These Cookout Condiments Will Really Up Your Grill Game

We take grilling season very seriously here at Plated. We’ve made it our mission to make you a grill master, so you can impress your family and friends all summer long with your barbecue skills. Also, so you can eat all the delicious grilled things.

But, even if you have your equipment and technique game on point, and have perfected the art of grilling everything from fruits to cheeses, there’s still one piece of the puzzle that might be missing: the pièce de résistance; the cherry on top. That’s right, we’re talking condiments. Because, sure, ketchup and mustard are great, but if you’re spending the effort to create those perfect char marks, you can’t top your finished product with just any old sauce. You need something special—and from pickled chow-chow to tangy chutney, we have you and your grilled masterpieces covered (literally).


If you’ve never heard of chow-chow, think of it as a kind of “Relish 2.0″—maintaining all the briny, crunchy goodness of the standard relish recipe, but with the added bonus of more vegetables and spices for added texture, flavor, and deliciousness. Chow-chow is perfect for those times when you want to take your relish game to the next level, and really wow your guests.

3 pounds green bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 pounds sweet onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
One 2-pound head of green cabbage, cored and finely chopped
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 cups sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
½ tablespoon dry mustard
½ tablespoon crushed red pepper
½ tablespoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¾  teaspoon turmeric


  1. In a large bowl, toss the bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and cabbage with the salt; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain the vegetables, discarding the liquid. In a large, heavy pot, bring the sugar, vinegar and water to a boil. Add the mustard seeds, dry mustard, crushed red pepper, celery seeds, ginger and turmeric and stir well. Add the drained vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the relish is thick and saucy, about 1 hour.
  3. Transfer to glass jars, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Pimento cheese

(Source: New York Times)

Pimento cheese is a staple of Southern cuisine. While it’s typically spread thick on sandwiches or used as a dip, we love it as a grill-side companion to spread atop grilled chicken, swordfish, and hearty vegetables like asparagus and peppers.

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated with a food processor or hand grater
¼ cup softened cream cheese (2 ounces), pulled into several pieces
1/2 cup jarred pimento or other roasted red peppers, finely diced
3 tablespoons high-quality store-bought mayonnaise
½ teaspoon dried red chile flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl, place the cheddar cheese in an even layer. Scatter the cream cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise and chile flakes over the cheddar cheese. Using a spatula, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 1 ½ minutes.
  2. Transfer the pimento cheese to a plastic container or bowl, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Pimento cheese keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Mint chutney

Typically served alongside Indian dishes like samosas and kebabs, chutney is a partly sweet, partly, tangy herby condiment that tastes fantastic atop grilled fish and meats. You can vary the herbs and spices to taste, but we love this classic combination of cilantro and mint, plus chile pepper for a bit of heat.

1 tablespoon agave
1/4 ounce mint
1/4 ounce cilantro
1/4 ounce ginger
1 Thai chile
1 lime
canola oil
salt and pepper


  1. Halve lime. Trim and discard skin of ginger and mince. Pick cilantro and mint leaves, discarding stems. Halve Thai chile lengthwise. Using a knife tip, discard seeds and stem, then finely chop up to half. (If you won’t be using a blender to make the chutney, finely mince herbs and chile).
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine agave, herbs, chopped chile, ginger, juice of remaining lime, 2 tablespoons canola oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt, then blend until smooth.

Simple tzatziki

If you’re not one for the spiciness of chutney or the brine of chow-chow, this mild, yogurt-based condiment is the one for you. Tzatziki is a classic, versatile Mediterranean condiment that can be used in a variety of ways—as a creamy salad dressing, an irresistible dip alongside hummus and baba ghanoush, or spread thick atop rich, grilled proteins like salmon, chicken, or lamb. The creaminess from the yogurt also makes tzatziki a delicious pairing for grilled vegetables like green onions, peppers, and even charred romaine lettuce.

1/2 English cucumber
1 container nonfat Greek yogurt
1 lemon
salt and pepper

Grate cucumber. Place cucumber in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze out any excess moisture. Add drained cucumber to a medium bowl with yogurt and juice of 1 lemon. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired, and stir to combine.

Love experimenting in the kitchen? Try Plated!

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