Keep Your Cool by Having What You Need at Hand
The image of cooking dinner on the grill just invokes fun. It speaks of family and friends gathering around the patio, long summer nights, laughter and the smell of good food.
While grilling out is a lot of fun, it is also work for the cook. It certainly isn’t fun when the burgers need flipping and you cannot find the spatula, the steaks need marinating and you have to run to the store for what you need or you have to dig through cabinets hunting for the grill basket while guests keeping asking “Are you sure I can’t help?”
Getting your barbecue tools and supplies organized helps keep the fun in grilling out. Here are some tips to help you on your way.
Grab a basket:
Using a basket for marinades, sauces and rubs helps make the meat preparation so much easier. Pull out the basket and you are ready to make things sizzle. It also helps with grocery shopping as it makes it quick to see when you are running low on supplies.
Gather the tools:
Most kitchen cabinets do not have drawer space for long handled grilling tools. Add hooks or a pegboard to your garage wall near the kitchen door. Or, add hooks to the inside of your pantry door.
Store at the grill:
While you do not want to store any food products at the grill as they will attract pests, there are some things great to have near-by. These include:
Non-stick cooking spray designed for grilling
Try These Tips for Organizing:
If you are a charcoal griller, a clean trash-can with a tight fitting lid is great for storing and keeping dry bags of charcoal and lighter fluid
Invest in a second propane tank. That way, you will never run out in the middle of cooking dinner. It is also great to have on hand during emergencies when the power is out.
If your grill does not come with an attached area for setting down your platter of food, place your grill next to a picnic table or bring out a folding table so you have a sturdy surface for hot food.
If you like to use bamboo skewers or cedar planks for grilling, soak them well and then store them in the freezer so they are ready to go. This will prevent you from hurrying through the soaking process and catching your famous shish-ka-bobs on fire….again!
When preparing to barbecue, use a tray to gather up the things you need to take to the grill. You do not want to have to run back inside for tongs or oven mitt.
On your tray, place the tools you need, sauce or seasoning to be added at the grill, an oven mitt, a mist or water bottle for flare-ups, matches or lighter if needed and a clean platter.
Never place cooked meat back on the dirty platter which held the raw meat. So be sure a clean plate heads outside with you.
Use your tray to carry in everything in one trip.
Set your timer, to ring after dinner, to remind you to clean the grill, while it is still warm and easy clean.
If all this talk of grilling has made your mouth water, then check out Cooking the Perfect Steak.
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.
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