Easy weeknight meals to cook on the grill can make even a Wednesday (or another day of the week) more special. You’re tired, and cooking over a stove or heating up the oven simply makes a hot night that much more unbearable.
Grilling out may be the best way to make a delicious meal quickly, and while staying as cool as possible. Cooking in a kitchen is stuffy and warm. Cooking on a grill, with a cold beer in your hand and catching a cool evening breeze, is relaxing and fun.
It can seem like grilling is something you do only for a special occasion. Preparing burgers, ribs, or steaks can seem like it takes a lot of effort and time. The last thing you want to do on a busy weeknight is mess with marinades and hot coals. There are some easy ways, though, to make a tasty, easy dinner on the grill.
This is a simple, straightforward meal that can pair with rice or some other side dish, or conceivably be served all on its own. We are all familiar with the basic idea. Cut up some peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, or other vegetables. Cut up meat of your choice, as well; beef and chicken are two popular choices.
Once you’ve got a bunch of pieces, thread them onto skewers. Grill the skewers over a flame, occasionally turning, until everything looks cooked. The small pieces should cook quickly and without a lot of fuss. The most time-consuming part of the meal is putting everything on a skewer, but if you get a few people working on it, it’s done in a flash.
Serve the grilled veggies and meat either on the skewers, or take them off and serve them over rice or with a salad.
Everyone loves tacos. You can put just about anything in them, and they always taste great. Freshly grilled fish or beef add some flavor, impresses your family or guests, and is easy to make.
Tilapia and other less expensive fish are usually a good choice for tacos. Likewise, less expensive cuts of beef, such as flank or skirt steaks, can be grilled and then sliced thin for fajitas or tacos. You can throw the meat into a marinade for a half hour or so for a little-added flavor.
Believe it or not, pizza on the grill is possible. Moreover, it’s easy and delicious. Grill a steak, slice it up, and then use it for topping on the pizza. You can buy pre-made pizza crusts, and grill that on the grill as well. Be sure to be liberal with the olive oil, though, so it doesn’t stick.
You can top the pizza with sliced steak and make it into a gourmet meal by pairing it with arugula, pears, and mozzarella. You can also go a more traditional route with pizza sauce and cheese. Either way, it’s a great, easy meal.
A traditional favorite, you can buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces yourself (which is usually cheaper), or buy pre-cut pieces and save yourself the time and effort. Make the barbecue sauce yourself or choose one of the many varieties at the store.
Either way, the process is pretty simple. Grill the chicken until it’s almost done. It doesn’t require any seasoning at this point. A few minutes before it is finished cooking, spread the barbecue sauce on the chicken and let it cook into the meat. It can caramelize a little, but shouldn’t turn black.
Pair it with some mashed potatoes or grilled vegetables. It’s a crowd pleaser.
Foil Pack Meals
If you’ve gone camping, you’ve probably made a foil pack meal filled with ground beef, onions, potatoes, and other veggies. It’s tasty, quick, and people can fill it with what they like and leave out what they don’t.
It’s possible to make those simple dinners fancier and more satisfying, though. With just a little imagination and elaboration, you can make anything from pasta to quesadillas in a foil packet. It’s a one-dish meal that can be made up ahead of time or thrown together in a few minutes. Put it on the fire and then turn it once while cooking. It’s about as foolproof and easy as dinner can get.
Shrimp is a good choice for a quick meal as it cooks quickly and can be used in a variety of ways. It’s good in pasta or can add some flavor and protein to a salad. You can toss it with sauce or let it marinade for a little while before you put it on the grill.
Shrimp pairs best with citrus marinades. When using an acidic marinade, only let it soak for at most an hour. The acid in the citrus will start to break down the meat if left to sit longer.
Cedar Plank Salmon
This is a classic way of cooking fish that has become much more popular lately. The grilling plank is soaked for a while and the fish is grilled directly on the wood. Cedar infuses the fish with aromatic and savory flavors that give it a unique taste.
The plank can be soaked ahead of time and then frozen so that you can pull it out and use it when the urge hits you. Cedar plank salmon can be delicious without a lot of other spices or a marinade, but soy sauce or lime-based marinade can also taste great.
Believe it or not, steak is a pretty simple meal. A good cut of meat can be grilled with vegetables, like potatoes or squash, right next to each other, so you have your whole meal cooking at once. If you like steak, all you need is a little salt and pepper, and it tastes great.
If you have a little more time and energy, though, a simple marinade is easy to put together. Let the steak soak in all those good flavors while you’re getting the coals ready. It’s simple, tasty, and a great reward for a hard day’s work.
Grilling is an easy, fast way to make a meal. Particularly when grilling over coals, it adds a smoky flavor to food that rarely needs more seasoning to taste great. On a hot summer day, light up some coals, and spend your evening outside, instead of in a hot kitchen or watching TV with a microwave dinner.