Scott and I made a promise at the beginning of the summer that we would make more time to spend outside enjoying our deck and the nice weather. We also decided that we would also make more time to grill. In an effort to stick with it, I purchased a new grill for Scott for our anniversary.
So far we have been sticking with our promise and I’m pleased with the results!
It’s lead to a lot more relaxing evenings and a bunch of grilling experiments. Because of the deal we made with ourselves it has had very positive results.
- We’ve discovered a new fish market located very close to us.
- We found some local sausages and hot dogs that are perfect for grilling.
- We tried new things on the grill and new techniques.
- A new pan that I thought would go unused has become the perfect pan for using on the grill.
Cooking with a pan on the charcoal grill has been a great experience so far and both of us have really loved the results. A few tips and tricks I’ve learned about grilling with a pan are:
Prep Everything Ahead Of Time:
The goal of backyard grilling is for everything to be more relaxed. You don’t want to be rushing around chopping, prepping, and getting things sorted out. The ideal is to be outside with your family and/or friends relaxing while the coals heat up.
Plus you want to increase the amount of time the coals are working for you and cooking your food. By having everything prepped and ready to go, you can relax outside and then when the coals are ready, so are you. All you have to do is add the items to the pan and start cooking.
Make Sure The Coals Are Super Hot:
The coals have to do double duty, they have to cook food but also heat up a pan. The pan has to be hot enough that it’s going to cook whatever you put into it. That means you need a lot of coals to make a hefty heat source.
More Coals Means Longer Time For Them To Become Hot:
Prepare for the increased amount of time it’s going to take for the larger amount of coals to heat up. By taking this into consideration it will keep things on track and running smoothly. Otherwise you might find yourself eating dinner at 9:30pm!
Use An Oven Safe Pan:
By using a pan that has a double handled grip as opposed to a long handle, it will fit on the grill better and allow you to use the grill lid.
An oven safe pan means that it will be able to handle the high heat of the grill.
Do not use a “non-stick” pan. Stainless steel or hard-anodized pans are better suited for this.
Currently, I’m using a Calphalon 12 inch everyday pan with lid. I’m not sure if this is still in production or not. However it gives you an idea of the type of pan I’m currently using.
Allow The Pan To Preheat:
Just like cooking on a regular range, you’ll want to add in some oil to the pan and allow it to preheat a bit before adding in the items to be cooked.
Use The Grill Lid:
When using a pan on the grill, the grill lid becomes your best friend. It helps keep heat in, making a very hot environment which is the desired goal. This allows for the food to cook just like how it would cook if you were using a regular range.
By using the grill lid, you reduce the amount of time it will take to cook the food. Without it, it would take much longer for the pan to heat up and for the food to cook. It also helps facilitate more even cooking.
Don’t Forget Potholders:
Just like if you were to remove something from an oven, the pan on the grill is going to get hot! You’ll need potholders to be able to remove the pan and you’ll need a trivet or a hot-pad to set the pan on. Otherwise you could risk burning your table or tablecloth.
Doing something different on the grill opens up a whole new world of cooking. I never thought I would be making rice dishes and steaming mussels on the grill but once I realized I had the perfect pan to get the job done, I started experimenting right away.
Now I’m constantly thinking about what I could make next!
Have you been grilling much this summer? What is your favorite thing to grill?