to grill in a pan 

With the right cookware, you can place a pan on the grill and use it like a stove. Cast iron is going to give you the best results here. Avoid pans with an enamel coating, plastic handles, or a nonstick surface like teflon. The high heat of the grill can ruin those surfaces. Since this method is similar to cooking on a stovetop, you can sauté, blister, or even caramelize onions. Preheat the grill and the pan with some oil, and then cook away. You might get some smoky essence here, but you’ll likely have to keep the grill lid open for this type of cooking, so it won’t pick up nearly as much flavor as direct grilling. 

How to use a grill basket

Working with a grill basket is similar to using a pan on the grill, but grill baskets usually have small perforated holes. These openings are small enough to allow some smoky flavor through without letting food fall out. To use a basket, preheat the grill and the basket and lightly oil the food. Add things with similar cook times and toss or stir occasionally to make sure the heat is distributed evenly. The food will brown a bit as it cooks, but you won’t get the nice char marks you do with direct grilling.

How to grill with skewers

When it comes to grilling with skewers, the most important thing is to keep foods with similar cooking times together; you don’t want to end up with a stick of burnt peppers and raw potatoes. With this method, you’re able to grill bite-sized pieces directly on the grates without worrying about food falling through the grill. Skewers are available in both wood and metal varieties. The main difference is that you need to soak wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to help avoid burning. If you find the food is turning or moving too much on a single skewer, simply use a second skewer to secure it. Placing the skewers perpendicular to the grates will make this method even easier. Skewers give you the benefit of the chargrilled flavor, smokiness of the grill, and easy to eat bite-sized pieces.

grilled corn and grilled onions
Grilled vegetables

Once you’ve chosen your technique, try it out on some of the produce below. For all of the items below, first preheat the grill to a temperature of 450-500°F and oil the grill grates. 

How to grill pineapple 

Peel the pineapple and cut into quarters lengthwise. Remove the core from each quarter, and place directly on the grill. If you prefer rounds, peel the pineapple and slice into 1/2-inch slices. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side. Once your pineapple is nicely caramelized, remove it from the grill, allow to cool, and slice into wedges. These slices will provide a lovely acidic zing in a chicken sandwich, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, use grilled pineapple to add an additional layer of flavor to pineapple upside down cake. 

How to grill pineapple
Grilled fruits with ice cream

How to grill green cabbage 

Cut the cabbage into quarters, keeping the root intact. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of oil on the cut cabbage and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Place the seasoned cabbage wedges cut side down on the hot grill. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally until lightly charred. 

How to grill corn

Remove the husk and silk from the corn. Lightly oil the corn cobs and place them directly on the grill. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes, turning the cobs occasionally until the corn is charred and cooked through. Once the corn is cooled, enjoy it as is, or cut it off the cob and mix it into a summer salad

How long to grill asparagus

Asparagus can vary a lot in size. When it comes to the grill, the bigger the stalk the better.  Larger stalks will be easier to maneuver, and will stand up to the heat of the grill better. To make this even easier, consider threading the asparagus stalks onto a skewer. Lightly oil the asparagus and place on a hot grill. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until softened and charred. Once they’re cooked, toss in a light dressing, add to a salad, or just cool and eat. 

How to grill scallions

Lightly oil the scallions and place on the grill, making sure to keep them perpendicular to the grill grate. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until softened and charred. 

How to grill onions

Peel and cut the onion into 1/2-inch thick rings. Lightly oil the cut onion and place the slices directly on the grill. Cook 8 to 10 minutes per side, or until charred and tender. Once done, these are delicious on top of a burger or steak. 

How long to grill zucchini

Halve the zucchini lengthwise. Using the tip of your knife, score the cut sides of the zucchini diagonally to form a cross-hatch pattern, about 1/4-inch deep. Season the cut sides with a big pinch of salt, then place on a paper towel-lined plate, cut side down. Set aside to release the excess liquid, at least 10 minutes. Pat the zucchini dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Lightly oil the slices and place them on the grill cut side down. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until lightly charred and softened. Remove the zucchini from the grill, serve as is, toss in a light dressing, or tuck into zucchini tacos

Grilling tips

  • Make sure your grill is cleaned, preheated, and oiled before adding anything. This will ensure that your vegetables won’t stick to the grill.
  • Lightly brush or toss your vegetables in oil before placing on the grill to get better color. 
  • Keep the grill lid down while you cook to keep the temperature high and prevent flare ups. 
  • Season your vegetables with salt and lemon off the grill while they are still hot. 
  • Use sheet trays to organize your vegetables before grilling as an easy way to transfer them to and from the grill.

