Quarantine & Grill: Stay Fired Up While Staying At Home
As COVID-19 cases continue to soar in every corner of the globe, most of us continue to live confined to our homes. This downtime, although maddening at times, has allowed us to reconnect with the most important things in our lives: our family, our friends and — for many of us — our grills. In this guide, we’ll offer some recipes, safety tips and advice for using your grill to help others during this difficult time.
Top Six Quarantine Grilling Recipes
As you quarantine, you’re probably limiting your trips to the grocery store and getting more creative in the kitchen. To help, we’ve collected the following recipes to help you expand your knowledge of making delicious BBQ at home. Plus, each recipe features ingredients you should be able to find in a single trip to the grocery store.
1. Baby Back Throwdown
Ribs take time to cook, but they’re an easy recipe to make if you’re patient. If you’re trying to avoid going to the grocery store as much as possible, the small number of ingredients needed to make the Baby Back Throwdown is especially useful. All you’ll need is:
Start by preheating your grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. To prepare the ribs, apply a coating of barbecue rub on either side of the rack. After placing the ribs on the grill, you can apply more rub according to your taste.
Every thirty minutes, you’ll want to spritz the ribs with apple juice or water to ensure they stay moist. Depending on how well done you want your ribs cooked, you’ll want to smoke them for about four to five hours. Ten minutes before you pull them out, add sauce to the rack of ribs. Then, take them off the grill, and enjoy!
2. Easy Pork Steaks
If you’re looking for easy-to-make foods that don’t require lots of ingredients, try these easy pork steaks. All you need is a pork steak, all-purpose rub and your preferred sauce.
Start by preheating the grill to 275 degrees and applying the all-purpose rub to either side of the steak. Cook each pork steak for 20 minutes before turning it over to cook on the other side. The cook time should take about 45 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature of the meat hits 145 degrees. Once you take it off the grill, you can add your preferred sauces.
3. Corned Beef Pastrami
Corned Beef Pastrami is a delicious main dish you can make any time of the year. To prepare this meal, you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons each of onion flakes, ancho chili powder and granulated garlic.
- 3 tablespoons of coarse ground pepper
- Ancho espresso rub
- Brisket or beef rounds
For 24 hours, you’ll let your rinsed meat soak in a tub of cold water, changing the water every six hours to bring the cure and salt out of the meat. To create the rub, combine the onion flakes, ancho chili powder, granulated garlic, coarse ground pepper and ancho espresso rub. After removing the meat from the water, pat dry and apply your rub.
Place the meat in a smoker and cook at 250 degrees until the internal temperature hits 150 degrees. The process usually takes about three to four hours. Then, wrap the meat in butcher paper or foil and continue to cook it until the internal temperature hits 185 to 195 degrees, which should take about two more hours.
4. Grilled Chicken Wings
This chicken wing recipe is simple to make but will impress anyone who tries it. Make sure you have these ingredients:
- 4 pounds chicken wings or drumettes
- 1/2 cup of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Your favorite barbecue sauce and hot sauce
- 1 cup of all-purpose rub
Place the baking powder, salt and wings into a large sealable bag and shake it until the wings are coated. Let them sit for 15 minutes. Place the wings on a baking sheet and apply the rub. After preheating the grill to 275 degrees, cook the wings until they reach an internal temperature of 185 degrees. Make sure to turn the wings often, so they don’t burn.
You should have a mix of your hot sauce and barbecue sauce on hand once the wings are done cooking. Toss the wings in the sauce, and you’ll be ready to eat.
5. Grilled Corn on the Cob in the Husk
A summer favorite, grilled corn on the cob is a perfect side to have with your meals. To take it up a notch, try our special corn on the cob recipe that’s sure to be a favorite. To prepare this dish, you’ll need:
- 4 pieces of corn still in the husk
- 1/2 cup of mayo
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose rub.
- 1 cup of Cojita or Parmesan cheese
- 1 lime
With these easy-to-find ingredients, you can start by preheating your grill to 300 degrees. Place the non-husked corn onto the grill, turning them every five minutes. They’ll take about 15 minutes to cook if you’re using a charcoal grill — and 20 minutes if you’re using a pellet grill. Once they’re finished, take them off and remove the husk carefully.
After the husk is off, brush the mayo onto the corn and sprinkle the all-purpose rub and cheese on top. Garnish with lime and serve.
6. Smoked Mini Potatoes
For another simple side dish, try this recipe for smoked mini potatoes. The necessary ingredients include:
- Cooking spray
- 2 pounds of mini potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of steak seasoning
- Dry parsley to taste
- 1 tablespoon of rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 1/2 ounces of melted margarine or butter
Once you preheat the grill to 350 degrees, spray the rack for the potatoes with your preferred cooking spray. After cutting the mini potatoes in half, mix them in a bowl containing the melted butter, rosemary, steak seasoning, salt and dry parsley. Once tossed, place them on the grill for no more than 45 minutes. Add salt and parsley, and serve.
Grilling for Others
The CDC recommends that high-risk individuals, like older adults and those with serious health issues, should have their meals and groceries delivered to them, whether it be by family, friends or food services.
