“Grill Girl” Robyn Lindars helps Women Light a Fire for Grilling
September 2021 Issue by Lindsay Gifford
Recipes and Information Provided by Robyn Lindars, Owner and Creater of GrillGirl.com
Photography by Fred Salinas
Sultry summer nights are coming to an end, and there’s a whisper of fall in the air. Sounds of game days, cookouts and front yard football are just around the corner. And, when it comes to fantastic fare, grilling great Robyn Lindars has you covered.
Known as “Grill Girl,” Robyn has been serving up grilling adventures since 2008. “I’m happiest when I am testing out new recipes, particularly anything cooked over live fire—grilling, smoking, campfire cooking. As a girl who likes to eat, I try to keep my recipes healthy and full of flavor,” said Robyn. She’s the main ingredient behind www.grillgirl.com, her blog-turned-career, as she continues to light a fire under flavorful fare. A city girl turned rancher, Robyn and her family live on a ranch in Fort Meyers, FL. It’s the perfect place to house her 12 grills and smokers—yep, you read that right TWELVE!
When Robyn and I chatted on the phone and traded foodie favorites, I admitted the grill intimidates me. She chuckled and said, “You just have to get past the lighting part.” Robyn’s goal: To inspire women to learn that grilling is fun for everyone, not just the guys. It’s what spurred her “Grill School Series” on youtube. This series of videos covers grilling basics, such how to start a grill and how to create direct and indirect grilling zones, helps anyone get started on their grilling journey. Robyn said, “I found that many women were intimidated by the process of actually starting a grill, and after we demystified that process, they really let their creativity take over on the grill. Then they turn into the griller of the household, or the griller in their group of friends who people ask for advice.”
Robyn comes by her love of grilling naturally. In fact, she regularly competes on a BBQ team with her dad at the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Competition. She’s a certified Steak Cook Off Association judge and trained Florida BBQ Association judge. Plus, she’s made appearances on The Today Show, the first Chopped: Grillmasters on Food Network (August 2013), The Cooking Channel’s Foodography, as a judge on the Travel Channel’s American Grilled, as well as, local and national live grilling segments!
In 2019, Robyn took her experience to the next level and launched her first cookbook Healthy Electric Smoker: 100 Recipes with All Natural Ingredients and Fewer Carbs. And, she recently she launched her very own Grill Girl®️ Magazine this past June! (Both are available on her website.) To top things off, Robyn just launched a Craft BBQ Rub and Cocktail Rimmer called “Sunshine State of Mind” that captures the essence of Florida in a BBQ Rub. “When I decided to make my rub, I knew it had to be completely different than anything else on the market and stand out from the crowd. And, after a year of tweaking, I am beyond excited to finally offer my rub to the market!” Said Robyn. The rub is sprinkled with complex notes of kaffir lime, grapefruit, orange, coriander, Himalayan salt, granulated honey, smoked paprika and a dash of chipotle. And, it’s gluten-free and junk-free.
Read on for some grilling greats to light a fire under your fall fare. Your friends and family are sure to be impressed with their new grilling guru.
Jamaican Jerk "Spatchcooked" Chicken
The lime juice and zest are the most important part of this recipe: They brighten up all the flavors and make them sing. The jerk spice paste used to season the chicken is fragrant and equally intoxicating on chicken and pork. It works well on ribs, too!
1 medium-sized chicken, butterflied
Jamaican Jerk Spice Paste:
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Allspice berries
(ground is okay, too)
1 Tbsp Black peppercorns
2 tsp dried Thyme (fresh is better)
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp ground Sea salt
1 tsp Brown sugar
dash Hot sauce
1/4 tsp chopped Habanero or scotch bonnet pepper with seeds removed (if you cannot handle heat, omit this part, but please still add the dash of hot sauce)
zest and juice of 1 large Lime (don’t skip this step)
3 Tbsps Olive oil
Spice Paste: Purée all the ingredients in the order they are listed, gradually adding the olive oil at the end. Purée until the paste reaches a uniform consistency.
