Los Angeles, Get Creative with Barbecue

Fall is on its way, but that's not stopping the heatwave hitting Los Angeles this weekend. Our suggestion? Fight fire with fire, and throw some coals on your grill. The season for barbecue is apparently lingering, and we've got some resources for those of you cooking at home.

Photo: Amy Tierney

Blender's BBQ Sauce

The Blender family set up shop in Kansas City in 1927, and a branch of the family relocated to Hollywood soon after. The Blenders fit right in in L.A. -- they opened a B-movie studio -- and their famous, secret BBQ recipe passed down through generations: larger corporations have begged for their recipes for decades, to no avail. Their sauce comes in three flavors, and all are made without any preservatives, fillers or allergens. You can order Blender's sauces online, or pick them up at Whole Foods and independent grocers all over SoCal.

Photos courtesy Spice Station

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Spice Station
If you're the hands-on type, or just into the smoky flavor of a rub, the experts at Spice Station in Silver Lake will help you out. The spice shops have pre-made rubs that will flavor your meats and sides to perfection, and if you're looking to make your own concoction, you can't beat their selection of unique spices. Bonus: they occasionally offer tastings and classes, to help you (ahem) spice up your cooking.

Photos courtesy Hollywood Farmer's Market

Farmer's Markets
For a wide selection of fresh, local fruits and vegetables, the local farmer's market is your best bet for seasonal summer favorites. Grilled veggies are a staple -- who hasn't had a perfectly charred bell pepper or a smokey zucchini? -- but if you're skeptical about fruit on the grill, don't be. Grilled pineapples (from a hot house farm!) are smoky-sweet, a surprisingly delicious topper for a burger or chicken, and grilled watermelon with a little salt and lime is a perfect side for a barbecue. Don't rule out the rest of your summer fruit favorites: fired-up stone fruits are delicious (we recommend peaches and nectarines), and if you're looking for a drink to accompany your grill fare, these cherry sours are the answer.

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