Sip and Sizzle: 5 Grilled Foods and Perfect Drink Pairings for the Winter

Sip and Sizzle: 5 Grilled Foods and Perfect Drink Pairings for the Winter

When you picture a typical winter evening, what comes to mind first? For most, the colder temperatures mean relaxing by the fire or snuggling on the couch with their pets. And while those both sound like great ideas, there’s no activity that isn’t enhanced by the addition of tasty food and even tastier drinks. As we always say, there’s no off-season for grill masters, and that includes the winter. With more people grilling these days than ever before, firing up your grill regardless of the weather outside is a must. But don’t worry – you’ll be kept warm by several delicious beverages that go hand-in-hand with whatever foods you decide make.

This winter, make sure there’s plenty of sizzling and sipping by following these five grill-friendly recipes and complementing them with drinks that make any time of day more enjoyable!


1. Beef Tenderloin Steaks & Cabernet Sauvignon

A lovely steak dinner and a good bottle of wine isn’t solely reserved for upscale restaurants. In fact, we’d argue that by grilling your own steak, you can truly taste the love you put into it. A pairing as old as time, steak and wine go together so well because of their distinct flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon is the preferred wine for most beef and steak lovers, as it provides a perfect blend of acidity, tannins, and alcohol. Those flavors work to intensify the steak’s salty, fatty, and umami profile. In the case of this recipe, you’ll want to work with four beef Tenderloin Steaks, each cut to about an inch of thickness. Regarded as the most tender cut of beef, Tenderloins are prime candidates for searing on your grill. Begin the cooking process by preheating your grill to medium. Once your grill is sufficiently warm, place the steaks on the cooking grid, grilling them for about 10 to 16 minutes to achieve a medium rare to medium doneness. For those who aren’t fans of the “eyeballing” method, a meat thermometer can help you know when your steak is grilled just the way you like it. You can also check out our Meat Temperature Guide to learn the internal temperature your food should reach to be considered safe for consumption. When you’re ready to serve, be sure to pour yourself a generous glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and don’t be afraid to go back for seconds on both your food and beverage!


2. Chai Tea & Grilled Cinnamon French Toast

A breakfast made to enjoy any time of year, French toast might be even better during the winter. Chances are you’ve had plenty of toast in your life, but when was the last time you experimented with making it on your grill? If your answer is “never”, you’re in for a treat! Begin with several slices of country-style white bread, with each slice being about ¾ of an inch thick. This allows the bread to soak up the flavor of the cinnamon mix you’ll be making next. To create that, add eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, and salt into a large bowl, and whisk it all together. Next, arrange the bread in one layer in a large baking dish and pour the egg mixture over the bread. Let the bread stand for 10 minutes at room temperature, turning the bread occasionally so that all the slices get a chance to sit in the liquid on both sides. After you’ve preheated your grill, tip one slice of bread on its side so that any extra liquid runs off. Spray both sides with your Canola oil spray, and then place on the grill for six to eight minutes. When the toast firms up on both sides, it’s ready to be taken off the grill, and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. However, you would be remiss if you forgot about the second part of this recipe: your chai tea! Chai is a simple mixture of black tea boiled in milk and mixed with aromatic herbs and spices. For example, many chai tea drinks have cinnamon in them, which would act as the perfect beverage to accompany your French toast. Served piping hot in the morning, chai tea acts as a great pick me up and substitute for that boring cup of black coffee. Try out this combination, and let us know how you like it!