How to Prepare and Grill a Spatchcock Chicken: 1) Butterflying the chicken: I recommend buying the chicken at a butcher where you can ask them to do this for you! If you don’t have them do it, you will need to use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone and then press down on the chicken with the palm of your hand to help flatten the bird. 2) Use your finger to loosen the skin on the bird, but be careful not to tear it. Rub the spice paste under the skin all over the chicken and repeat on the outside of the skin. Cover the bird, or put in a Ziploc and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
GRILLING: Preheat your grill to medium, about 350°F. Grill the bird, pressing it as flat as possible and flipping/arranging every so often so no side gets too charred (at least every 10 minutes). Total cooking time should be between 35-40 minutes. After the bird reaches an internal temp of 165°F at its thickest point, remove from the grill and cover with foil. Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting so it has time to reabsorb juices. Serve with your favorite coleslaw, grilled romaine or grilled veggies and Texas toast. If you make this for your family, they will think you are a grilling goddess!
Grilled Romaine Hearts
8 Romaine hearts, (one per person), rinsed and dried Olive oil, for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Sea salt, to taste
Parmesan cheese, or other hard/aged cheese, for grating
Prepare your grill for medium direct heat, about 400°F. Rinse and dry the romaine hearts. Drizzle them with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Grill the romaine hearts for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until char marks form and the lettuce begins to wilt. Remove the hearts from the grill and grate a generous amount of cheese over the top. You can also add a bit more olive oil to finish. Serve one prepared romain heart to each person.
Hot Tip: For a crowd, you can chop the hearts and put them in a bowl to serve as a large salad.
Blue Cheese Jalapeno Poppers
8 oz high quality Blue cheese or gorgonzola
10 oz Cream cheese
8 Jalapeños, seeds removed and cut in half (like little jalapeño boats)
1 pack Bacon, cooked partially (I usually microwave thick cut bacon for about 3 minutes and it is perfectly partially cooked)
Place cream cheese on the counter to get to room temperature while prepping the jalapeños. Meanwhile, remove seeds from the jalapeño peppers. I find this easiest to do by cutting off the tops and using a butter knife to remove the seeds while running under water over the sink. Cut the jalapeños in half. Crumble blue cheese and mix with cream cheese in a bowl. Spread the cheese mixture into each jalapeños. Next, place a piece of bacon the same size as the jalapeños on top of the cheese. The cheese will help the bacon adhere to the pepper. Heat your grill for medium direct heat, about 350°F. Place your jalapeños boats on the grill for 8-10 minutes, or until char marks have formed and the cheese begins to bubble. Serve immediately. Prepare to be amazed!
Red, White and Blue Burgers on the Pitbarrel Cooker
For the Burger:
1 Tbsp Butter 1 tsp Freshly ground pepper
5 cloves Garlic, minced 8 oz Blue cheese, crumbled
1 tsp Smoked salt 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 lbs. Ground chuck roast (80% lean, 20% fat)
1 Heirloom tomato, sliced 3–4 handfuls Arugula
8 Onion rolls Mayo, to taste
Bacon jam, to taste (see recipe below)
1 bag Mini red bell peppers or 2–3 full-size red bell peppers
1/4 cup Brown sugar
12 oz Bacon, sliced
1/8 cup Agave syrup
1 medium-sized Onion, chopped
1/3 cup brewed Coffee
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Smoked paprika
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
1 dash Curry powder
1 dash Nutmeg, optional
1 Tbsp Bourbon, optional
Combine the ground beef, blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Create 8 patties (these are 1/4 lb burgers), leaving an indentation in the middle with your thumb so they cook evenly on the grill. Prepare your grill for direct heat. If using a standard charcoal or gas grill, prepare to cook over the flame/heat source. Cook the burgers, flipping midway through, until you’ve reached your desired internal temperature. (I recommend using an internal read thermometer, like the Thermapen, to test internal temps so you’ll know when your meat is done.) While cooking the burgers, grill peppers directly on grill grates until they have developed char marks on both sides. Remove the burgers and peppers and let them rest for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the buns for just a few minutes on the grill and go and slice up peppers. To assemble burgers, add one patty to a bottom bun. Add mayo, if using, grilled red peppers, tomato and arugula. Spread one heaping tablespoon of warm bacon jam on the top bun, close the sandwich and serve.
