Fire up the grill and pour yourself a cold drink! We are ready for summer to begin, and we have some delicious dishes for you to try at home. We asked our chefs to share some of their favorite BBQ recipes and tips, and you can get all of the details below.

We hope that you’ll add these recipes to your summer grilling lineup, and if you’re looking for even more summer cooking inspiration, we recommend you also check out our Chefs at Home series.

Jalapeno Cheese Venison Sausage – Sonesta Bee Cave Austin

For 25 lbs meat (50/50 venison/pork):
2 oz (by weight) pepper
8 oz salt
1 oz garlic
2 oz mustard seed
1 oz meat cure (pink)
1 oz crushed red pepper
1 oz fennel seed
3 oz dried green onion

  1. Optional: Jalapenos – 1 lb per 25 lbs meat High Temp Cheese – 2.5 lbs per 25 lbs meat
    1. Chop the meat and fat into chunks of about that will fit into your grinder. (Mix the salt and curing salt with just the meat and refrigerate overnight. This helps make a tighter bind by developing myosin in the meat.) When you are ready to grind, mix the ingredients together and toss with the meat and fat.
  2. Take out some hog casings and set in a bowl of warm water.
  3. Make sure the meat and fat are very cold, about 34°F or thereabouts. If it’s not, freeze the meat and fat for an hour or so. Grind the meat and fat through your coarse die, anywhere from 10 mm to 7 mm. If the mixture is still nice and cold, grind immediately again through a finer die, say 4.5 mm.
  4. After grinding, put the mixture back in the freezer until it’s very cold — about 30°F. It won’t freeze solid because of the salt. After removal from the freezer hand mix your meat to bind the product together.
  5. Stuff the sausage into the casings all at once. Twist off links by pinching the sausage down and twisting it, first in one direction, and then with the next link, the other direction. Or you could tie them off with butcher’s string
  6. Hang the sausages in a cool place for at least an hour; the colder it is, the longer

Caribbean Jerk Wings – Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach
 1 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
 3 ounces Water
 1 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
 5 ounces Dark Brown Sugar
 Bring the liquids to a simmer and stir in the brown sugar until it completely dissolves

Jerk Barbecue Sauce
5 cups of Ketchup
½ cup of Jamaican Pride Jerk Spice
¼ cup of the Marinade
Combine all ingredients

Marinate approximately five pounds of chicken wings for at least 8 hours. Drain well, on a raised rack, in a roasting pan, a single layer, and roast at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. At this point you can cool them and hold them for up to 2 days, or continue by tossing them lightly in the Jerk Barbecue sauce and finish them in a single layer on a raised rack in either a 400 degree oven or on a barbecue for about 12 minutes.

Grilled Shrimp with Basil Oil and Mango Chili Sauce – Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island

Basil Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
½ cup basil leaves
Prep a bowl of ice water and set aside. Bring a pot of water to boil and drop in basil leaves for a few seconds and then transfer the leaves to the ice water to cool. Squeeze out the water from the leaves and transfer to a blender with the oil and salt. Blend well and set to strain in cheese cloth or you can sub a coffee filter. Store in the refrigerator.

Mango Chili Sauce
2 cups of fresh mango pureed
1/2 T chili flakes
1 T fine chop garlic
1 T fine chop ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1 oz cider vinegar
1 T corn starch
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt & pepper
Add oil to a pot and sauté garlic and ginger at a low temp until soft. Add in chili flakes and mango puree and bring to a simmer. Add sugar, vinegar and salt. Simmer for a few minutes. Make a slurry with the corn starch and water and whisk into simmering sauce, you can adjust this based on the consistency you like.

Sonesta White Plains Downtown

Dry Rub

4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dry thyme
.5 tsp allspice
.5 tsp ground ginger
.5 tsp dry mustard
Mix all ingredients thoroughly – The dry rub can be stored in a glass jar indefinitely.

BBQ Sauce

2 tbsp Oil
1 cup Chopped Onion
2 tbsp Chopped Garlic
1/3 cup Chili Powder
1 cup Brown Sugar
¾ cup Worchestershire Sauce
3 ea Lemons (juice)
4 cups Tomato Ketchup
2 tbsp Kosher Salt
1 tbsp Black Pepper

• Heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions get soft and opaque. Add the chili powder and cook for a couple of minutes (it will be very dry and look like it is sticking to the pan – that’s ok). Add the sugar, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and cook for another minute until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ketchup, salt and pepper and lower heat to very low. Let simmer 15 – 20 minutes.
• You can substitute different types of sugar depending on your taste. Honey, Agave Syrup, add a little maple syrup or molasses, even Coca Cola, Ginger Ale or a Lemon Lime Soda will work. White sugar will not really give the best result.
• There are endless possibilities to personalize it. Add seasonal fruit if you like, just add the fruit with the garlic and onions and let it cook a little to soften it. You can add chiles, corn, coffee, dried fruit, different types of liquor or different combinations of these ingredients. If you add large pieces of fruit, you can blend it with an immersion blender. Just have fun with it and enjoy!

BBQ Tips from Sonesta White Plains Downtown Chef James Shannon

  • Start with low heat, whether it’s over a wood fire, gas grill or even just in your oven. If you want to do your BBQ over wood, choose the type that you prefer. Different woods impart different flavors and heat at different temperatures. Pick a hardwood that you like, often it depends on the trees that grow in your area. Mesquite is used in the south west and burns very hot. Cherry, apple or even oak are common woods used as well. Stay away from softer woods like pine, that give off a lot of “pitch” or black smoke. You can buy chunks of wood at some stores that sell BBQ supplies such as Home Depot. Those chunks are usually very dry and you need to soak them for a little while so they give off enough smoke and don’t just burn up.
  • If you are going with straight wood as your fuel, build your fire early. When your wood has been burning and it begins to turn to white ash on the outside, push it into a pile on one side or corner of your grill (same thing if you are using charcoal).
  • If you are doing your BBQ on a gas grill, you can still use the wood chunks for flavor. Treat the wood the same as if it’s a full wood BBQ. Soak the wood and put it in a pan (I use those disposable foil pans). Place the wood on your grill and turn the grill on high to get the wood burning. Once the wood is turning to ash, like on the wood grill, turn the heat down. Then push the pan with the wood into a corner of the grill.
  • If your grill has a thermometer, try to keep the heat around 225 – 250 degrees. Place your meat on the grill away from the wood pile so the heat is not directly underneath.
  • If you don’t have a grill or just want to do it in your oven, it is possible to do so. The results won’t be as good, but still pretty good.
  • Whatever type of meat you want to go with, it should have sufficient fat to keep it from becoming dry. Obviously the bigger and thicker cuts will take more time, but the longer it’s on the fire, the more flavor it will pick up from the smoke.