Find even more grilling tips in the Blue Apron guide to grilling 

How to Grill (Almost) Any Type of Protein

When it comes to grilling protein, the most reliable way to tell if your burger or steak is done is to check the internal temperature. Of course, not everyone grills with a spatula in one hand and a thermometer in the other. If you know what to look for, a combination of your senses and a timer should be more than enough to execute a perfectly grilled dinner. Consider this chart the answer to all of your quick grilling questions, covering everything from steak grilling times to how to grill shrimp. 

grilling temperature chart

How to grill steak

The chart above is an excellent guideline, but steak grilling times will vary based on the cut and thickness of the meat, the heat of the grill, and the taste preferences of the grillmaster. If you want to check your steak for doneness without a thermometer, there’s an old-school trick you can use. Press your thumb against your pointer finger like this: 👌. With your opposite hand, feel the fleshy part of your palm at the base of your thumb. It should feel soft and springy. That’s the texture of a rare steak. Now, press your middle finger against your thumb, and feel again. Does your palm feel slightly firmer? That’s medium rare. Repeat this process with your ring finger and pinky to approximate the texture of a medium-well and well-done steak 

For the best possible result, be sure to season your meat generously with salt at least 40 minutes before hitting the grill. You should see the salt start to dissolve, and the surface of the steak will develop a light sheen. If excess moisture has built up on the outside of the steak, make sure to pat dry before placing on the grill. Wet meat won’t achieve the perfect sear you’re hoping for.

Grilled Steaks & Chile Butter with Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes & Asparagus, how to grill steak
Grilled Steaks & Chile Butter with Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes & Asparagus

How to grill chicken

From boneless skinless breasts to whole birds, chicken is a great choice for the grill. Unlike beef, where there is some accounting for taste, it’s essential that chicken be cooked completely through. If you’re not sure if the meat is done, cut into a piece. If the chicken is completely cooked, the center should be opaque and white, and the juices flowing out should be clear. 

Before you introduce the chicken to the grill, season it thoroughly with salt and pepper or a rub of your choice. Whether you’re using gas or charcoal, preheat the grill for at least 15 minutes. Grill your chicken over the hottest part of the grill, flipping halfway through. Follow the guidelines above to find grill times for chicken breasts and thighs. Once you’ve mastered those, perhaps it’s time to move on to something more ambitious, like a spatchcoked whole bird

Grilled Chicken Thighs & Panzanella with Parmesan-Garlic Dressing, how to grill chicken
Grilled Chicken Thighs & Panzanella with Parmesan-Garlic Dressing

How to grill shrimp 

One of the most beautiful things about grilling shrimp is the sheer speed. Just 2-3 minutes per side, and dinner is ready. Of course, shrimp are small, and you don’t want to risk losing one through the grill grates. Grilling shrimp will be easier if you keep them together either in a grill basket or with skewers. If using wooden skewers, just be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to reduce the chance of them catching on fire. Watch your shrimp closely. When they’re nicely plump and opaque, pull them off and enjoy. 

Grilled Garlic Shrimp & Spanish-Style Potatoes with Onion & Bell Pepper, how to grill shrimp
Grilled Garlic Shrimp & Spanish-Style Potatoes with Onion & Bell Pepper

How to grill pork chops

Grilled pork chops can be elegant, rustic, or somewhere in between. The one thing they should never be is dry. To achieve a caramelized exterior and a juicy interior, don’t be afraid to leave those chops alone. After heating the grill, place the pork chops over high heat and don’t touch them. Flip after 3-4 minutes, and then step away again. After another 3-4 minutes, pull them off the grill, let them rest, and enjoy. If you were to flip the chops multiple times, it would take longer to achieve browning on the exterior of the meat, increasing the likelihood that the center would be overcooked.  