Slow Cooker Bacon Jam:
You can make this delicious jam ahead of time and slather it on everything! Use it as an appetizer by adding a dollop to a cracker spread with goat cheese. If you’re making jam to give away, or to use as an appetizer for a group, double this recipe.
Cut the bacon in small pieces and cook until fat is rendered and the bacon starts to crisp—about 20 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and discard all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat. Cook the onion and garlic in the bacon remaining bacon fat until translucent, scraping up the crispy bits. Remove the onion mixture and add it to a Crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 2-3 hours on high, or until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
Once the mixture cools, pulse it in a food processor or with a hand blender until it forms a smooth, consistent, paste-like texture. Spoon the mixture into a jar, or other airtight container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
PRO TIP: For carb-conscious family members and guests, nothing beats a lettuce wrap. Just set out some iceberg lettuce along with your buns to add a skinny option to any of these burger recipes.
Grilled Queso de Freir Skewers
1 large bunch Basil
1 cup Olive oil
2 Garlic cloves
4 cups Arugula
1 pint Cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (16 oz) packet Queso De Freir grilling cheese, or similar grilling cheese
Slice the Queso De Freir into ½-inch-thick squares and place on skewers. Thread the tomatoes on the skewers, or use a grill pan. Sprinkle the Queso de Freir with salt and pepper. With an immersion blender, combine olive oil, basil and garlic to form a purée. Grill the skewers until char marks have formed, flipping once char marks have been achieved on the first side. Remove from the grill once char marks have been obtained. Place the Queso de Freir on the arugula and add the tomatoes to the arugula salad. Drizzle the salad and tomatoes with the basil oil and then add a touch of balsamic glaze.
For the Secret Sauce:
½ cup Mayo
2 Tbsps Ketchup
1 Tbsp Pickle relish (sweet or dill)
1 Tbsp Mustard
1 dash Onion powder
1 dash Smoked paprika
For the Burgers:
1 tsp Sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground Pepper 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp Garlic powder
8 medium-sized Jalapenos 8 slices thick-cut Muenster cheese
1 Tbsp Butter
½ stick Butter 1 pkg (12-16-oz) Bacon, cooked
8 large Eggs
2 lbs 80/20 Ground chuck roast 8 Hamburger buns (see hot tip below)
Plus, a cast iron skillet or grill grates flipped to the griddle side
Combine the sauce ingredients and place in the refrigerator to chill until you’re ready to assemble your burgers. Combine the beef, butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce in a mixing bowl. Form the beef mixture into 8 patties. Using your index and middle finger, place an indentation in the burgers in the middle. This will allow them to cook evenly on the grill and not turn into round balls. Preheat a grill to 400°F over direct heat, and grill the burgers until desired doneness. Flip halfway through and add the cheese. While the burgers are grilling, grill the whole jalapeños until they are cooked through and char marks have formed. While the burgers are grilling, place your cast iron skillet and let it heat up for a few minutes. Add butter to your cast iron skillet or grill grates. Crack the eggs and cook until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still runny, no more than 2 ½ minutes. Remove the eggs and place on a plate until ready to assemble burgers. Remove the burgers and tent them under foil to stay warm. To assemble your burgers, place each patty on a bottom bun. Top with egg, 2 strips of bacon and a grilled jalapeno. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of secret sauce on your top bun and close your sandwich. Enjoy! After your first bite of this burger, you’ll feel better already! Hot Tip: For an extra kick in the buns, I recommend everything bagels, Ciabatta buns, brioche buns or onion rolls for this burger.
