Do you have creative bbq ideas?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mattsmom277, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I've managed to get my electric bill from $200 a month to just over $80. So I'm trying to NOT cook this summer indoors, at least as little as possible. We also have metered time of day billing beginning today so daytime energy use is far more expensive to use. So we're going to be using the bbq a LOT.

    We're pretty simple cooks, we don't buy a lot of fancy ingredients and the easier to make something for a bbq, the better. Do you all have any good ideas? Family favorites?

    We do traditional things like burgers, pork chops, chicken, steak, sausages. We've been grilling a lot of veggies but we aren't creative in ways to grill them so would love some ideas for that. Meat gets boring day in and day out when cooked the same way so ideas for creativity would be great.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    If you can get corn still in the husk, pull the husk down, slather it in salted butter, pull it back up, and wrap it in foil. Best corn I ever had was cooked like that.
    Get something like Everglades Seasoning (Lawry's will work, you're more likely to find it), and use it mixed with lime juice for seasoning. Or marinate in a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
    You can also take a skillet and put on the grill for pan-seared meats and other things. I advise not using your favorite pans for this, but it opens up a lot of different dishes. Grab an old wok and make a stir fry on the grill.
    Wraps (hot or cold) are also easy to make and low cost depending on what you toss in them.
    Don't forget the old stand-by of shish-ka-bobs (sp) and the high variety of meats, shrimp, fruits, and veggies you can mix and match with.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Shish-k-bobs of the meats you mentioned, plus shrimp on them if you like. I also cook salmon, swordfish, and beef or pork roasts or ribs on the grill. A toaster oven saves costs for things that have to be cooked in an oven (garlic bread, small casserole dishes, or pizza). So many vegies- potatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, canned vegies or hot dog chili, etc, can either be punched on a shish-k-bob stick or wrapped in foil and thrown on the grill. I like to play with sauces too- either a marinade, a sprinkle of worsteshire sauce, or dousing the fish with bay seasoning or a blackened seasoning adds a little variety. The meat and vegies on the grill, garlic bread/toast with a salad makes a great meal that most enjoy. Depending on the type of grill you have, you can smoke a turkey if you want. Almost any meat that can be cooked in the oven can be cooked on grill.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    If you can get or borrow a copy of the Manifold Destiny cookbook, you should be able to do any of those recipes on a grill.
  5. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    i haven't tried to grill fish outdoors, mostly because I was never a huge fish eater. I have enjoyed it pan fried and oven baked on occasion lately so I think I'll try some fresh fish this week.

    I have a very standard, inexpensive grill. Basic with a side burner that I think I might have used twice. We adore corn cooked on the grill. And we do many veggies in foil. Today we thin sliced carrot and parsnip in a packet of foil, another packet held baby potatoes with skins on, onions and tons of garlic. They were delicious.

    I am ashamed to admit I've never made a marinade. I have a couple of times used a store bought one but not sure if I was really enjoying the ones I tested out. I should probably figure out a few simple and non smoky tasting marinades for different meats. (We hate that smoky flavor)

    I am also ashamed to admit I've only ever cooked store bought pre made kabobs. We do love them and it would be great to make chicken and veggie kabobs for me and easy child, while making beef and veggie or shrimp/scallop ones for S/O. Perhaps I'll google some simple recipes. Thanks for the idea. We haven't even made store bought ones for I think 2 summers. Great idea :)

    I did find a interesting recipe to make homemade taco rolls on the bbq. Think egg rolls but instead the filling is a taco one, can be done as beef taco filling or chicken type filling. They can also turn into smores for dessert. We are going to try them out next weekend and see if they all turn out.

