When you’re outdoor cooking, the rules of food preparation have to shift a bit. Because of the outdoor environment, there’s more to keep in mind beyond washing your hands and cutting up the vegetables ahead of time. To make sure your gathering is fun and delicious, you should follow these food preparation tips.
Since you’re not going to be around a sink and a traditional kitchen setup when you’re outdoor cooking, you will need to bring a sort of kitchen to your grilling area. You might want to start with bringing a large bowl out to the area with you, along with a pitcher of water. This will serve as a sort of sink, if you need it, or as a way to douse the fire if it gets out of control. You will also want to bring out two cutting boards that can be used for preparing things like shish kebabs and veggies you may want to roast. Use one board for raw meats and one for other ingredients to ensure you’re cooking safely too.
It will also help to have a few knives available for different preparation needs. These knives should be as sharp as possible since they will not only be easier to use for outdoor cooking, but they will also be safer to use. It will also help to have several bottles of marinade and sauce out by the grill as well in case someone has a special request when you’re watching the grill.
One of the easiest ways to make food prep easier on yourself is to do the work ahead of time. That’s right – cut up the vegetables and the meats before you get outside. This will help you know exactly what you have on hand, plus it will allow you to enjoy your time with friends and family more. Instead of heaving to focus on the tasks in front of you, you can simply place the items to be cooked on the grill and step away until they are done.
It will also help if you line your grill with aluminum foil as this will make cleanup easier. Some people also like to have foil all over the grates in order to prevent juices from falling into the charcoal and adding smoke to the meats during outdoor cooking.
But the best piece of advice for food prep and outdoor cooking is to have the grill already fired up when people arrive at the party. This way, if people are hungry right away, they don’t have to wait for your grill to heat up and for you to prepare the foods. Even if you have to do some food prep, easy things like sausages and hot dogs can be cooked easily for those who want to eat right away.
When it comes to cooking outdoors, you don’t have to be a professional to know that a little preparation can go a long way in making your cooking easy and your guests happy.