Will You Be … grilling or barbecuing – with honey, of course – this Summer?

Ann Harman
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By: Ann Harman

It all depends on where you live. In the South, barbecue has a strict definition. The restaurant signs will spell it barbeque. It is meat cooked “slow and low.” That means for a long time at a low temperature. It can be done on a simple grill or a fancy gas-fired barbecue. Grilling can mean the cooking is done over direct heat at high temperatures. However in the rest of the country grill and barbeque are used interchangeably, separate and together, no matter what or how you are doing the cooking or what you are cooking on. Recipes for any marinade or sauce usually just call it BBQ.

So no matter how you spell it or use the term, it’s time to rev up the grill for this season. Just like getting your vehicles ready for Summer travel (or Winter cold and storms) it’s time to give your barbecue grill a “tune-up” for the coming season. You still have some of last year’s honey available for BBQ recipes so it’s time to make good use of that honey.

Honey, all flavors and colors, is a great ingredient in recipes. However, it has one problem sugar does not have. Honey burns or scorches at a low temperature. Nobody really appreciates a succulent steak tasting like burned toast or resembling a piece of charcoal. That can be easy to do when cooking with honey. But it’s just as easy to avoid doing that and use honey.

If you plan to marinade the meat it is best to leave it in the liquid for a short time. It will be easier to control overheating and developing a scorched taste. When planning to grill pieces of different thickness and sizes, such as parts of chicken, precooking thick pieces can be done in the oven under controlled heat so that all the parts can be grilled and be done at the same time. You can also let meat cook partially without sauce then start brushing sauce on for the last half of cooking time. Temperature can be controlled with a simple grill by moving the hot coals aside so that the meat is not under hot direct heat too long. With a gas-fired barbecue grill the thermostat can be set to a slightly lower temperature.

You did find all your grilling tools, insulated mitts, grill cleaner brush and silly apron. Since you are using honey in your recipes you might want to consider both a meat thermometer and a grill thermometer. BBQ sauce pots could be handy. Ready to start? Let’s go!


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder or 1 clove garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 pounds flank steak

Combine soy sauce, honey, vinegar, garlic, ginger and oil in a container with a tight lid. Shake to mix well. Make light diagonal slashes on each side of the flank steak in a diamond pattern. Place meat in a small pan or plastic bag and pour marinade over it. Cover pan and place in refrigerator for at least four hours. Prepare the grill for cooking on medium-high heat. Cook the steak about six to eight minutes on each side, Remove from grill and let rest for five minutes before slicing.


  • 1 pound chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chili sauce
  • Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients except chicken in small bowl and mix well. Place chicken in large shallow dish or in a plastic bag. Pour sauce over chicken, cover dish and let stand in refrigerator for about one hour. Prepare to grill, then grill to desired doneness.


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 4 boneless center-cut lean pork shops (about four ounces each)

Combine all ingredients except pork chops in small bowl. Place chops in shallow pan or plastic bag; pour marinade over pork. Cover pan and refrigerate about four hours. Remove pork from marinade. Heat the marinade in small saucepan over medium heat to a simmer. Grill pork over medium-hot coals 12 to 15 minutes, turning once during cooking and basting frequently with marinade. Makes four servings.


  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 salmon steaks (four ounces each)

Combine onion and white wine in large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients except fish. Mix well. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer glaze to blender or food processor; process until smooth. Grill salmon over medium-hot coals, basting with glaze, about 10 minutes per inch thickness or until fish turns opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Makes four servings.

Here is a good sauce to have on hand no matter what meat you plan to grill.


  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced or pressed garlic
  • 2 to 3 drops liquid smoke

Combine all ingredients except liquid smoke in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; add liquid smoke to taste. Serve over grilled chicken, turkey, pork, spareribs, salmon or hamburger. Makes about two cups.

You can grill and barbecue all kinds of meats and fish. But you do need some vegetables, too.


  • 12 small red potatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 1 green bell pepper, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges

Cover potatoes with water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook five minutes. Drain. Combine honey, wine, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl; mix well. Place potatoes and remaining vegetables on oiled barbecue grill over hot coals. Grill 20 to 26 minutes, turning and brushing with honey mixture every seven to eight minutes. Makes four servings.

Uh oh! Thunderstorm clouds have arrived with a rumble of thunder. Fear not! Take your veggies in the house and . . .

Toss vegetables with honey mixture. Bake, uncovered at 400°F for 25 minutes or until tender, stirring every eight or 10 minutes to prevent burning.

It really doesn’t matter where you live or whether you call it a grill or a barbecue, enjoy summer and cooking outdoors. If your neighbor’s BBQ sauce smells good, offer to exchange recipes. Just be sure you provide the honey from your generous bees.

Ann Harman is getting ready for her garden in Flint Hill, Virginia.