Grilled Pork Chops & Calabrian Mayo with Salsa Verde Beans & Zucchini, how to grill pork chops
Grilled Pork Chops & Calabrian Mayo with Salsa Verde Beans & Zucchini

How long to rest meat 

No matter what protein you’re working with, be sure to give it time to rest after you take it off of the grill. Leaving your meat alone for just five minutes before cutting into it will allow the juices to redistribute, guaranteeing you a moist flavorful meal. 

Find even more grilling tips in the Blue Apron guide to grilling 

Smoky Marinated Eggplant with Herb Salsa

Eggplant served with salsa and yogurt
Plated with yogurt and lemon wedges

Blue Apron is teaming up with chefs across the country to support Feeding America®. To participate, head over to our social media channels. Share our Facebook post or tag a friend on Instagram, and Blue Apron will donate an additional $5 to Feeding America, up to $50,000. Thanks to chef Rikki Giambruno of Hyacinth for sharing this recipe for rich and herbaceous marinated eggplant. 

Hyacinth is the brainchild of chef Rikki Giambruno. The charming and colorful restaurant pays respects to multiple aspects of the chef’s background. The food is inspired by his family’s Italian heritage, but local Minnesotan flare runs throughout. It’s in the ingredients the chef chooses to highlight, it’s in the local flowers displayed in the dining room, and it’s in the name of the restaurant itself; the chef grew up on Hyacinth Rd in Victoria, Minnesota.  

This recipe celebrates the richness and versatility of eggplants; try it on the grill or in a screaming hot pan, just don’t be afraid of a little char. 

Grilled or Roasted Marinated Eggplant with Lovage Salsa 

For the eggplants

  • 4 Eggplants, preferably Japanese or thin globe eggplants  
  • Salt

For the marinade

  • 2 Tbsp crushed coriander seeds 
  • 2 Tbsp crushed cumin seeds  
  • 1 Tbsp crushed fennel seeds 
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tsp Aleppo pepper 
  • 1 clove garlic, grated 
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • About 1 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste

For the lovage salsa 

  • 2 C lovage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 C parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ C cilantro leaves, roughly chopped  
  • ½ C mint leaves, roughly chopped 
  • 1 medium shallot, minced  
  • 2 pieces green garlic, minced OR ½ clove garlic, grated  
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar 
  • 1 tsp honey 
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced 
  • ½ tsp Aleppo pepper 
  • 1 C extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt to taste 

To serve 

  • Lemon wedges 
  • Sea salt 
  • Greek yogurt 

Prepare the marinade and eggplants:

  1. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. With a sharp knife, score the flesh of the eggplant in a crisscross pattern. Season the flesh side of the eggplant with salt and rub it in until it is fully absorbed. Allow the eggplant to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. You should see beads of moisture begin to form on the eggplant.
  2. After the eggplants have rested, gently squeeze each half to remove the excess water. Use paper towels to blot them as dry as possible. 
  3. Combine all the dry marinade ingredients together. Slowly stir in the olive oil until the mixture reaches a wet sand consistency. Mix in the tomato paste, then rub the cut sides of the eggplants with marinade.   
  4. Heat a grill, grill pan, or cast iron pan to high heat. If you are using a cast iron pan preheat your oven to 400° F, using convection if possible. Add a slick of oil to the pan. Once your cooking surface is preheated, place the eggplants cut side down.
  5. If grilling, allow the cut side to become very well roasted and charred in places. Once you are satisfied with the level of grill/char on the cut side, flip them over onto the skin side and cook until the eggplant is completely tender. You can test this by poking the eggplant with a cake tester, or by simply pinching it with your finger.  
  6. If roasting, after you have added the eggplant to the pan, let the pan heat back up, searing the cut side of the eggplant gently. Place the pan in the oven, eggplant still cut side down, and roast until completely tender. Check after 10 minutes. If it isn’t done, check every five minutes until it’s cooked through. 

Make the salsa:

  1. Combine lemon juice, vinegar and honey in a bowl. Add the shallot and green garlic (or garlic clove) first. Stir until well combined and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste the salsa and add salt to taste. Adjust the seasoning with lemon juice or Aleppo pepper if necessary. 

