A little pre-prep means more time for kicking back on your deck or patio and soaking up the sun. And the more supplies you have on hand, the easier it is to tell friends and family, ”Come right on over, let’s grill!” or “We’re having such a good time – why don’t you stay for dinner!”
Think of Clean Up – First
If you’re using a charcoal grill, line the bowl with foil before you add the briquettes (leave any drain holes/vents open). When it’s time to clean up, just lift the foil out. For a gas grill, once the heat is on and the grate is beginning to warm up, scrape it with a wire brush and then rub the grate with an old kitchen towel dipped in vegetable oil. Food won’t stick, and cleaning will be easier next time.
Sauces in Seconds
For spur-of-the-moment grilling, there’s often no time for marinades. Tasty sauces make the difference for inspired entertaining. Mix up your favorites and store them in resealable bags in the freezer. Reheat and serve! Teriyaki sauce is great for steaks and pork kebabs. Citrus and fruit sauces, such as a mango-lime sauce, bring chicken and salmon to a new level. Red or green salsas add zest to burgers. We suggest a a tomatilla verde salsa with pepper jack cheese!
Stack ‘Em Up
Whether it’s a busy weeknight or a lazy Sunday, having individual portions of grilling staples ready in the freezer saves time. Avoid that pile of chicken breasts frozen into odd shapes by laying them flat on foil to freeze individually, then stack between waxed paper and wrap them up tight. Prepare seasoned ground beef in patties, then stack and wrap the same way.
Choose Your Tools
Make sure you have a grilling basket and/or a grill pan in your collection. Then, when the grilling mood strikes, you can go through your refrigerator and grab any vegetables you have on hand to enhance your meal. Mushrooms? Broccoli or cauliflower? Red or green bell pepper? Zucchini or summer squash? Slice and throw on the grill.
Fancy Dessert Fast
Pineapple freezes extremely well. Cut a ripe pineapple into rings. Freeze the rings individually, tightly wrapped. Take them out when you start preparing dinner. When it’s time for dessert, grill them at high heat on a greased grate for 5 minutes, top each with a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Heavenly taste in minutes - planning ahead wins again!