    I could never cook a turkey on my sad little cheap grill. But I would love to figure out how to properly slow cook a small pork or beef roast. We also love ham, is there any way to grill that?
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Cut the ham into ham steaks and grill it that way. The raspberry vinaigrette we used was just an off the shelf salad dressing.
  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    The type like Kraft makes do you mean? I have that very thing in my pantry unopened. What would you use it for? Other than salad of course
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I use spice rubs on the chicken and pork. Frozen burgers cook very quickly. I also like to put tater tots in an old cake pan and cook those on the low burner the first 10 minutes or so, then move them to the top burner when I add the burgers. Tater tots are even better with a little bit of cajun spice. Dip them in ranch dressing - yum!

    If you like a more traditional type dinner but want to bbq, try this "foil packet". Recipe is for each serving, so just multiply by the number of people eating.

    In the microwave, cook one (per serving) red or yellow potato on the baked potato setting and let it cool enough to handle.

    Thaw out a handful (per serving) of frozen veggies of your choice.

    Start with a square of heavy duty aluminum foil or double regular foil about 18" x 18"

    Put about 2 Tb. italian dressing on the center of the foil in a dab.

    Season a boneless/skinless chicken breast with salt and pepper, and pound flatter anything that's really thick. Slather one side in the dressing on the foil.

    Slice the potato and put it and the veggies on top of the chicken.

    Throw a handful of kalamata olives on top of the mixture, then pour another tablespoon of salad dressing on top. Seal the packets VERY WELL, so that no moisture escapes.

    Heat the grill to hot, then lower to medium high. Put the packets on the grill and cook for about 30 minutes. Careful when you open them up, they'll release a lot of steam and be very hot!
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Do you have a charcoal or propane/gas grill?

    As far as shish-k-bobs, it's much cheaper to buy whatever meat you want- beef, chicken fillets, or peeled shrimp- rinse it off, slice to small chunks, then stick it on the sticks either with vegies (I use mushrooms, orange bell peppers, red onion and potatoes cooked in foil separately) or put the vegies on separate sticks. Many people make their own marinade. I, however, buy the inexpensive types- you can use Italian dressing (good for chicken), terriyaki (good for almost anything), or carribean jerk (good for chicken or shrimp). There have been times that I forgot to marinade it before-hand so I just pour a tad over the meat when I put it on the grill.

    As far as fish, I forgot to add Tuna steaks to the possibilities. Be careful not to overcook though (my bad habit) because they will get tough.

    With a roast, just cook slowly on a grill that isn't as hot as you'd cook burgers or dogs. Then, pull off grill, stick in oven-safe dish and cover with foil immediately to keep it from getting too dry. . Put in oven with bread or potatoes or whatever for a little while just to make sure the "inside" is cooked enough if you like your roast cooked to a medium . Try a cheap beef roast to start out with and soak it in worstchire sauce when you put it on the grill.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Soak the meat in it overnight (or at least a few hours) before tossing it on the grill.
  11. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    These are all great ideas. I'm going to be trying them all!!
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member you like hamburg ers and onions..grilled onions? If so, I have a bbq recipe you guys might like.

    We call it Hobo burgers because you can do them at a campsite in the coals of a fire or on a grill. What you do is you take some foil (I double it so its really thick) and in it you place a really good sized patty of your favorite seasoned hamburger. I like to flavor mine with Worcestershire sauce and maybe some onion soup mix and salt and pepper. Then you slice up potatoes and onions and put them in the foil pouches and wrap them up tightly and put them on the grill.

    It takes about 30 to 45 minutes or so for them to get really good and done. Open a pouch and check the meat and test a tater to see if they are cooked through.


    Also fish can be done in foil packets with lemon or orange juice.
  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I made Beef & Bacon roll-ups tonight. I don't make them often but when I do everyone really enjoys them.

    I like looking for different burger recipes since we get tired of the same old stuff.
    We like these turkey burgers without the cole slaw. I just use garlic powder in place of the crushed cloves.

    I make these without the jalapeno or bacon on top. For both these and the turkey burgers I'll sometimes make a sauce of equal parts lite sour cream or greek yogurt and mayo, combined with a little lime juice.