To serve:

  1. Serve the eggplants warm, topped with lovage salsa and with lemon wedges, sea salt and yogurt on the side.

Four Burger Mix-ins to Make Your Cookout Memorable

burger mix-in with mushrooms
A Blue Apron burger with shiitake and hoisin

A good burger is a thing of beauty. It’s a perfect marriage of crispy caramelization and rich meat. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always pan out that way. Far too many burgers end up flavorless and underwhelming. For patties that are packed with flavor every time, try bringing a few more ingredients into the mix. Follow these four ideas for burger mix-ins to switch up your backyard grilling game.

Mix in some mushrooms:

In this top-rated Blue Apron recipe, a beef patty gets bulked up with shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms stretch out the beef a bit, making the entire burger experience lighter, while also adding some complex texture and a deep layer of savory umami goodness. This recipe uses rehydrated shiitakes, but feel free to swap in your favorite mushroom.  

grilling burger mix-ins
Not everyone has a grill!

Stuff it with cheese:

Ok, pairing cheese with a burger isn’t exactly new, but we’re willing to bet you usually slap a slice on top of your patty. To switch things up a little bit, treat your cheese like a filling. Sometimes referred to as a Juicy Lucy, this recipe calls for forming a burger patty around two slices of American cheese. For maximum melting, it’s best to stick to the recipe, but if American cheese doesn’t work for you, sub in your favorite. Just be sure to have some napkins on hand. 

Stir in some sauce: 

When it comes to burger mix-ins, this method might be the easiest way to pack in extra flavor. During the mixing process, add in a few tablespoons of your favorite condiment—from barbecue sauce to hoisin. Expect a spiced and delicious result. 

When in doubt, bulk up with bacon: 

If you’re hoping for a burger that’s rich, smoky, and doesn’t pull its punches, try mixing in some diced bacon. Not only will this add flavor and depth, the bacon-y bits provide a fun crunch. This recipe tops it all off with pimento cheese for a truly loaded burger experience.

What’s the best way to dress up a burger?

Looking for the perfect cookout dessert? Try this lemon curd ice box cake.

A Smoky, Savory Grilled Caesar Salad

Blue Apron is teaming up with chefs across the country to support Feeding America®. To participate, head over to our social media channels. Share our Facebook post or tag a friend on Instagram, and Blue Apron will donate an additional $5 to Feeding America, up to $50,000. Thanks to Chef Julia Sullivan of Henrietta Red for sharing her recipe for an adaptable grilled Caesar salad. 

At Henrietta Red, dinner is all about fresh, simple ingredients. Many menu items take a pass through the kitchen’s wood-burning stove, so smoky charred flavors abound. 

The dining room might be temporarily closed, but you can recreate those signature flavors in your home kitchen. Chef Julia Sullivan is sharing this versatile recipe for a grilled Caesar salad. It’s a great way to use up any vegetables you have on hand, just adjust the grilling time to make sure whatever you’re using cooks until tender. 

Caesar Dressing

  • 1 cup garlic aioli (recipe below)
  • 4 Tbsp anchovy paste
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
  • 2 cups parmesan, grated, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients and whisk to combine. 
  2. Adjust seasoning to taste. 

Garlic Aioli 

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Lemon juice
  1. Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a mixing bowl. Microplane the garlic cloves into the egg yolks, add salt, and whisk to combine. 
  2. Stabilize the bowl by forming a dish towel into a ring, placing it on the counter, and placing the bowl in the center of the ring. Whisk vigorously while adding the oil in a slow stream. Continue whisking until oil is fully incorporated. You should achieve a thick, mayonnaise-like consistency. 
  3. Season with lemon juice and adjust seasoning to taste. 

Grilled Vegetable Caesar

  • 1 head escarole (or romaine, Tuscan kale, or Napa Cabbage)
  • 1 bunch spring onions or scallions
  • 1 bunch asparagus 
  • ½ lb oyster or king oyster mushrooms
  • Extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
  1. Brush vegetables with grapeseed oil and season liberally with salt. Mushrooms absorb oil, and may require a bit more.
  2. Grill the kale, spring onions, and asparagus over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are just tender. On a separate part of the grill, cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat, turning frequently for 6-7 minutes until they are tender. In all cases, avoid direct flame when possible.
  3. Cut all vegetables into 2-inch sections, toss with dressing. Finish with additional parmesan, lemon, and salt to taste.
  4. Serve while still warm. 
grilled caesar salad ingredients
Grilled to perfection