Feed Bites

From the Kitchen of AFIA: National Grilling Month

Written by: Lacie Dotterweich   |   July 15, 2020

Holidays, Our role in ag

Is there any better cooking device than the grill? I don’t think I could be convinced otherwise. You can cook anything on the grill! Burgers, chicken, vegetables, fruit, beans – even pizza. As a grilled-meat lover, I can’t wait until the weather warms up enough to fire up the grill. So, when I learned that July is National Grilling Month, I thought we had better take the opportunity to commemorate the occasion and thank all of the feed manufacturers, farmers and ranchers who make summer dinners on the grill possible.

To celebrate, American Feed Industry Association staff shared their favorite grilling recipes and tips and tricks. We hope you enjoy some of our favorite recipes and be sure to comment if you have other tasty recipes from your backyard BBQs to share!

Maple Syrup Hot Dog Glaze
Louise Calderwood, director of regulatory affairs

Wait until the hot dog is hot all the way through and then roll it onto aluminum foil placed on the grill. Brush it with small amounts (less than a teaspoon per dog) of pure Vermont maple syrup (any other kind will just be gross!). Brush a few times as you turn the dog for another minute to caramelize the syrup just a bit.

Grilled Corn
Lynette Tucker, meetings and events specialist

Summer is the best time to eat corn. I do not like to boil corn as I feel like it loses its taste. Here is what I do for my easy, no-mess grilled corn.

Cut aluminum foil pieces big enough to wrap the corn individually. Brush the corn with mayonnaise. Why mayo? Because its tastier than butter and richer in flavor. (OK fine! You can use butter if you like). Sprinkle parmesan cheese around the cob. Wrap foil to cover the cob and put it on the grill for about 20 minutes or so, depending on the heat of the grill. I usually check for doneness as I like mine with a little crunch and not too soft.

Good Equipment and Quality Beef
Gary Huddleston, director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs

One of the keys to good grilling is good grilling equipment. I love my outdoor kitchen area. Another key is great beef (no fake meat)!

Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetable Skewers
Erica Burson, membership and database specialist

Add to a gallon Ziploc bag: 2-3 crushed garlic cloves, 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root (optional), bottled teriyaki sauce and 1 tablespoon oil. Add one package of boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch cubes, to the bag and marinate it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Wash and cut 3-4 bell peppers (preferably yellow or red) and one small, sweet onion into 1-2 inch pieces. Add to another Ziploc bag, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves, 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root (optional) and a bottle of teriyaki sauce. Add the vegetables, including tomatoes and mushrooms if you wish, and marinate it for at least an hour.

While the chicken and vegetables are marinating, soak bamboo skewers in water for at least an hour, or use metal skewers.

While the grill preheats, thread the chicken cubes and vegetables onto skewers.

Cook on medium high heat until the chicken is browned and completely cooked through.

For a sauce, you may take any leftover marinade from the vegetables and heat in a saucepan until reduced by half and serve over brown or unseasoned cauliflower rice.

Martin County Magic
Leah Wilkinson, vice president of public policy and education

My grilling tip – Martin County Magic. The seasoning the pork producers in my hometown developed and put on pork burgers, pork chops, loins, tenderloins, etc. when grilling. Don’t tell my family, but I even put the seasoning on non-pork products like chicken wings, salmon and tater tots – it’s that good!

My other tip is to use a thermometer – you have to be safe! Even better if it’s an instant read one.

Pulled Pork
Victoria Broehm, director of communications

From meats to veggies to fruits, we try to grill all of our family’s meals in the summer, but my favorite, by far, is my husband’s (our grill master’s) pulled pork. We buy Hickory wood chips to smoke the meat and it sits on the grill all day with a smoker box (several neighbors in our townhouse community will generally walk by asking what smells so good, including our neighbor who works for the North American Meat Institute, and our dog circles the grill). The recipe can be found in Weber’s New Real Grilling cookbook – we basically do steps 1-5, adding Miller Lite as the mop, substitute Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce for step 6, skip the slaw in step 7 and pull the pork in step 8. The tip is to buy quality meat, stoke the chips several times throughout the day so they smoke evenly and don’t overcook the pork and dry it out. You have to be patient so that it will finish somewhat moist. Goes great in slider buns with a little BBQ sauce. Pair it with grilled veggies or fruit (grilled plums are delish!) and potato salad. It’s a crowd favorite!

Adding Flavor to Meat
Paul Davis, Ph.D., director of quality, animal food safety and education

I like to add a little mayo to my ground beef when making patties. It adds to the juiciness and allows me to support egg and soybean industries too. While I like to dry rub pork for smoking and let the salt and spices work overnight, I recommend seasoning beef just immediately before putting it on the grill. Always let grilled or smoked meats “rest,” which allows the moisture to equilibrate/redistribute inside the meat, this is underrated in my opinion!

Using a Thermometer is Key
Veronica Rovelli, senior director of meetings and events

Get a digital thermometer and find out what you’re supposed to cook the internal temperature to and don’t go over it. Going by time should be a rough estimate.

Gina Tumbarello's son Ryne partaking in National Grilling Month celebrations.

Steak for Company - Flat Iron Steak with Herb Butter
Cory Harris, manager of government affairs


  • 1 large (1.25+lb) flat iron steak
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage

Herb butter ingredients:

  • 1 stick (.5C) salted butter
  • 1 half of a shallot, minced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage


Roughly 30-45 minutes before cooking, pull your steak out of the fridge, pat it dry with a paper towel and season generously to taste (I use a dusting of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, a slightly heavier dusting of course-ground garlic salt and fresh-ground black pepper). Set it aside and allow it to rest while making your herb butter and any side dishes.

For the herb butter: mince the garlic and shallot, finely chop the herbs and mix it all together, reserving a small portion of the herbs to sprinkle over the meat before cooking. Cut the herb mixture into a stick of butter until its evenly dispersed and then reshape it back into a log shape. Set it aside and do not allow it to melt.

Sprinkle the steak with the reserved herbs and cook over high heat for 4-6 minutes on each side until desired doneness (medium-rare is best for this cut of beef). Remove the steak from the grill and immediately cover it with pads of herb butter, allowing it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice across the grain in half-inch strips and serve.

Serves 3-4, approximately $20.



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