You probably know someone who fits the above description. It could be an older neighbor or relative, or maybe a friend who is self-quarantining because they’ve possibly been exposed.
Grilling is a great way to provide a delicious, filling meal for yourself and for others who cannot get food easily during this pandemic. If you’re planning to bring some of your food to someone who needs it, consider the following tips first:
- Make sure they don’t have any allergies: You wouldn’t want to go through all the trouble of grilling them something delicious if they can’t even enjoy it.
- Cook the food safely: So far, there is no evidence that coronavirus spreads through food, but as more is being found out about the virus every day, it’s best to stay vigilant. Keep up to date with the CDC’s evolving advice on how to safely handle food. Good general advice includes washing your hands and surfaces frequently, especially if you’re handling raw meat, which is usually the case when grilling. You should also use separate utensils and cutting boards when handling meat to avoid cross-contamination.
- Transport the food safely: To transport the food, use a disposable tote bag, dish or another container that you don’t need returned. The food should be transported either cold of hot — avoid the danger zone, which ranges from roughly 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, as this is the temperature range where bacteria tend to grow. Decide on a place and time to leave the food, and text or call your friend once you’ve dropped it off.
Quarantine safety measures vary from place to place. Make sure to stay informed about the rules set by your state and county.
General Cooking Safety Tips
As with any activity that involves fire, grilling requires caution. Keep the following safety advice in mind when cooking:
- Don’t leave your cooking unattended: This tip is perhaps the most obvious. Cooking is the number-one cause of house fires, and most cooking fires occur when the food is left unattended. According to a survey conducted by the Red Cross, over two-thirds of people have left their kitchens while cooking. So make sure to always keep an eye on your meal-to-be, and if you have to step out of the kitchen, even if it’s only for a short period, turn your stove off.
- Clean your stove: Before turning the heat on, give your stove and the surrounding area a thorough cleaning.
- Make your stove practice some social distancing: Any items that could burn, like boxes, bags or dishtowels, should be moved away from your stove. You should also refrain from wearing loose, baggy clothing when you cook.
- Turn your pot handles back: To reduce the chance of spills, pot handles should face the back of the stove.
- Put a timer on: This will remind you that the oven or stove is on. Before leaving the house or going to bed, always make sure that all ovens, stoves and other appliances have been turned off.
- Watch out for smoke: If you’re frying food and see smoke or notice the grease starting to boil, quickly turn off the burner. Fires sometimes start if the heat has been turned up too high. Remove the pan carefully from your burner.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand: Think about buying an extinguisher for your kitchen. We recommend you get in touch with the fire department in your area and receive training on how to use one properly.
Don’t use water to extinguish a pan fire: If there’s an oil or grease fire in a pan, never try to extinguish the fire with water — this will only fuel it further. To extinguish the fire in the pan, slide a cookie sheet or lid over the pan, turn the heat off and keep it there until the pan has cooled down completely. To not move the pan during this process.
- Don’t open the door during an oven or microwave fire: In the case of a fire in the oven, don’t open the door. Instead, call 911 so they can see whether the fire spread to your walls. If something in your microwave catches on fire, don’t open the door and, if safe, unplug your microwave. Refrain from using it until a repair technician can take a look at it.
- Evacuate during a kitchen fire: If your kitchen catches fire, everyone in your home should evacuate and gather in your home’s designated meeting spot. Once you’ve made it outside, call 911 and don’t let anyone go back inside.
Grilling Safety Tips
Here are a few pointers about staying safe while grilling:
- Do not grill indoors: Grilling is an exclusively outdoor activity and should not be done in any enclosed areas, whether it be in a house, camper or tent.
- Don’t leave the grill when in use: As mentioned above, your cooking should never be left unattended. Also, once the coals have been ignited, do not add any charcoal starter fluid.
- Keep the grill out in an open space: Keep it away from your home, deck, bushes, trees and anything else that has the potential of catching fire.
- Use the proper grilling utensils: These are long-handled tools that are made especially for grilling.
If you’re an avid griller looking for some other activities to pass the time during quarantine, consider the following:
- Create a garden: Sprouting new life in your backyard will help fight the coronavirus blues and also provide you with lots of fruits and veggies to complement your delicious grilled meats. For an easy gardening experience, we recommend planting any of the following: green beans, zucchinis, radishes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, potatoes and peas.
- Add some outdoor furniture: Create a comfortable sitting area outside for your guests to relax, talk and eat while they savor the aroma of your grill. We recommend getting a table, lounge chairs and, if you’d like to go all out, a complete outdoor set.
- Keep the patio or deck clean: Even though you won’t be inviting any guests over until the quarantine is over, it’s rewarding to have a clean, nice-looking area. For a thorough clean, try using a power washer.
Start Quarantine Grilling With Grilla Grills
When you purchase a grill from Grilla Grills, you get more than just a piece of equipment that creates delicious meat dishes — you also become part of the Grilla Grills family.
Come explore our high-quality grills, which range from the large Kong Ceramic 24″ Kamado Grill to the compact Chimp Portable Wood Pellet Grill. You can reach out to us by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 616-392-7410.