We LOVE grilling out and do it quite often. While I would love to have every accessory available for grills, I have learned there are many ways to save money and still have “just like pros” grilled food.
- I love grill baskets for veggies but don’t even own one. Two different options instead of a grill basket- Make your own basket by folding aluminum foil up on all sides and poking holes in the bottom or buying $1 disposable aluminum pans at Dollar Tree or .99 store. Again, poke holes in the bottom to allow the steam to escape.
- Pizza Oven. You don’t need an expensive brick outdoor grilling oven for pizzas. Just pick up the canned pizza dough, pat it out like you would for your indoor oven, brush with some olive oil and put it directly on your grill. After about two minutes, flip to the other side and grill for another two minutes. When the dough is done, it won’t stick to your grill. Once both sides are cooked, take it off, add whatever sauces and ingredients you want and put back on the grill and close the lid until cheese is melted. Be sure not to use any raw meats; only cooked meat should be used since you have already made your pizza dough.
- Foil Packet Dinners. Throw it all in an aluminum foil packet and don’t worry about side burners for vegetables or pans for the grill. One of my favorites is to take a large piece of foil (leaving about four inches on each side), put a chicken breast in it that has been coated with olive oil and our favorite garlic, salt, and pepper seasoning all over it, and add in quarter cut red potatoes, green beans or asparagus, onions, tomatoes, and whatever other veggies you want to add. Toss the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour ranch dressing over the chicken and veggies. You could also use any other dressing that is your favorite- honey mustard, balsamic and vinegar, blue cheese, or whatever you prefer. Fold up all sides of the foil leaving plenty of room for steam and expansion. Basically, you are making a tent. Grill for 30-45 minutes until chicken is no longer pink on the inside. Each person has his/her own foil packet dinner and can make it to his/her own liking.
- Cedar Planks. You can spend a lot of money buying specialty cedar planks for grilling fish and shrimp. One of the best tricks I learned was going to Lowes or Home Depot, buy a Cedar board, 1 x 6 x 8 and have them cut into 8- 12 inch boards. For less than $8, you have 8 cedar boards that can be used over and over. Be sure to soak these for several hours prior to grilling.
- Don’t have a grill? Going on a picnic, hike, tailgating, or to the beach and don’t want to haul a grill with you? Get a disposable lasagna pan or roasting pan and a cheap metal rack to go on the top of it. That is it! Put your charcoal in, light it, put the metal rack over the top and your food on top of the rack. Be sure when cleaning up, you leave plenty of time for the charcoal to go out (you don’t need much in that size pan), and that you don’t throw in a trash can hot. Preferably cover with sand or other extinguisher and take your trash with you after it has cooled. The rack can be reused for your next portable grilling needs.