Co-op Blog

Fire Up your Grill for the 4th + Recipe!

As the July 4th weekend draws near, the unofficial start of the Pacific Northwest grilling season arrives. Celebrate with the Co-op Meat Department’s own handmade Stuffed Burgers — each package contains 1/2 lb of premium, freshly ground natural beef, stuffed with all natural flavors. Choose from a selection of rotating, seasonal flavors, including: Bacon Gorgonzola, Bistro Burgundy, and “the Ace”, made with Galen’s Classic Meat Rub, only $6.99 per lb.

A few quick grill tips: start your grill about 30 minutes before cooking. Consider setting up a hot side for grilling meat and a cooler side for grilling fish, seafood and vegetables. If you don’t have a gas grill, consider using chunk charwood, which is preferred by chefs because it burns clean and hot, sealing in the flavor and moisture of grilled foods.

In addition to grilling chicken, burgers, and sausages, you can also get a tasty char on many vegetables, including:

  • Corn – soak in cold water for 30 minutes, peel back the Grilled Cornhusk, remove the silk, then return the husk and grill for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently.
  • Mushrooms – wash under running water, then pat dry. Skewer, brush with oil and grill for 5-7 minutes. Larger varieties such as Portabello may take 10-20 minutes, depending on their size.
  • Onions – slice thickly and brush with oil. Cook onions directly on the grid at medium-high heat until they start to turn brown. Or try roasting the onion: cut it in half, wrap it in foil with a little butter, and cook for about 30–45 minutes at medium heat.
  • Peppers – grill whole peppers at high heat until skin is charred black, about 15–20 minutes. Cool in a paper bag for 15 minutes to loosen blackened skin. Peel and remove seeds.
  • Potatoes – wrap large Russet-style baking potatoes in foil. Cook at medium heat for 25–30 minutes or until tender.

Our Meat and Seafood Department sources local and organic chicken from Draper Valley and Mary’s Organic Chicken. They also source local, pasture-raised beef and pork from Skagit River Ranch, Jack Mountain Meats, and Three Sisters Farm, among others. Ask our friendly staff for tips and recommendations.

Has all that grilling made you thirsty? Be sure to pick up a some cold brews. Hale’s American Pale Ale 6-pk and Backwoods Logyard India Pale Ale are now on sale for $7.49 per 6pk, through 6/30/16. These crisp, locally made ales are great companions for holiday grill fare, including roasted vegetable kabobs, the Co-op’s own handmade natural sausage, and spicy marinated chicken wings.

Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry BBQ Sauce Recipe

Posted by permission from Find more recipes and information about your food and where it comes from at


  • 4-6 pork loin chops, bone-in or boneless
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard

Directions: In a medium-sized skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and sauté the minced shallots and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the spices and sauté 1 minute more. Remove the skillet from the heat and place mixture into a food processor. Add the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, tamari, and water, and purée the mixture, then add the blueberries and purée until smooth. Set sauce aside.

Lightly brush the grill and the pork chops with a little oil; then season chops with salt and pepper. Grill the chops, covered, for about 6 minutes on each side or until they reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees F. Baste with the barbecue sauce during the final few minutes.

Remove the chops from the grill and let them rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Dress the chops with the barbecue sauce and serve with additional sauce on the side. Serve with a coleslaw or a mango and black bean salad.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.