Despite the fluctuating temperatures and the increased amount of rainy days, Columbus is in full grilling mode! Actually when the winter weather breaks and we reach at least 50F in temps, people start grilling. Us included. Taking an evening walk around the neighborhood yields itself to many delicious smells.
I have it in my head that grilling makes kitchen cleanup easy! Everything gets prepped ahead so there are minimal dishes to wash after it’s all said and done.
Oh how I wish this were true!
Instead I find myself frustrated with the fact that I have a ton more dishes and such to cleanup than I originally planned on. This is because grilling can be deceptive when it comes to how many dishes you actually need to use.
Just for starters there’s the utensils that are needed for grilling. Meat forks, flippers, and tongs of various sizes and lengths. Add in the fire and it can be like a bad talent show.
Then there’s all the plates and platters! If you’re grilling meat, then you need two different plates, one for raw and one for cooked. Veggies of course are going to get their own plate but thankfully that can get reused since raw dead veggies don’t carry around nasties. Unless you are trying your hand at grilling some romaine for a grilled chopped salad. Back away from the romaine!
By the end of the event you’re staring down platters, utensils, and some how a Yahtzee cup that got used making you wonder just how strong those margaritas actually were. If you are like me, then you get a little frustrated at the extra work load.
My solution to counteract all the dishes that can pile up quicker than sequins during a costume change on Dancing with the Stars?
Cookies sheets and tin foil.
Alright, granted it might not be as pretty as Mamaw’s platter with the bluebell flower print but it gets the job done and saves you time in the kitchen. If you are cooking meat, it can go right on the foil and right outside to the grill. When all the meat is on the grill, just toss the previous piece of foil and cover the cookie sheet with another piece. When it’s time for cleanup, just toss the foil and you’re done.
Veggies can go on a covered cookie sheet as well. If you’ve got a mix of things that are going to finish and come off the grill together, use a bigger cookie sheet to handle the larger batch.
Plus cookie sheets are a lot more outdoor friendly than Mamaw’s platter! If a stray gust of wind comes up and the cookie sheet takes a tumble, not a big deal. That platter might end up in a splatter though (roll with it).
We grilled on Sunday and I totally forgot about this tip until I was looking at my kitchen and cursing myself for using so many dishes. Then I remembered when I used this tip before and how much simpler life was then.
So the next time you grill, try using some cookie sheets wrapped in foil for transfering the food around and see if it helps you out at the end of the day. I can’t help you with that Yahtzee cup though.