Imagine me doing my “Yay I know how to turn on my grill dance.” Except that one time that we were out of propane and the two other times when Scott had turned off the propane and I didn’t realize it. But otherwise, I know how to turn on my grill! And actually kind of sort of use the grill for cooking things.
If you’re new here (hi!), I challenged myself a few years ago to pick a kitchen thing (or in this case an outside kitchen thing) and spend the month using it. You can see past Operation Use My Kitchen Stuff here. July was our grill month and we rocked it!
- Thermometers are friends. There were a few times when we had to throw the chicken back on the grill because it wasn’t cooked long enough. And the first time we cooked steak, it was too overdone. After going through a few thermometers, we finally splurged on a ThermoWorks. It works beautifully.
- The grill has different temperatures. There is also such thing as indirect and direct heat. I’m still trying to figure all of this out. #headdesk
- Grilled fruit is delicious. Like seriously.
- Parchment paper doesn’t really belong on the grill. I learned this when my pizza dough was too sticky to put it directly on the grill. It all worked out in the end, even if the paper did nearly catch fire.
- Prep everything before you start using the grill–especially if you’re grilling something a little more fragile like fruit/vegetables.
Meats: Strip Steak, Ribs (started off in the smoker), Fajitas (Big Book of BBQ) Molasses Glazed Chicken Thighs, Cornish Hens (Big Book of BBQ, started off in the smoker), Bacon Wrapped Burgers (Big Book of BBQ–pic from the book), Grilled Drumsticks (Big Book of BBQ).
The ribs were the best we’ve ever had–I loved the smokiness from the smoker but the flavor from the quick grilling at the end. And the molasses glazed chicken thighs were my favorite of the bunch. There are still many things I’d love to cook–some salmon (which we’ve done before but not in years) and more chicken.
Fruit/Dessert: Grilled peaches, grilled pound cake (with blueberries and blueberry ice cream), grilled pineapple. I was in love with it all. And it allowed Scott to eat fresh fruit without compromising taste. The peaches were a hit with the girls. I didn’t put them directly on the grill because they seemed too tender but I bet they would have been good that way, too.
Veggies/Sides: Corn on the cob (YUM!), Potato Salad (from Big Book of BBQ), Asparagus, Zucchini.
Pizza! Ok, so the pizza on the grill was a bit of a flop, but it was a fun experiment. On a whim I grabbed a package of Betty Crocker pizza dough mix instead of making my own dough. You know, the whole busy working mom thing. It was a disaster–the dough was too sticky for me to do anything more than spread it out on parchment paper and then throw it on the grill. I called up to Scott and yelled “We need a backup dinner!” After grilling the dough on both sides, I decided to just throw it on the pizza stone in the oven with the toppings. Good news was the entire thing came together in about 15 minutes and it ended up being pretty delicious. It’s BBQ chicken with red onions on my half. So, next time I’ll make my own dough and then follow Beth Fish Read’s instructions on grilled pizza. The Pioneer Woman inspired the assembly of ingredients.
Where Do I Go From Here?
SO. Operation Use My Grill was a huge success. We used our grill more this summer than in all of the other summers combined. Fun random fact–the day that we got the grill was also the day that I joined twitter. Ha! I feel like such a badass for knowing how to turn on the grill and for actually being able to make some things on my own. I’d like to experiment a bit more with the pizza and grill some fish. I think we still have a ways to go before we perfect chicken on the grill. But really, we grilled meats, veggies, fruits, *dessert!* I’m pretty pleased with how Operation Use My Grill turned out.
What’s next? Freaking Fondue. I say that because I’ve been trying to get that fondue pot out for years now. I keep stalling and thinking of new Kitchen Things to play with instead. Have a favorite fondue recipe? I’d love for you to share!
What’s your favorite thing to make on the grill? Anything out of the usual?
Linking up with:
Every weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking. “Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.” Hope you’ll join the fun!