5 Ways to Cook Your Dinner Outside

The weather is nice here in Arizona, and you know what that means—outdoor parties! With temperatures in the 60s and 70s every night, now is the time to open the windows, set out the patio furniture, and fire up the grill with family and friends. Grilling is an art, not a science, so you can get pretty creative with how, and what, you cook for dinner.

Ready to upgrade your grilling gear? Keep reading this guide for five ways to cook your dinner outside for an idea of the different types of grills out there. We cover the many advantages of each one and even provide you with ideas of what to cook!

Propane Grill

One of the most convenient options for grilling is the gas grill. You get a delicious meal at the turn of a knob, with which you can adjust the heat to just the right level. It’s clean, too—no need to mess with briquettes! You’ll have to refill the propane tank regularly (which you can do at your local Shoppers Supply!) so you don’t face an embarrassing situation: finding out you’re all out of gas when you’re just about to grill up some steaks for hungry guests! If you plan to have quite a few guests, opt for a large grill with two levels. The o
nly drawback with gas is it doesn’t offer as much flavor compared to a charcoal or smoker grill.

What to cook

You can cook anything on a propane grill, including chicken, beef, fish, and vegetables. If you’re using a multi-level grill, you can place the meat on the bottom and use the second level for your vegetables. You can also toast your hamburger and hotdog buns on the top shelf. Dinner will be ready in no time!

Charcoal Grill

When you’re not in a hurry to eat, you can indulge in the smoky flavor of charcoal! The dry heat of charcoal sears meat to perfection. A lot of people tout charcoal grills as the top choice for flavor, but they take more preparation and cleanup. You need briquettes and lighter fluid to get the fire going. After the coals are burned through (it takes about 20-30 minutes), you’re ready to start grilling. Another drawback is the fire danger. Keep the kids away from the grill when you’re lighting it!

It’s good practice to leave enough empty space on the grill so you have cool spots. Since you can’t control the temperature, you need to keep an eye on the food so you don’t end up with well-done when your guests want medium! The cool spots give you more control.

What to cook

For juicy, succulent steak, charcoal is the best! Chicken and fish taste great too. And for the best corn you’ve ever had, use the charcoal grill. You will love the flavor!

Smoker Grill

How to Cook OutsideA smoker is your best bet for low and slow cooking. A smoker is the most efficient at producing smoke and holding it in the grill for maximum absorption into the meat you’re cooking. It’s a tool used by serious barbecue lovers!

There are a few different kinds of smoker grills, for example, the pellet grill. This grill uses wood chips to produce the smoke that marinates the meat, creating a flavor that’s authentic and savory! One of the great things about the pellet grill is that it doubles as a smoker and a regular grill, so you won’t take up extra space on the patio. Some models even have an automatic control system so you can set it and forget it until dinner time.

What to cook

You’ll get the best barbecue ribs you’ve ever tasted by using a smoker. Pork roast is great when smoked too. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even smoke your Thanksgiving turkey!

Grill Box

For grilling on the go, a grill box is a must. Grill boxes come in many sizes and can be gas, charcoal, electric, or a smoker. If you want a smoker but already have a grill you love, problem solved! Just buy a smoker grill box and you’re all set.

Look for a grill box that is lightweight and durable. A built-in thermometer positioned in the middle of the grill will help you get an accurate reading of meat temperature, so you don’t have to open the lid every few minutes (thereby wasting precious heat).

What to cook

You can grill up everything on a grill box that you do on your full-size grill. Plus you can grill up a perfect pizza! Yep, there are even grill boxes for pizza.

Cast Iron Grill

There are some advantages to using a cast iron grill as opposed to a regular grill. For example, cast iron is very durable and easy to clean. It’s also quick to heat up and holds the heat in well. Cast iron is a good option for novice grillers since it’s easy to regulate, making it difficult to overcook or burn food.

There are lots of options when it comes to the grate material. Some people like a grate that’s already seasoned because of the non-stick surface and rust-resistance. If you have time and know how to do it, you can buy plain grates instead. For easy cleaning and no need for seasoning, try porcelain grates. The only real disadvantages to cast iron grills are the continual maintenance and slower pre-heating. Seasoning the grates prevents them from rusting, so you have to remember to do it regularly!

What to cook

Cast iron grills are great at cooking meats evenly, and creating those grill marks that are characteristic of barbecue! Asparagus, corn, and zucchini come out delicious when cooked on a cast iron grill.

Grilling Accessories

Now that you have a better idea of what type of grill you want, it’s time to plan for accessories! Once you’ve grilled your meal to perfection and removed it from the rack, use a grill brush to clean off any debris. You’ll need a grill basket for easier grilling of fish, fruits, and veggies. If you are like most griller masters, grilling at night may tend to leave you grilling in the dark. A grill light that attaches directly to your grill is the perfect solution for this common problem.

And of course, don’t forget the tongs, fork, and thermometer!

Time to Fire Up the Grill!

When you’re ready to fire up the grill for a relaxing dinner outdoors, head over to Shoppers Supply. You’ll find everything you need to cook up the perfect meal, from the grill, to cooking utensils, to cleaning supplies. Visit our Apache Junction or Chandler location today!

Back to Top