Ask these six meal planning questions before you grill:
Do you want leftovers? Grilled food makes great
leftovers for the next day. Get some good ideas on
Will you add any non-grilled side dishes to the
menu? If so, think about how long they take to
prepare so you can do this ahead of time. Many
grilled foods cook fast so you will want to make sure
your sides are ready to go. Find ideas for "make ahead"
side dishes on page 3.
Will you be using food from the freezer to grill? If
so, plan to fully thaw it before grilling to allow for even
cooking throughout. Safely thaw in the refrigerator, not
on the counter.
Will you marinate any of the foods? If so, plan for
how long. A simple marinade is low-fat Italian dressing.
For safety make sure to marinate foods in the
- The thinner a food item is cut the faster it will cook. 1/2 inch is often recommended for thickness.
- Cutting pieces of food to the same size helps assure all bites of that food item will be cooked to your liking. For example, if all pieces of green pepper on a skewer are cut the same size there is a better chance they will all be done cooking at the same time.
- Cutting pieces of food so the most possible area touches the grill helps assure good flavor and doneness throughout the whole piece. For example, cutting an onion in horizontal slices assures more of it will touch the grill than simply cutting an onion in half.