Let’s face it. You’re busy. Daily life is hectic, and sometimes there isn’t enough time to even think about cooking, let alone prepare a meal. That’s why a lot of people are turning to meal prepping to help them eat healthy meals, spend less money on food, and get through work week lunches and dinners unscathed. Simply pick a day of the week to grill a number of ingredients and store them in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to enjoy!
Did you know you can use your gas grill or griddle to help with your meal prep? It’ll give you that smoky, homecooked flavor all week long without having to invest a lot of time or effort. And don’t forget that you’ll be outside, getting a few minutes of sunshine and a little vitamin D, too! It’s a win win!
Why Should I Meal Prep on My Grill or Griddle?
Preparing your meals, or parts of your meals, in advance on your grill and griddle is easy! No one wants to heat up their house in the summer by running their oven, so why not do as much cooking outside as you can?
In addition, preparing food in advance on your grill or griddle saves you time. By dedicating a short amount of time to cooking ahead, you’ll save yourself time preparing meals during the work week. Plus, cooking on a grill or griddle generally takes less time than if you cooked on a stove or in the oven. Higher temperatures mean faster cooking, better sears on your food, and juicier, more flavorful meals.
Cooking outside on the griddle or grill also offers easy clean-up. Simply scrape down the grates of your grill, burn off any additional stuck-on food, and you’re done! No pots, pans, or messy dishes in the sink. And that means less time scrubbing or loading the dish washer, which means you’ll have more free time.
Grilling food is also healthier than cooking using other methods, like frying or cooking in a pan. The reason? The fat drips off the food. Instead of sitting in excess fat, you’re removing it instead. And the food is just as delicious, if not more so, than cooking it inside.
You also have more space to cook! Think of it this way. If you’re cooking indoors, you’re limited to the size of the pan you’re using. Outdoors, you have a large cooking surface on your grill or griddle. That means you can cook more food at once, so you’ll spend less time cooking.
While you’re grilling or griddling your meals, take a moment to step back and enjoy the great outdoors. Feel the sunshine on your face? Smell that fresh cut grass? Feel the wind gently blowing through your hair? All these sensations are things you’d miss if you decided to meal prep indoors. Instead, you’re getting some fresh air and preparing your meals at the same time.
How Should I Plan My Menu?
First, decide what you want to eat! It’s an age-old question. What are you hungry for? Let that be your guide as you decide what type of meals you’d like to prepare for the coming week.
Consider what type of food you’d like to griddle or grill. Do you have a hankering for protein, like juicy grilled chicken? Maybe vegetables with perfect grill marks, like grilled zucchini, are more your style. Or maybe you like to try a little bit of everything and want to make a bunch of flavorful side dishes.
Don’t forget that things like marinades, rubs, and spices can add a lot of flavors, too. Check out our handy guide to find recipes for things like a Tasty Turkey Burger Rub, Honey Brown Ale Marinade, and more. It even shows you how to use an herb mop to add another layer of flavor to your dishes.
Finally, the finishing touches – condiments. You can easily make a variety of dipping sauces and toppings on your grill or griddle, too. The possibilities are practically endless!
What Should I Put on My Shopping List?
When you’re ready to go to the grocery store, first consider how many people you’re shopping for. Are you meal prepping for one? Or eight people? The size of your family, as well as how many dishes you plan to prepare, will impact what you add to your shopping list.
Next, think about how many meals you want to prepare for the week. Are you just doing side dishes? Only dinner? Or are you getting everything ready, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks? You’ll need to evaluate what you have in your refrigerator or pantry, then make sure you have everything else on your shopping list so you can pick it up at the store. While some recipes only need a handful of ingredients, others are a bit more complex, so you’ll want to be sure you have everything at home before you begin your meal prep. Looking for some recipe inspiration? Click here for some tried and true Blue Rhino recipes.
Speaking of Blue Rhino, don’t forget to pick up a fresh propane tank while you’re out. You don’t want to start meal prepping and then run out of fuel! To find a retailer near you, click here or text the word FIND to 75653. And don’t forget, Blue Rhino Home Delivery is available in select markets, helping you cross one errand off your list!
I’m Looking for New Recipes!
Good news, you’ve come to the right place. Blue Rhino has a lot of great grilling and griddling recipes on our website as part of our Summer Grilling Series. But we’ve curated a few for you here, so you can jump right in and start meal prepping!
||This salad is bursting with summer flavor! Lime zest, whole grain mustard, and beer give the dressing a fresh, tangy, slightly hoppy flavor. The chicken is marinated in a sweet and savory mixture, then grilled to perfection. Gorgonzola or blue cheese round out the flavors with some earthy goodness.
||Skewers serve many purposes, meaning they’re a meal prepper’s best friend! You can eat them as is, use them as a side dish, or mix them in with a fresh salad to add some smokey, grilled flavor. Our version uses fresh summer vegetables like sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers, so it’ll also give you a chance to shop for what’s in season and at the peak of flavor. Pro tip; Soak your skewers in water for 24 hours before using them. It’ll keep them from getting charred on the grill.
||Our special ingredient? Quick-cooking oats! You crush them up and mix them with the ground beef, keeping the burgers moist and flavorful. This take on a classic burger gets a burst of freshness from sliced tomato and lettuce leaves. Don’t forget your favorite cheese!
||Feeling like you need a vacation, but can’t get away? Try these fajitas! Fresh cut pineapple, Caribbean rice, bell peppers, and teriyaki sauce give this recipe its island flavors. For some extra flair, you serve the finished dish in the hollowed-out pineapple. You’ll feel like you’re at a fancy, oceanside restaurant!
||This recipe is perfect for family and friends who may not like, or choose not to eat, meat. Its umami flavors are rounded out with mushroom caps, green onions, and a side of hummus. The marinade has tahini, garlic, fresh ginger, and garam masala spice that leave the kebabs bursting with flavor! Between that and the slight char from the grill, you’re sure to have a hit on your hands!
I’m Tired of My “Go To” Meals
Are you battling meal fatigue? Feel like you’re stuck in a food rut? You don’t have to throw out your recipe books. Instead, try switching things up! Using different sauces and seasonings can introduce new flavors to some of your favorite dishes. It can also give you different options throughout the week. If you need some more ideas, we have several hundred grilling recipes to help inspire you. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Monday’s grilled chicken could become jerk chicken on Tuesday, a topping for pasta on Wednesday, and spicy chicken salad on Thursday. The key is making foods that go well together so you can mix and match proteins and side dishes throughout the week.
The key to making any change is to start slow. Rather than diving into meal prepping headfirst, start with some side dishes or just one main ingredient. Once you get more comfortable cooking things ahead of time, you’ll fall into a routine that will help you prepare flavorful, healthy meals that you can enjoy all week long. Happy grilling and griddling!