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Baseball great Ozzie Smith and champion pitmaster Chris Lilly offer home run tips and recipes



Baseball players aren’t the only ones who benefit from spring training – grilling enthusiasts can, too. Many people neglect their grills during the winter. But, as the days begin to get

longer again and daylight saving time allows for more fun in

the sun, it’s time to swing into grilling season. In fact, the extra hour of daylight means more practice time for baseball players and grilling gurus alike. It’s never too early to light up some charcoal and share gamewinning moments with friends and family while enjoying great food.

World champion shortstop Ozzie Smith believes that even seasoned players need a little pre-season warm-up. Nearly as passionate about charcoal grill ing as he is about baseball, Smith said, “I tend to grill year round, but when the teams head to camp, I know it’s time to step up my game. Many people wait until summer to grill, which is a shame because, as in all sports, prac tice makes perfect.”

While nationally renowned pitmaster Chris Lilly hardly needs more practice behind a grill, he holds a special fondness for springtime grilling.



“Nothing signals the coming of warm weather and says ‘slow down and grill’ quite like the unmistakable aroma of the ballpark or the first charcoal cookout of the season,” said Lilly. “If you can combine the two experiences – whether tailgating at the stadium or firing up the grill and inviting friends over to watch the game – that’s even better.”

These tips and recipes from Smith and Lilly will help grilling enthusiasts hit their next gathering out of the park.

Practice Makes Perfect: Your grill may be a little rusty

from the off-season, so before you begin grilling, make sure it’s in good shape. Scrub the grate with a longhandled, stiff wire grill brush to remove any residual food. Always discard any residual ashes from the grill before cooking. A thick layer of ashes will act as

insulation, affecting the distribution of heat and air

Chris Lilly.

Chris Lilly.


Score a Double Play: Amp up the flavor of your grilling

experience by using new Kingsford charcoal with Hickory. The flavors add just the right touch of sweet and hearty flavor to all types of food, adding a new

element to the delicious smells that are part of the

stadium experience.

Don’t Interfere: Turning food too often during grilling

forces moisture out of it. Instead, let food brown before turning it to develop a flavorful crust, the signature of great grilling. When it’s time to flip, use tongs or a

spatula in place of forks that pierce food and release


Strike ’em Out: Marinate your meat before grilling to

fight sudden flare-ups and apply sauces, such as KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce, to meats once they have cooked a while on the grill rather than before you start.

You’ll still taste the delicious flavor without risking a

Ozzie Smith.

Ozzie Smith.

burst of flames.

True fans can take baseball tailgating to the next level by creating a game-day menu featuring recipes that incorporate the flavors and ingredients of your team’s hometown. For more grilling tips and recipes, visit www.MealsTogether.com.
Grilled Pork Chops
With Apple-Cranberry Glaze
Created by champion pitmaster Chris Lilly.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes,
plus 12 to 24 hours for brine
Cook time: 16 minutes
6 bone-in pork chops or boneless loin chops
(1 inch thick)
2 cups water
2 cups apple cider
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves (dry spice)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (dry spice)
6 allspice berries (dry spice)
1/2 bay leaf
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/16 teaspoon red pepper
Mix brine ingredients and stir well. Place chops and brine in Glad Food Storage Bag and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

In small pan, add sauce ingredients and mix well. Heat until warm. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce for plating.

Build charcoal fire for direct grilling. Grill chops directly over Kingsford charcoal (approximately 450°F) for 8 minutes on each side. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, baste both sides of chops well with sauce. Internal temperature of chops should reach 150° to 155°F prior to removing from grill.

Drizzle reserve sauce over chops when serving or serve warm on the side.

Shortstop Shrimp Stack

Created by world champion shortstop Ozzie Smith.
Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 to 6 minutes per skewer
1 pound extra large shrimp
(21 to 25), peeled and deveined
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (about half
of a bunch)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 bamboo or metal skewers
Assemble marinade ingredients in large Glad Food Storage Bag, seal and toss to mix. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Marinate shrimp 30 minutes.

If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water while shrimp is marinating to prevent them from burning on the grill. When shrimp are finished marinating, spear three shrimp per skewer. Discard remaining marinade.

Grill shrimp on outer edges of the grill over Kingsford charcoal (approximately 400°F) for 2 to 3 minutes on one side and 1 to 2 minutes on other side. Serve on the skewer or remove shrimp from skewer and serve a on platter.

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