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Gather Around the Grill with Family, Friends

7/12/2013, 9:06 a.m.

(Family Features) Nothing brings family and friends together like great food. Take time to gather everyone around the grill, share some fun and make memories this summer.

One person who knows a lot about feeding a crowd is TV personality and celebrity chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., a winner of The Next Food Network Star and host of the Food Network’s Big Daddy’s House. Growing up with five siblings and raising three children of his own has taught McCargo about the importance of gathering people together for mealtime.

“Making meals for family and friends is easy, especially when there’s a grill involved,” McCargo said, “and grilling season is the perfect time to catch up over ketchup.”

McCargo has teamed up with grilling staple, Heinz Ketchup, to develop tips and recipes for the ultimate cookout, including:

• Grill summer fruit such as mango, watermelon and pineapple, with a little salt, pepper and oil. Once off the grill, drizzle with fresh citrus juices, such as lemon or blood orange with a little extra virgin olive oil as an untraditional alternative to fruit salad.

• For an added kick to kebabs, hamburgers or hot dogs, add a fresh new twist on a classic favorite with Heinz Ketchup Blended with Real Jalapeno or Heinz Ketchup Blended with Balsamic Vinegar.

• If you forgot to brush your grill off after the last BBQ event, heat the grill to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit with the lid closed. Open grill and brush vigorously with wired grill brush for easy grill clean up, then season with oil and start grilling.

• Be careful to check the date on your propane tanks before firing up the grill since tanks do expire. You can find the expiration date on the metal collar around the top of the tank. And be sure to always keep a backup when hosting a crowd.

For more of Aaron McCargo, Jr.’s recipes, tips and tricks for grilling season, visit www.facebook.com/HeinzKetchup.

Tasty Easy Beef Brisket

Servings: 1-2

1/4 cup Heinz Ketchup

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons diced shallots

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds beef brisket

For marinade, put all ingredients, except for beef brisket, in a storage container and shake well until mixed. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade. Pierce brisket with fork on both sides to allow marinade to penetrate meat. Place brisket in a bag with the marinade and make sure meat is well coated. Marinate brisket for 1-3 hours. Preheat grill to 350°F or a medium high heat and preheat oven to 350°F. Grill brisket for 6-8 minutes each side. Wrap brisket in foil and bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove brisket and brush with reserved marinade. Let rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.