Your grill is the most versatile cooking appliance you have at home. It’s the only one that can cook absolutely everything. Let’s take a closer look at the perfect lunch menu and learn about the lighter side of grilling techniques.
Sure, you can go all out on lunch and have it rival dinner for complexity and excitement, but let’s be serious, most lunches are quick and light. Let’s explore and find those perfect, easy, and fun lunch items. Put down that game controller, pick up your tongs, here we go.
We brushed on this briefly in our Breakfast On Your Grill post. Your grill can do absolutely everything your oven can do and more. To create the easiest grilled lunch think, “what would I create quickly on the stove or in the oven?” Soups, to start, can be heated on the side burner just as easily outdoors as indoors. Soup, in an oven-safe pot, on the grill surface can take on one unique characteristic, smoke. Use your Broil King pellet grill, kamado grill, or a smoker box on your gas grill to add smoky flavor. Smoke loves wet surfaces and the surface of your soup is waiting for that flavor. Stew a smoky turkey or chicken noodle soup or create a Smoked Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup right on the grill.
Toasted & Griddled
Grilling is grilling, toasting is toasting and sailing is sailing. You don’t hear speed boat drivers saying “I’m going sailing”, so let’s sort out grilling and toasting. Grilling is done at a higher temperature where juices from your food drip, hit a hot surface, then vaporize into smoke and water vapor loaded with flavor. That vapor rises and sticks to the wet surface of your food for an unmistakable grilled flavor. Sandwiches toasted in a sandwich press or the infamous grilled cheese aren’t actually grilled. You can make them more delicious with your grill and make that grilled sandwich claim, here’s how you do it.
For grilled cheese you need a griddle, cast or stainless will work just fine. I prefer our exact fit cast iron griddles because they develop an incredibly seasoned patina over time. They require more care but it’s worth it for the performance. Grilled cheese needs a few simple techniques and ingredients. Always toast your bread in butter on the griddle first, use the hot toasted side to start melting the cheese. Load it with cheese and multiple varieties, I always mix 2 or 3 kinds of cheese. Keep the temperature down and the lid down. Too much temperature will burn the toast without melting the cheese. Closing the lid lets the sandwich bake which melts the cheese faster. Let the pooled cheese bubble, you’ll end up with gooey and crispy cheese around the edges. Get the recipe here.
Grilled sandwiches are easy to pull off on your grill. You can use a griddle or the cooking grids for this technique. Clean your cooking grids on both sides thoroughly, preheat your grill on medium-low and give it time to charge searing heat into the cooking grids. Use the peak side of your Broil King cooking grids, to do this have one grid designated as the bottom sear and flip open over for the top. Place your sandwich in the center of the grid (front to back). Put the second cooking grid on top of the sandwich and press down or stack a couple more cooking grids on top. Once you have that perfect sear, remove the weight and turn the sandwich 90 degrees, close the lid and get some heat into it for a few minutes. Enjoy!
Al Fresco Pizza
Pizza is the perfect family-friendly lunch. Everyone can get involved in creating amazing pizzas, it’s a great way to teach kids about ingredients and flavors. Safety first! Your grill needs to be HOT, really hot if you’re making fresh pizza. You’ll want to grill them at or above 600F (315C). Premade crusts or boxed pizzas require you to follow their instructions, please do. In either case an adult should be doing the grilling. Get a pizza stone grilling kit to make the experience that much more professional and authentic!
Make your dough and plan your ingredients ahead of time. Have a small quantity of a variety of meats on hand. Some of my favorites would include pepperoni, hot Genoa salami, prosciutto, leftover grilled chicken, bacon, fresh-crumbled, or sliced grilled sausages. A variety of cheeses, mozzarella is a must but fresh parmesan, manchego or gorgonzola cheese can produce some amazing results too. Pre slice all of your vegetables and cook some of them ahead of time; do you prefer buttery caramelized onions or fresh crisp onions? Finally, don’t forget the green stuff. Arugula and basil are perfect for pizza.
Kids of all ages can build their own pizza to varying complexities. Rolling out the dough, spreading the sauce, and dressing the top with any number of toppings is fun! Let them watch it go onto the grill and check it with you as it bakes.
Strapped for space? Pop up a folding table for the event. Feel free to get messy, throw around a little flour, and expect sauce on a shirt or two. Have fun and enjoy!
To make that perfect lunch here’s a quick checklist of tools you’re going to need.
- Firm Spatula for grilled cheese and sandwiches
- Griddle or oven-safe frying pan
- Rib Roaster or really in this case a large cast Dutch oven
- Basting set perfect for pizza sauce
- Pizza and Baking stone for fresh or frozen pizzas obviously
- Tumbler for that refreshing afternoon Mojito
- Grilling mitts are a must
- Grid lifter, it’s an essential Broil King tool that comes with select models only. A must-have for every griller.