3. Apple Cider & Fire Roasted Apples (Courtesy of Bull Outdoor Products)

So, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then fire roasted apples with a tall cup of apple cider practically means you’re as healthy as can be, right? Warm things up with this savory sip and sizzle pairing this winter. For most, apples are the gold standard of fruits. They are an incredibly nutritious and flavorful fruit that also has a bit of versatility. Making fire roasted apples on your grill only increases that flavor value and turns a snack into a full-fledged dessert. What we love most about this grill-friendly food is the customizations you can make on it to fit your taste buds. While this recipe calls for pecans, you can substitute that for walnuts, or other toppings that also add a bit of crunch. To get started with these fire roasted apples, get six large apples, choosing from any like Fuji or Honey Crisp. Wash and core the apples with a melon baller. Next, combine your mix of softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and chopped pecans, and fill each apple evenly with the mixture. When you’ve completed the apple prep, turn your attention to the grill. Start by filling a grill pan with water, having the base of the apples are covered. Then, carefully place the apples on the grill and close the lid, creating an oven. The apples should be done after about 45 minutes or when they are soft to the touch. To pair them with a drink like apple cider, you’ll really bring the flavors full circle. Apple cider is just as adaptable as the fire roasted apples themselves. You can serve apple cider cold or hot, and with or without alcohol. On a cold winter day, you’ll probably enjoy it more when it’s hot, but keep that trick in mind for any season. If you decide to warm your cider up before serving it, consider adding a clove or stick of cinnamon to accentuate its rich flavor. We promise you can’t go wrong with this combination.


4. Hot Chocolate + S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies

The ultimate winter drink might come in the form of hot chocolate. Pair that with what is arguably the best and easiest grill-friendly snack in s’mores, and you have yourself some good eats in a matter of minutes. But wait – this recipe takes your classic s’mores and kicks it up several notches by turning them into chocolate chip cookies! If the sound of s’mores cookies doesn’t already have your mouth watering, then we need to have a talk! Baking cookies on your grill creates this magical taste unlike any other. Start your cookie recipe as you normally would, by sifting flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl, then add graham cracker crumbs to start the s’mores experience. In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and white sugar, then add vanilla and eggs, and mix until it has a creamy texture. Next, slowly add the dry mixture until everything is barely combined, making sure you don't over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and miniature marshmallow bits to add that traditional s’more flavor. A pro tip would be to seal your dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least two hours. When that agonizing wait is over, preheat your grill and prepare it for indirect heat. For these cookies, you can use either a baking sheet or pizza stone, scooping on batches of dough and leaving them to grill for about 12-15 minutes at 375°F. When time is up, let them cool down for a bit. While you wait, make yourself some hot chocolate. Whether you prefer making it from scratch, or just using pre-packaged mix, you can’t go wrong. Hot chocolate is perfect for winter because it provides warmth for your taste buds and some even say for your soul. We recommend trying to dip your cookies in the hot chocolate, which will give you an incredible variation on the tradition milk and cookies. Now nothing says a nice winter day quite like that pairing.


5. Peppermint Mocha & Peppermint Patty Brownies (Courtesy of Bull Outdoor Products)

Coffee lovers will know that winter doesn’t start until you’ve had your first cup of peppermint mocha. A favorite among those who visit coffee shops like Starbucks, this drink fuels your day and packs a lot of taste into each sip. Those same people who enjoy this beverage might tell you that you can never have enough of peppermint in your life. That’s why we say you should go all out this winter and make some Peppermint Patty Brownies to go along with your coffee. Brownies on the grill ensure and even gooier, chocolatey, and delicious taste, and the peppermint patty’s kick will only enhance that flavor. Making brownies is simple enough when you follow this recipe’s instructions, so let’s turn out attention to the peppermint patty. In a small mixing bowl, begin beating together cream cheese and sugar. Then, beat in your egg and peppermint extract until it’s combined, adding flour and mixing afterward. Next, dollop over your brownie batter, and swirl in the mixture with a knife or spatula. This gets you ready for the grilling stage. Place a foil pan in a second foil pan for stability and insulation. Place your brownie mix on the hot grill away from heat to create the oven effect. Finally, close the lid and grill for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted 2-inches from the edge of the pan comes away almost clean. Be sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking. When you’re finished, cut your brownies into equal slices after you’ve let them cool. Keep your peppermint mocha nearby and sip to your heart’s delight!


Stock Up on Blue Rhino This Winter

If you plan on sipping and sizzling this winter, there’s no better propane choice than Blue Rhino. Carried across many locations in your neighborhood, stock up today so you won’t run out this season. Our Propane Finder will point you in the right direction, and the many recipes in our collection let you make a delicious meal from the comfort of your home. How could things get much better than that?

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