Tips for Grilling on the Road
Grilling in your own backyard is already a relaxing and fun experience that most grillers look forward to. But just imagine whipping up some smoked sloppy joes under the stars on a camping trip or grilling salmon while listening to the lapping waves on the beach. Doesn’t this just make you want to pack up your portable grill right now and head on out?
It’s no surprise why portable grills or camping grills like the TravelQ™ and TravelQ™ PRO are so popular! Portable, compact grills appeal to travelers of all kinds because of their lightweight and user-centric design.
If you’re reading this article, you might soon be grilling on the road yourself and we’re excited for you! But, before you do that, remember these essential tips. They will help you have the best on-the-road grilling experience.
1. Find a Grill that Matches your Needs
If you are still in the process of choosing a grill to accompany you on your adventures, the first step you need to take is to imagine what your ideal outdoor grilling scenarios look like. You can ask yourself these questions:
Where do you plan to take your grill? Will the grill rest on a surface or do you prefer that it comes with its own stand?
What do you plan on grilling? Roast chicken, perhaps? Or larger meat cuts that need more vertical clearance on the lid?
How much surface area is ideal for you? (Pro tip: Grilling for a family/party of four or more on a small grill challenging.)
How would you prefer to fuel your grill? If you’re considering electric portable grills, will there be electric sockets available in the places where you would grill?
How do you picture bringing your grill with you? Is it preferable for the grill to have wheels so that you wouldn’t need to lift it?
You see, just because a grill is portable does not mean that you should sacrifice on convenience at any stage of usage. For instance, some grills in the TravelQ™ Series and TravelQ™ PRO Series come with their own scissor carts, which allow you to drag the grill along like a trolley bag. The scissor carts also have side shelves where you can place your cooking tools and ingredients.
With the TravelQ™ and TravelQ™ PRO, you would also have a variety of options when it comes to your grill's source of power; there are propane grills, natural gas grills, and electric grills. With a vast grill surface that can cook up to 19 burgers at a time and generous vertical clearance on the lids, you’ll be able to cook plenty of meats and foods of all sizes. Some of these grills can even roast an entire chicken!
It really pays to know your options and know the extent of what a quality portable grill or camping grill can do. Napoleon’s portable grills are even robust enough to be used as home grills for condominiums and apartments. This is how you know that a portable grill won’t let you down while you’re on the road.
2. Prepare the Fuel for your Grill
What is a grill without its life source, right? If you will be going somewhere with an electric socket for your electric portable grill, this won’t be a problem for you. However, if your grill runs on something consumable like propane, natural gas, or charcoal, you need to pack enough for your trip.
It is wise to know the average fuel consumption rate of your grill and then add more - just to be safe. For example, you will typically use up one pound of propane per meal if your portable grill is on high heat. So if you’re cooking 6 meals on high heat, be prepared with about 7 or 8 pounds of propane.
3. Plan your Meals in Advance
Whether it’s a camping trip or a picnic, you need to plan all your meals in advance along with their ingredients. Make sure to also pack the ingredients separately and label them. This way, ingredients don’t get all mixed up (e.g. the tomatoes for the cheeseburgers will not be mistaken with tomatoes for the nachos). This makes preparing multiple meals an absolute breeze.
4. Prepare and Seal Your Vegetables Beforehand
Prepping makes backyard cookouts easier and it’s the same for grilling on the road. If you’ll be grilling for just a day or two, chop up everything you’ll need in advance and put them in sealed containers (with a label). If you’ll be going on a camping trip of more days than that, then you can leave the vegetables for later in your trip unchopped - this allows you to make sure that they remain fresh when it’s time to get grilling!
5. Freeze the Meat
If you’re going on a camping trip for longer than one day, freezing any meat you plan on bringing beforehand is a great way to ensure it stays fresh enough to eat later in your trip. Fresh meat can be consumed on the first day then the frozen meat will be for the day(s) that follow with the added bonus that the frozen meal will keep things in the cooler cold, reducing your need for ice/ice packs!
6. Make Full Use of Squeeze Bottles
Ingredients like pancake batter, egg yolk for scrambled eggs, oil, salad dressings, and others can be stored in squeeze bottles. This way, you won’t need to use extra utensils for them. Fewer utensils used = fewer utensils washed.
7. Secure your Food from Wild Animals
Keep your food in a secure place. This will protect yourself, your family, and the wildlife too.
8. Make Sure To Bring All Your Cooking Tools
It pays to keep a checklist of what you need for your outdoor cookouts so that you don’t miss anything. Here are some examples of what to include:
And other essential grilling accessories
9. Choose Easy or Medium Complexity Recipes
There are plenty of grill recipes to choose from. Cooking on the road, however, is different from cooking in the comfort of your own home. There’s very little room for error because the ingredients you bring are fixed and limited.
It pays to choose easy or medium difficulty grilling recipes to prepare when camping, sticking to recipes that don't take long to cook and therefore use less fuel. After all, you want to enjoy your time relaxing while on your trip. Have a look at our grill recipes, you can filter them by main ingredient, difficulty, and time spent cooking.
How Was Your On-The-Road Grilling Experience?
Have you grilled on the road yet? Which one of these tips helped you out the most? If you checked out our recipe blog, were you able to try any of the dishes?
We’d love to hear all about your adventure. Follow Napoleon on our Instagram or Facebook and share your on-the-road grilling experience in our community!