Veggies, fruit, and meat on a grill
11 Top Grilling Tips from Catskills Farmers

From tips for perfectly grilled asparagus to juicy burger secrets, farmers from the Sullivan Catskills Farmers Markets share their favorite grilling methods. 


#1 Smashing Good Advice

“Don’t smash the burger flat with a spatula. That releases all of the lovely juices onto the coals…instead of in your mouth!”
– Tom & Denise Warren, Stone & Thistle Farm

Products Offered: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Lamb, Eggs, Prepared Foods
Find Them at the Farmers Market in: Callicoon


#2 One-Ingredient Grilled Garlic Spread

“Throw a whole garlic bulb on the grill, when the cloves become soft it is ready and can be used as a sweet and savory compliment to a variety of dishes.”
– Eugene Thalmann, M.S., CNS, CDN of Sprouting Dreams Farm

Products Offered: Eggs, Vegetables, Wheat Grass & Sprouts
Find Them at the Farmers Market in: Liberty


#3 Juicier Grilled Chicken

“Grill chicken with the skin on. Even if you remove the skin before serving, you’ll enjoy juicier, more tender chicken this way.”
– Scott Goodman, Butchies Organic Farm

Products Offered: Organic Vegetables, Eggs, Chicken, Pork
Find Them at Farmers Markets in: Callicoon, Monticello


#4 Sear Smarter: Don’t Move the Meat!

“It’s really tempting to keep checking, poking, and flipping the meat. Have confidence and try to move the meat as little as possible until you get a good sear. Otherwise it’ll stick to the grates.”
– Michelle Lipari, Agriculture & 4-H Community Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County


#5 Charcoal Grill Pro Tip

“We like to bank the charcoal up on one side of the grill so you have varying degrees of heat the work with.”
– Sara & Brett Budde, Majestic Farm

Products Offered: Pasture-raised Pork, Chicken, Lamb
Find Them at Farmers Markets in: Liberty, Rock Hill


#6 Toast to Better Burgers

“Our 4 packs of burger buns are perfect for patties – you can toast the buns directly on the grill. It’s important to use a bun that’s substantial enough to hold juicy meats without getting soggy on the bottom.”
– Lisa Rubin-Woods, Beach Lake Bakery

Products Offered: Bread, Baked Goods
Find Them at the Farmers Market in: Barryville, Callicoon


#7 Sausages: Busy Farmer Approved

“As small farmers we work nonstop so cooking takes a back seat. We love the convenience factor of our sausages (available in pork or chicken). They defrost fast and grill or broil in about 10 minutes – no prep, no seasoning. Sausages are ready to go on the grill then into our bellies with little effort.”
– Rick & Linda Franciosa, Quails-R-Us…Plus!

Products Offered: Chicken, Pork, Eggs (Quail & Chicken)
Find Them at the Farmers Market in: Barryville, Callicoon


#8 Green Up Your Grill

“One of my favorite ways to enjoy asparagus is on the grill. Trim the asparagus, coat lightly in vegetable oil, then season with salt and pepper. Over medium direct heat, grill the asparagus until it’s lightly browned and just tender. Cook about 2 to 4 minutes per side – depending on heat of the grill. Remove, then drizzle with melted butter and fresh squeezed lemon juice. When perfectly cooked, grill asparagus should still have a slight crisp when you bite it.”
– Erika Malmgreen, Winterton Farms

Products Offered: Vegetables, Fruit, Maple Syrup, Lavender
Find Them at the Farmers Market in: Rock Hill


#9 Brine Away the Bitterness

“Eggplant is coming to the local markets later this summer. Get ready with this essential tip: To remove the bitterness of eggplant, soak it in salt water for 4 hours before grilling.”
LeeAnna Maniace, Sprouting Dreams Farm


#10 Knead to Know Burger Prep

“When making burgers with ground lamb, knead the meat (and added spices if using them) to get the proteins sticky so the lamb burger doesn’t fall apart on the grill. The opposite is true for beef burgers – don’t over-knead them or the meat can get too chewy! We’re offering lamb burgers this Memorial Day weekend.”
Tom & Denise Warren, Stone & Thistle Farm


#11 Local Veggie Burgers

“Zucchini isn’t ready yet locally, but it will be soon! Use shredded zucchini to make your own veggie burgers this summer – then top them off with fresh pea shoots for extra crunch.”
LeeAnna Maniace, Sprouting Dreams Farm