Staying home, cooking outside and enjoying friends are all on the agenda for this summer in North Texas. The residents of Gateway Forney, on the east side of the DFW Metroplex will be joining millions of others who have discovered “home cooking” from a backyard grill is delicious and fun. Here are some tips to make outdoor entertaining more fun.
Cook the Burgers Not Your Skin
The summers in North Texas are toasty and nothing ruins a summer afternoon and evening outside on the patio or by the pool than the pain of sunburn. With a little planning, this does not have to occur.
That old adage about “an ounce of prevention being better than a pound of cure” is true. These tips will help you avoid sunburn.
- Avoid the sun during peak hours of 10am – 2 pm.
- Wear clothing with UPF protection (ultraviolet protection factor) UPF 50+ helps block 98% of UVA/UVB rays.
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
- Always apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen which protects you from both UVA and UVB rays
- Use a sunscreen product with a SPF of 30 or higher.
- Use a sunscreen that is water resistant for 40-80 minutes.
- Use plenty of sunscreen. An adult should use about 1 oz. of sunscreen to cover exposed areas of the skin (equal to a shot glass).
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Don’t forget about your lips (at least SPF 15 or more).
- Be sure to apply sunscreen to vulnerable areas such as ears, neck, and top of feet.
- If your hair is thinning or your head is bald, apply sunscreen to your scalp.
Choosing the Right Grill for Your Family
There was a time, not too long ago, when the only decision about which grill to buy came down to “charcoal vs. gas.” Those days are long-gone and now the choices seem endless. Here are a few to consider:
People who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a grill, love the charcoal flavor and are cooking for small groups of people will often choose a charcoal grill.
According to this article, “Charcoal grills are portable, easy to use and create a smoky flavor that’s hard to beat. They are slower to heat up than gas or electric grills but can also get a lot hotter. With no temperature control knobs, grillers will need to arrange the coals to create indirect and direct cooking zones.”
Outdoor cooking experts say that grill masters looking for more space on the grill grates, plus easy-to-use operation, favor a gas grill.
“Gas grills start fast, heat up quickly, are easy to operate and require much less cleanup than other types of grills. You don’t get the exact same smoky flavor you get from cooking with charcoal, but you can still grill up all kinds of great tasting food, including these tasty grilled side dishes. They come in a wide variety of sizes and tend to be the most expensive option. With proper maintenance and care, your gas grill will last for years to come. Most gas grills are designed to run on propane, and you will have to refill and replace the tanks as needed.”
According to these experts, pellet grills are the hottest (pun intended) trend in outdoor cooking.
“Pellet grills are outdoor cookers that combine elements of smokers, charcoal – gas grills, and ovens. They use 100% all – natural hardwood pellets as the fuel source that allows these grills to provide direct or indirect heat. Wood pellets are poured into a storage container called a “hopper.” The pellets are then fed into a cooking chamber by an auger that is powered by electricity. Through combustion, the wood pellets ignite, heating the cooking chamber. Air is then brought in by intake fans. Heat and smoke are then dispersed throughout the cooking area.”
Outdoor Electric Grills
With less space, some cookers prefer outdoor electric grills. If you never want to worry about the hassle of running out of propane or cleaning up an ashy charcoal mess, try an outdoor electric grill. You simply need to plug it into an outlet and get cooking. On average, outdoor electric grills offer the smallest footprint.
When there’s no hurry, “nothing delivers rich flavor quite like a smoker. The slow-cooker version of a grill, smokers cook foods at lower temperatures over longer periods of time. Used by some of the best barbecue pros across the county, smokers are now becoming more common for at-home enthusiasts. Because of their size, smokers are also good for grillers looking to cook large cuts of meat at one time.
A Real Community
Gateway Forney has been designed to be neighbor-friendly. It offers families affordable living with plenty of popular amenities including hike & bike trails, a resort style amenity center with multiple pools, a splash pad, a spacious clubhouse and creative play areas.
Perhaps most importantly, this planned community, located on the eastern side of the Dallas metro area, encourages neighborhood activities and the making of life-long friendships.
Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Before firing up the grill and cooking chicken, pork ribs, burgers, steaks, fajitas and any other meat or veggie, many outdoor cookers enjoy making a homemade barbeque sauce. Here’s one that takes about 15-minutes – prep and cooking – and it is delicious.
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon “Stone House Seasoning”
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
- Whisk together all ingredients in a medium saucepan situated over medium heat. Allow to come to a bubble and then reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately or allow to cool slightly and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Tried and True Grilling Recipes
Most everyone who owns a grill, has some favorite recipes and cooking techniques for getting the most flavorful, tender final product for the plates. However, if you want to try something new or need a little inspiration, click on any or all of these links for great grilling insights.
Mouth-Watering Pork Ribs
Steak Your Claim on This!
Saucy Salmon Cooked In Foil
Grilled Chicken to Die For
Grilled Steak Fajitas Pronto
Outdoor cooking with family and friends is another summer experience that makes life worth living. For the residents of Gateway Forney, this experience is greatly enhanced by the charming neighborhoods and the easy-going lifestyle.
If you’re ready to fire up the grill, click here to get more information on this fabulous community.