With the right outdoor prep table, grill, accessories, and know-how, every season can be barbecue season. Whether you are planning a fun day trip, are headed out to a campsite, or are the chef on duty for your family’s tailgate, we wanted to put together some advice for making your favorite grub away from home. To do this, we called upon a couple of our favorite grill masters—Brad Prose and Owen Quirk—to give you their best tips for grilling on the go.
Keep reading to see their answers to our questions about packing, prepping, setup, and what to consider when taking your love for grilling outside.
1. What are your tips for preparing before grilling on-the-go?
Brad: I enjoy minimal prep when I’m grilling away from the house, so having food that’s packed with flavors ahead of time is really helpful. Usually, I’ll have some food marinating in sealed bags, or I’ll bring along aromatics (garlic, ginger, onions) chopped. More time to be carefree!
Owen: Make a menu and a checklist to be sure you have all that you’ll need. I always attempt to prepare meat and vegetables as much as possible prior to the trip. Having meat and vegetables pre-cut, seasoned and marinated reduces time preparing on site, giving you more time to enjoy nature, family and friends.
2. What are must-haves for your grilling away from home setup?
Brad: I like to bring along a few starter cubes for lighting fires just in case; you never know about the weather. For an outdoor prep station, the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station is an absolute must. It’s incredibly compact but folds out with an arsenal of shelving that allows me to prepare anything I need. I also love the Compact Camp Table 25; it’s super helpful for serving food in those situations you may not have a place to set anything.
Owen: Fire—or at least an easy way to start one. Matches or a lighter come in quite handy. Grilling utensils are also a must (tongs, spatula and a grilling fork). I have grilling mitts for moving hot pots or skillets. I also won’t go camping without my GCI Outdoor Master Cook Station! It makes food prep so much easier since all your supplies can be centrally located.
3. What is different about grilling on the go that people should keep in mind?
Brad: Inconsistency. That’s the beauty and challenge of being out and away from the kitchen. Just be prepared to be flexible with your situation because it may not be perfect. We like to cook a lot of food when we’re out and about to make sure we have enough energy, but also to graze, just in case those moments come up where things don’t work out as planned.
Owen: You don’t have your kitchen a few steps away if you forget something. Plan ahead to make sure you have what you need. Think simpler. You won’t have all your neat kitchen gadgets and appliances. Prep ahead and choose simple recipes that yield complex and flavorful results.
4. What’s your favorite part about taking your grill master skills outside?
Brad: The smells of nature and the flavors of the food. The food tastes different when you’re surrounded by fresh air. Everything seems to taste cleaner, and bright. The most basic meals taste incredible, implanting new food memories for us.
Owen: I love nature. I love fresh air. I love wilderness. Cooking is a passion of mine and I love cooking for family and friends. Being able to combine that passion with the calm and beauty of nature is having the best of both worlds.
Sounds like solid advice to us! Huge thanks to both Brad and Owen for sharing their tips for grilling on the go.