Grilling Shortcuts

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We grilled out again over the weekend. This time? Brats with sautéed red peppers and onions.

Yes, summer means grilling so here are a few short-cuts to help make it a snap.

~ Marinate ahead by freezing.  On a day you have extra time, plan ahead for another day when you won’t. Place meats in ziplock bags and pour marinade over them. Squeeze out the air and freeze. On grilling day simply remove from the freezer,thaw and grill. It really intensifies the flavor. Here are some great combos:

* chicken breasts in raspberry vinaigrette dressing. (or pomegranate)

* pork chops in Italian dressing

* steaks in any dressing that has a cheese in it such as asiago or parmesan

* chicken breasts in 2 cups orange juice mixed with 1/4 cup soy sauce and a hint of garlic

* pork ribs in 2 cups pineapple juice mixed with 2 T. brown sugar and a little garlic powder

~Have grilling veggies sliced and ready to go for a quick, healthy side dish.  Onions, asparagus, red, yellow or green peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash etc.. You can grill them in a little drizzle of olive oil with some cracked pepper and sea salt on heavy duty foil on the grill. (If using regular foil, double the layers) Or, invest in a grilling plate with holes designed for veggies. Worth the $9.99 we spent.

~ Think herbs. Incorporating herbs makes meats and veggies so yummy. I grow rosemary, pineapple sage, basil, oregano, lemon thyme and tarragon for just such a reason. You can Google oodles of recipes for your favorite herb. Below is a potato recipe we love.

My rosemary plant. See the cute stone? My friend Dorothy made me an entire set of herb stones one year for my birthday. So cute!

~ For clean up, use an onion.  I just saw a report on the news where many people are accidentally ingesting the tiny wire bristles from the brush used to clean a grill and then requiring survey for removal. Ouch! My hubby uses an onion cut in half to clean the grill once it has cooled off slightly. First, he puts the grill on high once all the items have been removed. This burns off much of the stuck on food. Then, he turns off the grill and 15 minutes or so later he rubs the onion over the grill’s surface. Works like a charm!

~Okay–here is the potato recipe:


* 6 cups chopped red skin potatoes with skins on

* 2 t. finely minced fresh rosemary

* 2 t. lemon pepper

* 1 T. fresh minced basil

* 1 t. fresh minced oregano

* 2 t. minced fresh garlic

* 1 t. cracked sea salt

Toss all in a bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Grill on foil over medium heat until tender stirring frequently (about 20 minutes or more). Spray foil with cooking spray heavily before beginning. You may need to drizzle a bit more oil if it starts to stick.

Happy grilling!


  1. I’ve done the pork chops in Italian dressing for years – yummy! Thanks for the other ideas. You could add any number of veggies with your roasted potatoes and it would be delish: corn, cabbage, peppers, onions, squash, zucchini. What a great way to use the garden vegetables!

  2. My dear husband does all our grilling, now that our sons are on their own, so I’ll pass the cleaning tip on to him. We’ve found if you oil the grate before starting, food sticks less. And the potato recipe sounds yummy! Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the grilling tips. I made the red potatoes tonight and also tried the chicken with orange juice and soy sauce recipe. My husband loved both. However, we were missing the rosemary, so that will be on my grocery list.

  4. I know this post was about grilling shortcuts…but I just adore the herb stones. So cute! I’ll appreciate the post more if I ever get a grill. ;-)

  5. great tips & ideas – love the info about the onion trick & have printed it out as a reminder! I pulled up the CDC report about the grill brush ingestion – scary to say the least. Thanks for the warning!

  6. Dear Karen, Thanks for the tips I am on my way to the store for my monthly shopping. You bet there will be a bag of onions for the “grill boy” to use.. We get weather in the 100s for up to 2 weeks in the summer and it just started, so my 16 year old will be out with the grill a lot cooking dinner in the next few weeks. We are also looking at a one day minimum power outage in the next week as they replace all the power pull on our country road. So, my freezer is empty and you gave me some great Ideas for re-feeling it.


  7. Hi Karen, Thanks for the great tip from u’r hubby using onion to clean the grill…cleaver !!

  8. Thanks for the hints. I think the potatoes sound particularly yummy. I am going to head downstairs and bring up some pork chops to get ready!

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