Take Your Grill To The Office Series: Part One featuring guest post by Jeff Deverter

Being GrillGrrrl has its perks. I get to meet lots of nice people all with one passion: GRILLING! Jeff Deverter is a grilling enthusiast I met via my blog and we share grilling adventures with each other. You can check out his adventures here: http://jeffdeverter.posterous.com/ Jeff is kicking off the “Grilling at Work” series with the post below. Enjoy!

Jeff Deverter shows us how to take the grill to the office!

Robyn graciously asked that I do a quick post on Grilling at Work – what I’ve come to realize is that I’ve written a small novel.  So what we’ve decided to do is break the post up into two separate posts.  The first will be on the practical mechanics of grilling at work – the second post will provide the specific recipes that I used in my last adventure.  So without further delay- 

We’ve heard all the greats (of BBQ) pontificate on why we as a species gill and the connection we have of cooking over coals – but at the end of the day we have to answer that question for ourselves – and for me, I grill because its soooo tasty and it’s fun!  But that begs the next question – why would you grill at work?  Well for me it’s because I seem to live by the motto “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!”  Other reasons: cost effective, generally tastes better than anything you could buy during your lunch hour, and it’s fun!

So first a little preparation… ok maybe a lot of preparation.  You see planning to grill at work is similar to planning for a camping trip.  You can’t just run into the kitchen to grab a spice or utensil because you’re nowhere near your home (unless you work at home.) This means a few things to me:

  • Chose a meal that is simple (but tasty)
  • Do as much preparation as possible ahead of time
  • Write down everything you will need
  • Set everything out (or put it together in the fridge) the night before.  If you are like me, you won’t be thinking clearly in the morning.

You will also need to assemble your “traveling rig” (doesn’t that sound cool!) To me, this means:

The meal I prepared for myself and 2 other coworkers was:

  • Beef, Teriyaki chick, and spicy chicken Satays
  • Grilled tomatoes topped with melted mozzarella and balsalmic vinegar and cilantro 
  • Served with diced avocado

Let’s start at the end, here is the finished product:

Wow, who knew lunch at the office could be so tasty!??!!

Wow, who knew lunch at the office could be so tasty!??!!

Now I will follow up with the specific recipes in the next post – but I’d rather discuss execution and menu choice.  When I prepare a meal, I try to do as much of it on the grill as possible.  This means I chose foods that lend themselves to grilling.  When grilling at work, I chose food that will cook quickly but will not lack in flavor.  In this case:

The Sirloin

I made the marinade night before.  I bought the beef on my way to work and sliced it at work as soon as I arrived and placed it in the marinade in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator. 

Around noon while I waited for the charcoal to warm up – I went inside and place the meat on the skewers. Done and done

The Chicken

Both the spicy and the Teriyaki satays were from a store bought mixture (aka easy)

I bought 4 chicken thighs on my way to work.  This was cut into strips when I arrived at work.  These were placed in zip-top bags with their respective bags with their marinade to hang out in the fridge until lunchtime.

These were also put on their skewers while the charcoal warmed up.

Chicken and Beef Satay on the Hibachi grill.

Chicken and Beef Satay on the Hibachi grill.

What did you learn from the section above? I needed a shopping list for the morning on the way to work and I needed a good knife to cut up the meat.

The tomatoes were easy, easier and easiest.  The shopping list for this included (wait for it) tomatoes – 2, mozzarella. Cilantro, Balsamic Vinegar. You see I didn’t have any of this in my “rig” – now I do – and I don’t have to buy any more for quite a while.

Keep olive oil, salt and pepper at the office for future grilling sessions.

Keep olive oil, salt and pepper at the office for future grilling sessions.

(ps – I bought the olive oil, salt, and pepper lat week – I’ll get months of use out of those guys!)

So the focus of this article as been more about “execution” and I’d like to leave you with 2 things: a bunch of picture from the actual process and the recipes I used.  Please put any question/comment in the “comments section” below or feel free to contact me directly at: jeff@deverter.com.

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