Grilled Brussels Sprout Skewers
with Balsamic Glaze and Goat Cheese
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 tsps Sea salt, or to taste
1-2 tsps freshly ground Pepper
2 Tbsps Balsamic glaze (see note below)
1 container (3.5 oz) crumbled Goat cheese
Bring a pot of water to boil and add the Brussels sprouts, letting them boil about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them. While the water boils, prepare an ice bath by adding ice to a large bowl of cold water. Remove the sprouts from the boiling water and add them to ice water to stop them from cooking. Skewer the sprouts using bamboo skewers. Heat a grill to medium-high direct heat, about 400°F. Grill the Brussels sprouts until nice char marks have formed and the edges have caramelized. Remove the sprouts from the grill and finish them with a drizzle of balsamic glaze (directions below) and crumble goat cheese over the top. Pro Tip: Remember, always prep your grill grates to avoid sticking with high-heat oils. Avocado oil is a great choice.
Note: Balsamic glaze is considered Paleo if homemade, not store bought. Try Robyn’s balsamic glaze recipe below for a healthy and less expensive alternative to store-bought glaze)
Balsamic Glaze: All you need is: 2 cups balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp Honey. In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar and honey to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Then reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 30 to 45 minutes until the vinegar has reduced and easily coats the back of a spoon.
Cedar Planked Mahi-Mahi with Coconut Lime Butter
4 Cedar planks, soaked
4 Mahi-mahi filets, skins on
Zest and juice of 1 Lime
1 stick Butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp Sea salt
1 Tbsp unsweetened Coconut flakes
Soak the planks for 30 minutes before using. Combine butter with lime juice, zest, coconut flakes and sea salt. Place mahi-mahi skin side down on each plank and smother with butter mixture. Preheat grill to medium heat, about 400°F, creating direct and indirect zones. Place the planks on the indirect side, and let the mahi-mahi cook on the grill until internal temp reaches 145 °F at the thickest point, as measured by a meat thermometer. Serve immediately. This recipe is great with cedar planked Peaches with mascarpone, pistachios and honey (see below).
Cedar Planked Peaches with Mascarpone, Pistachios and Honey
2 Cedar planks, soaked
4 Peaches, halved and pits removed
¼ cup Honey
1/2 cup (4 oz) Mascarpone cheese
½ cup Pistachios, chopped
1 tbsp ground Cinnamon
Soak cedar planks for 10 minutes before using. Preheat the grill to medium heat, about 400°F, creating direct and indirect zones. Put 4 peach halves on each cedar plank cut side down and grill for 20 minutes on indirect heat. Remove the peaches from the grill and place on plates for serving. Add 1 Tbsp mascarpone, a drizzle of honey, 1 Ttbsp chopped pistachios and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top.
Grilled Grapefruit Paloma
(Tequila and Grapefruit Cocktail)
This refreshing Tequila and grapefruit cocktail is kicked up a notch by grilling the sugar dipped grapefruit to elevate this cocktail with smoky undertones.
Yields: 2 cocktails
2 large Grapefruit, sliced in half
2 cans Lime or grapefruit flavored soda water
2 Tbsps Honey (use Splenda or Truvia to keep it low carb)
2 Tbsps Sugar, for dipping the grapefruit in
2 large sprigs Rosemary, to be used as a swizzle stick
4 oz Tequila
Note: Collins, old-fashioned or highball glasses work for this recipe.
Set a charcoal grill up for direct heat. After the charcoal has ashed over, dip the grapefruit halves in sugar, making sure to coat the surface, and grill until char marks have formed. After the grapefruits have cooled slightly, juice them. (I have been using the Rose Gold Zulay Citrus press, it is awesome! If you drink a lot of citrus, I recommend it). Add ice to your glasses. Next, pour in the tequila. Add juice from one entire grapefruit to the cocktail. Next, add soda water. Add 1 Tbsp of honey and use a rosemary sprig as a swizzle stick to stir in the honey.