3 Easy Recipes to Try at Home This Summer

barbecue grill with fire for summer recipes

Whether you’re firing up the grill or setting up the smoker, now is a great time to try a few new recipes.

These local restaurant recipes will become family favorites this summer.

Sonny’s Beer Can Chicken

Courtesy of Shannon Snell, Sonny’s BBQ Pitmaster

Moist on the inside and crispy on the outside – with just the right hint of smoke – this recipe is perfect for a weekday dinner or weekend get-together. Serve it with an array of BBQ sides, like baked beans and potato salad, or on top of a hearty salad.


-1 whole chicken

-1 cup poultry rub

-Budweiser or any lager

-2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning


Pour quarter can of beer in Cajun seasoning. Inject the Cajun/beer mixture in the breast of the chicken. Season the entire chicken with rub. Stuff the beer can inside the chicken.

Step 5: Cook the chicken in your smoker at 350 degrees for 75-90 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Rest for 10 minutes and remove the beer can.

4 Rivers Smokehouse Smoked Brisket

Courtesy of John Rivers, 4 Rivers Smokehouse

Serves 20 or more

Who doesn’t love brisket? Once smoked, this versatile cut of beef can be stacked inside a sandwich, placed on pizza or simply savored on its own. Now, you can make this recipe from a local BBQ staple from the comfort of home.


-1 whole brisket, from 10 to 15 pounds, untrimmed with full fat cap
-1 cup 4 Rivers Brisket Rub
-All-Purpose BBQ Sauce
-Sliced dill pickles
-Onions, sliced thin
-White bread

4 Rivers Brisket Rub:
-2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon dried parsley
-1 teaspoon oregano
-1 teaspoon coarse salt
-1 teaspoon onion powder
-1 teaspoon chili powder
-1 teaspoon sugar


Mix all brisket rub ingredients in a small bowl. Apply it liberally on brisket, making sure to cover all sides and crevices. Refrigerate uncovered at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Remove brisket from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before smoking, letting it come to room temperature.

Soak hickory chips or chunks for 1 hour before smoking. Light charcoal and allow it to burn to a white ash. Place soaked wood on top of hot coals and adjust smoker vents to settle the temperature between 200˚ and 225˚F.

Place brisket, fat side up, indirectly over the smoking wood and close the lid. Depending on the size of your brisket, smoking will take from 12 to 18 hours. A general rule of thumb is 75 minutes for every pound of brisket. Replenish coals and wood as needed, opening the smoker lid as little as possible.

After 8 to 10 hours, check the brisket’s internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Continue checking every 30 to 60 minutes until it reaches 190˚ to 192˚F. Remove brisket from the smoker and allow it to rest for 1 to 2 hours before carving. Serve with white bread, pickles, onions and sauce.

Margaritaville Resort Orlando Burger

Courtesy of Margaritaville Resort Orlando

Servings: 8

When you transform your backyard into your own, personal paradise, you can eat a Cheeseburger in Paradise any day of the week. Prepare it just as Jimmy Buffett likes it with the help of this recipe. 


-2 pieces white sandwich bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces.

-1/3 cup milk

-2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

-1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

-2 tablespoons tomato paste

-3 pounds 85% lean ground beef

-3 scallions, very finely sliced (optional)

-8 hamburger buns


Preheat the grill to high heat. In a large bowl, mash the bread and milk together with a fork until it forms a chunky paste. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and paste and mix well. Add the ground beef and scallions and break the meat up with your hands.

Mix everything together until just combined. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form balls. Flatten the balls into 3/4-inch patties about 4-1/2 inches across. Form a slight depression in the center of each patty to prevent the burgers from puffing up on the grill.

Oil the grilling grates. Grill the burgers, covered, until nicely browned on the first side, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip burgers and continue cooking for a few minutes more until desired doneness is reached. Before serving, toast the buns on the cooler side of the grill if desired.


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Written by Staff Writer

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