We just purchased a propane grill. After the past couple of summers when our electric bill was through the roof, I want to try to conserve more energy. Do your readers have any ideas on what all can done on a gas grill?
Roy H. in Catoosa, OK
Check out AllRecipes.com, Coleman.com, or Google grill recipes and I am sure you can come up more than you could use all summer. You might also want to look into a solar cooker to conserve more energy.
Pizza on the Grill (AllRecipes.com)
1 ready made pizza crust
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
toppings of choice
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Roll out prepared pizza dough to a size that will fit your grill. Place on grill for 5 minutes, or to desired doneness, and flip over. Now add the sauce, cheese, and toppings. Cover the grill and allow to cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes 1 pizza.
Debbie in MA
I recently moved into an older house with an electric oven and cook top. After about a year, one of the big burners on my cook top died. Soon after that, the oven croaked.
I learned how to do everything I normally would in the oven on the grill. I even baked a pizza and cookies! The trick is to be sure that you have a grill with a built-in thermometer on the lid. If you don't have this, spring for the fancy kind that has a thermometer that stays in the grill with a readout on the outside of the grill. You will have to play with the temperature a bit to get what you need for cooking. I would also advise using pans and crockery that you don't mind messing up, as the heat can warp a pan and crack a dish if you aren't super-careful.
Be sure to cook using indirect heat. Say your grill has three heating elements or "burners." Place the food to be cooked over either the left or right burner. Turn this burner to the lowest setting or even off. Turn the middle burner to a medium-low setting, and the burner opposite the food to a medium-high setting. This will also work for grills with front, middle and back burners.
Here's a great recipe that I've done on the grill:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Half a small bottle Russian or Catalina dressing
Half a small jar of orange marmalade (2 heaping tablespoons)
One package onion soup mix
Preheat grill to about 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients except chicken in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Place chicken in a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish. Pour dressing mixture over chicken and cover dish with foil. Place on indirect heat and "bake" until chicken is done. It takes about 30-45 minutes.
This is delicious served over rice or egg noodles with a side of green peas or beans.
Erin D. from Winterville, GA
Anything and everything can be done on the grill. Invest in a few utensils such as a flat-topped griddle for doing bacon and eggs, pancakes, etc. A basket that fits on the rotisserie can hold smaller pieces like chicken wings and legs. A square basket type wok is great for searing small items such as fruits and veggies. I also use a holder with a long handle to cook hamburgers, fish, hot dogs, sausage, etc. It's easy to flip the items all at once without losing heat. Steam veggies wrapped in tin foil and placed on the warmer.
Always heat the grill before placing meat on the grate. This burns off any residue that might be left and ashes can be brushed off with a long handled wire brush. Leave on high until the outside of the meat is seared. Then lower heat until meat is cooked. I always turn mine off for the last few minutes of cooking. There is enough heat in the grill to finish up and keep food hot until the salads, plates, and embellishments are ready.
Last but not least, always have at least two tanks. Keep one for use and one in reserve. Take the empty one along and refill on the next shopping trip. That way, you will never run out of gas half way through the cooking.
Hello! I'm a certified chef who runs a catering business. My business purchased two different grills for different events. Let me tell you, there are a lot of things that can be done a grill!
My suggestion would be to go to your library and look for some grilling and BBQ cookbooks first. Get ideas and then start to look at your own family's dining.
In the last year, I've made hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob (in husk, in foil, and directly on the grill), kabobs (of all kinds), the Thanksgiving turkey, baked potatoes, shrimp and other seafood including crab, glazed apples, poached peaches, poached pears, and French fries, which is my personal favorite.
I love cooking on a grill because it's easier to clean and you are cooking outdoors. Therefore, you can enjoy sitting on the patio and watching the kids play while you're cooking!
Matt from Cookin' Time Catering
We live in Florida and try to avoid heating the kitchen in the summer. Cooking on a grill can sure help. Our children love grilled teriyaki salmon, BBQ chicken breasts and drumsticks, turkey legs, and London Broil (great for a crowd), corn in the husks, and foil packet dinners.
We often use a wood plank (cedar/alder), which keeps the meat moist, adds flavor and helps keep your meat from getting overdone while you're busy playing with the kids or puttering about the backyard.
Foil packets are great for vegetables (carrots, potatoes, peppers, onions) and fruits (pineapple, mango, apples) with your meat. Everything turns out tender and steamed to perfection. Again, like the plank cooking, you don't have to worry as much about flare-ups and burning your grilled items.
We're opting to purchase a new grill this summer and will get one with a side burner. That way, we can cook a side dish such as rice outside as well. Keep the heat out of the kitchen so you're a/c doesn't have to work so hard!
You can cook every night all summer on a gas grill! There are always the old meat standbys, such as burgers, steaks, chicken, hot dogs, etc. However, you can make these more interesting by cutting them up in cubes and cooking them on skewers with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, pieces of onion, or other veggies. You could use shrimp instead of chicken or meat. Salmon and other fish are fantastic grilled. You can "bake" potatoes on the grill by wrapping them in foil. You can cook corn, sliced eggplant, zucchini, or other vegetables on the grill. Anything that might fall apart, like fish or cut-up veggies, can be wrapped in aluminum foil. As with traditional grilled meat, you just have to make sure you turn the food often and test to see if it is done. Do your whole dinner on the grill, add a salad and some iced tea, and you'll have great meals in addition to saving on your power bill.
S.W. in Maryland
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