A Grilling Chat Inspires a Make Ahead BBQ Meal

5 years ago

Summer is going by WAY too fast. It’s been so crazy around here that we’ve barely had the chance to enjoy it. The hubs has been traveling a lot. I’ve been traveling a lot. The kids have been running around a lot (yes, even the wee one. She’s beyond crawling already and is pulling up and cruising the furniture).

This weekend we’ve decided to relax a lot and grill a lot. The relax part is just because we need it. The grill part is because I was inspired by the grill chat Katie and I had with Brett from The Hunger Extinguisher this week.


The Hubs and I relax best (and eat best!) when we have friends around so we’ve invited our old neighbors over.

The plan is to go for a little canoe ride around the lake and then let the kids splash in the wading pool and sprinklers while the adults sip on beers in lawn chairs. Heaven, right?

Well, almost heaven. It could become more like purgatory if I wind up watching the fun through the kitchen window. I need some make ahead food so that I can stay out of the kitchen. I’m going to get everything ready ahead of time so I can plant my butt in a lawnchair and watch The Hubs and The-Friend-Of-The-Hubs boast near the BBQ with their beers and tongs.

The menu: To start: Grilled Marinated Garlicky Brie served simply with crackers and sliced baguette

Main Course: Ribs

I’ll be sharing that recipe with you next week after I take the pictures this weekend. But I’ll let you in on the secret: It’s not about the recipe, it’s about the method. The day before, sprinkle some baby back racks with salt, pepper and some other flavors (chili powder and garlic powder work well). Wrap each rack tightly in a double layer of aluminum foil and put them on a tray in the oven at 300ºF for 2 hours (you need 3 hours for spare ribs if you want to use those instead). Transfer the pan to the counter until everything is cool and then to the fridge. The next day, open up the packs and slice the racks up. I like 2-3 ribs per slice. Slather on some sauce and put them on a hot grill over high direct heat just until you start to get a bit of char and the meat is heated through. Result: tender meat, smokey grill flavor.

Side Dishes: Corn on the Cob Saltimbocca

Crispy Grilled Potatoes

Dessert: Grilled Mangoes with ice cream

I also have a freezer full of treats. I think the kids are going to be very happy!

Hmmm…if the kids are getting all these frozen treats shouldn’t we get some too? The Potent Creamsicle Milkshake will be the perfect thing to sip on once the kids are zonked out in front of the TV and the grownups are talking quietly under the stars. It’s not make ahead but is super-quick and totally worth the tiny bit of time in the kitchen (morning hangover be damned!).

Do you have any favorite make-ahead grill recipes? Please tell me about them. I hope this weekend will go so well that we’ll repeat the format again and again. Your recipe ideas would certainly help!

Chris from Cook the Story

Where it's all about the story (except when it's about the food)

Follow @cookthestory on Twitter,

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