Experts and users agree: Once you find the right grill it becomes a perennial favorite, popping up in your backyard every summer. Charcoal grills make up about a third of the U.S. market, and experts say that if you're willing to spend some time (anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes) getting the charcoal ready, it imparts an unparalleled smokey taste to your food. Gas grills, on the other hand, offer cooking convenience.
That's why Michele Borboa -- cookbook author, food columnist for SheKnows.com, and personal chef from Bozeman, Montana -- uses a gas grill to create her grilled chipotle chicken and mango skewers. While researching our updated reports on gas grills and charcoal grills, we found that most review sources evaluate a grill's size in terms of how many burgers, chicken breasts, and even whole turkeys its grate can hold; but Borboa's recipe is proof that your grill can cook much more than plain or barbecued meats.
"Chicken is a mild-flavored meat," Borboa explains in an email. "I love grilling it with boldly flavored ingredients such as smoky chipotle and sweet mango." She also points out that skewers cook faster than thick cuts of meat, and allow you to combine ingredients for near-countless variations.
What's the key to getting your quick-cooking skewers done all the way through? Borboa says it's cutting all the ingredients, especially meats, into uniformly-sized pieces, then turning the skewers every few minutes while they're cooking. She prefers a gas grill because it's quick and easy -- "a must-do" if you have kids, she says -- but allows that this recipe, which serves four, could also be adapted for use on a charcoal grill.
Grilled Chipotle Chicken and Mango Skewers
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
A few grinds black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large ripe but firm mangoes, pitted, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red onion, cut into 1-inch cubes (do not separate onion layers)