Now that school has resumed and you’ve settled into your new class schedule, you may be feeling a bit of a time crunch. Between work, class, family, social needs and studying, it’s not always easy to make time for meals that don’t involve the nearest drive-thru. I know that’s where I’ve found myself last week. In an effort to defeat the time crunch and rise up victorious, I’ve turned to my one steadfast companion, the grill. Yes, we typically think of the grill as part of a social event; the grillmaster searing and serving up burgers and hot dogs while the guests mingle and wait in awe of your command of the flame.
That doesn’t mean, however, that your grill needs to go into hibernation now that you’ve got less time to relax. Indeed, the grill has many great features over normal, less-thrilling cooking methods.
- It’s quicker than the stove or oven. A propane grill can get up to temperature quickly, reducing your wait time from famished to feasting.
- Grilling improves your studying. It’s been shown that taking breaks while studying improves your ability to recall the material later on. Grilling has the added bonus of coaxing you outdoors, where you can get some sunlight and fresh air.
- The grill won’t heat up your whole home. It may be fall soon, but here in Phoenix/Tempe it’s still insane degrees out, and I welcome any method that doesn’t require adding heat to the living areas.
- Last but not least, the grill is pretty much self-cleaning. See how the Grillmaster brushes away a summer of backyard cooking with just a few strokes. That’s one less “no, Stephen, it’s YOUR turn to do the dishes” argument with your roommates. You’re welcome.
Easy Grill Meals
So, now that we agree the best move you can make this week is to refill your propane tank and get back in touch with your grill, here’s a few easy grill meals that will keep you full ’til midterms*.
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Fries
All you need for this one is chicken breast, crinkle fries, butter and hot sauce of your choosing. Taking about 30 minutes from frozen, this is one of our longer recipes, but requires less interaction that usual. (Full recipe here)
Fig & Prosciutto Sandwich
This time we’re using the grill mostly to melt the cheese and toast the bread, so we can actually assemble the sandwich right from the beginning. I’d go with ciabatta or some other sturdy, crusty bread here, and layer the prosciutto, fig and grated cheese (mozzarella, fontina, gruyère) right on top of each half. If figs aren’t your jam, swap in pickles
Grilled Wings (you won’t believe how good these are)
I know the default treatment for wings is frying them and then coating in butter and hot sauce, but trust me, grilled wings have a crunch and flavor profile you’ll be happy to discover. It make take a few tries to nail your timing on these, but that’s why you get so many in a pack. My go-to is just salt, pepper, cumin and garlic, then grill. That way I can administer the hot sauce via dunking and get more spice in direct contact with the meat instead of staying only on the skin. Give this paleo marinade a whirl, if you wanna kick it up a notch.
Pesto Chicken Sandwich
Grilling chicken breast is a breeze for you, so this sandwich is great for a quick, filling meal that lets you stretch your legs between study sessions. Season and grill the chicken as normal, then spoon or brush on some pesto sauce after your first flip. Pair with arugula and mayo or chipotle aioli on a hamburger bun and you’re in business. For added flavor, roast some hatch green chiles at the same time and debate whether pepper jack cheese would be over-the-top or totally required.
Grill a skirt steak (your normal go-to meat for fajitas) and some onions. Once done, thinly slice both the steak and onions. Add to a baguette with tomato, watercress and stone-ground mustard or horseradish. Feel free to drop the carbs, increase the meat and mix in your choice of greens for a better-than-Chipotle salad.
What are some of your easy go-to grill meals? Leave a comment below and it just might end up on our table soon.
For other general grill knowledge, including grilling times for burgers and steaks, head over to movinginsider.com/grillmaster.
What are your favorite grill meals? Tell us in the comments section below.