It's a great time to explore new ways to eat right. I’d like those out there that have not yet played on the grill to get outside and have some fun!
The outdoor grill has traditionally been a “guy thing” where he stands out and grills some type of meat while the woman stays in the kitchen putting the other dinner components together. Let's not limit ourselves! While this set-up might work for some families, other families it may not. I am noticing such a mix of roles when it comes to men and women and meal preparation. Not only are the roles changing, the types of foods you are seeing on the grill are changing, too. It's not just for meat anymore!
We got a pretty stellar grill built into our patio last summer and this has really excited me to get out and experiment with some fun things. We have made some things on the grill last summer that aren’t your stereotypical grilling meal (examples: pizza, stir fry, etc.) What has built my confidence to try new things on the grill are my gadgets. Here are my favorite must-have gadgets to get you grilling in 2016.
One of my favorite gadget purchases last year was the grilling basket. If your grill is large enough, you can have several things happening at once! The grilling basket really allows you to experiment with some smoky stir fry vegetables and fruits for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For breakfast, you could do a potato, onion, pepper mix and for lunch or dinner, the skies the limit. Sautee your vegetables in a mix of vinegar, oil and spices. Put the flame on medium heat and stir frequently. I have grilled our vegetables on the infared, which is wonderful as there is no flame to contend with and the vegetables turn out perfect every time if you stay on top of them.
A good grill tool set is a must. If you skimp on bargain tools, they won’t last or they will not stand up to the constant heat well. What you want to look for is a sturdy set so they can easily pick up and flip foods. You also want the arm of the tool long enough for your comfort zone to the flame. Nicer grilling tools have more comfortable grips on the ends so it makes it easy for you to manipulate your food on the grill.
Grill Mitts or Gloves
You’ll boost your confidence quickly with a good set of grill mitts or gloves. I’ve been using this set of silicone grill mitts that can hang with heat as high as 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Also good, are grilling gloves, which may be a bit more snug for better fit depending on what you’ll be doing, but I like a little more room between me and the heat and the mitts make me feel safer.
Amp the flavor of fish, vegetables or meat with cedar, maple or hickory grilling planks. We have been using the cedar planks, which are great for grilling salmon and tuna. Be sure to soak your planks in water for at least one hour and season the planks for a minute on each side on an open flame before adding the food. This will keep the wood from burning. With the water as it’s soaking, you could add any type of vinegar and citrus to add another dimension of flavor to your food!
Here’s a recipe we posted last fall that uses the grilling basket – Shrimp Stir Fry on the Grill. This might be a good recipe to branch out with, and then continue on with each new gadget.
Expand the ways you savor the flavors of foods. This is one way to do that. Gadget-up so you can get excited as me to get out on the grill this spring and summer. If you already grill, I'd love to hear what your favorite go-to gadget is and how you use it!