    I have grilled small homemade pizzas before and those turned out pretty well.

    This is a great easy marinade that works well with pork, chicken and beef! I usually only let it soak for about two hours or the flavor is too strong for my tastes.

    Teriyaki Steak Marinade

    Flank Steak
    1 cup beef broth
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    ¾ teaspoons season salt (ie Lawry’s)
    ¼ cup chopped onion
    1 clove garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons lime juice
    ½ cup brown sugar

    Slice flank steak into one inch thick strips lengthwise. Mix together remaining ingredients and marinade meat for several hours. Grill steak strips over hot coals, basting frequently.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member cut your flank steak first! wondered how folks got it tender. I always saw the chefs do it whole but then they have plenty of time and magic on their

    I also do those roasts...they look like a steak but are flat and larger...sheesh cant think of the name. Its late. You marinade them and grill them and slice them on an angle...London Broil thats the name! Always comes to me They tend to go on sale frequently for about 5 or 6 bucks for a slab big enough to feed my family if I make taters and say corn and another veggie.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Blade roast? Hhaha my brain went blank on me. lol

    I'd love to do the grill. Problem is I never know how to do the charcoal so it's going to stay hot long enough and I never know how long to cook the meat and veggies. So I crockpot instead. ugh Still it keeps the house from being beastly hot.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Burgers cook a LOT more evenly and are a lot juicier if you put a hole in the center like a donut. husband read about a restaurant that did this and it is amazing how much more evenly cooked and juicy they are. When they go on a bun you can put all sorts of things in the center and it is awesome. Never would have thought it, tried it on a whim and WOW!

    Also the raspberry vinaigrette is great on pork. I hate raspberry generally but on pork being grilled I adore it.

    Invest in a grill basket or use a really fine cooling rack or try a wire mesh colander (heat up hte colander or rack and then spray with oil before putting food on it) then try stir fry on the grill.

    Put an oven safe metal pan on the grill, add 1 stick margarine or butter (I use margarine because it doesn't burn as easily), add 1tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp lemon juice and a healthy pinch of salt. Use this on meat, veggies (it is amazing on corn), bread or anything else.

    Try packet cooking. Mix the diced meat, finely chopped potatoes, other veggies cut into larger pieces (the softer the veggie the bigger the piece unless you want them cooked to death, up to about a 2 inch piece for green pepper), add your choice of seasoning and a little butter, oil or water, seal the foil tightly and put the foil on the grill. Then cook until done.

    try taco seasoning or italian seasoning on the meat. If you use those packets of taco seasoning, try putting it in a shaker and shaking them onto the meat.

    Get dry ranch dressing and mix with ground beef before grilling.

    also check out the various charcoal makers, grill makers, etc... websites (like kingford, char-broil, etc.... for recipes)
  17. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    You guys rock :) Oh and our grill is a gas one. I do love charcoal but it isn't practical for every day use, even just as far as finances go.

    We are packet makers often. I often make a packet for each of us and we can customize what we want. My favorite is boneless pork chops, a spoon full of butter, seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic etc), onions, whole mushrooms, peppers, baby potatoes, baby corns etc. I love these on a campfire as well.

    Thanks again for some great ideas. I woke up this morning craving pork with the raspberry marinade! So I think I might ship S/O off to get some good pork and give that one a whirl today. YUM!
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You know what else is good on pork? Cranberry sauce. I got that from Muttmeister.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Try a bit of cream cheese instead of butter in your packet. Makes it awesomely creamy.

    Also get a pair of tongs, the longer the better. You won't poke the meat and let juices out if you use tongs instead of a fork, and you won't drop them either.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Thin cut pork was what we generally used the raspberry for. The lime and Lawry's or Everglades is good on pork or steak, not so much for ham or hamburger. Lemon and sesame is really good on chicken, esp if you can grind the sesame seeds down to powder.