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5 Pro Chefs Offer Grilling Tips for Barbecuing in Bulk

From tofu to pork, use these base foods to create tasty meals all week

En español | Spend a little weekend time grilling a few dishes outdoors; then feast for days without heating up your kitchen. We asked professional chefs what they grill at home on their days off to keep their families fed all week.

Grill and Chill

a plate of grilled tofu on top of a salad

Johnny Autry; Food and prop stylist Charlotte L. Autry

Grilled tofu

“Cut firm tofu into thick slices and marinate in sesame oil, soy sauce, honey and lime juice overnight. Grill 20 minutes, flipping every five minutes.

Serve on lightly grilled buns, with seaweed salad, tomato, sriracha mayonnaise and/or coleslaw. Add leftover grilled tofu to salads, soups or tacos.”

— Chef Kevin Mitchell, Culinary Institute of Charleston, South Carolina

a plate of drunken chicken tacos with salsa

Johnny Autry; Food and prop stylist Charlotte L. Autry

Drunken chicken

“Grill it whole on a stand with an open can of beer that's three quarters full inside the cavity. Beforehand, lightly rub the chicken in oil and coat it with blackened seasoning — get under the skin, too.

Use leftovers for sandwiches, tacos, wraps.”

— Chef Nathan Davis, The Polished Chef in South Walton, Florida

a plate of burger stuffed peppers

Johnny Autry; Food and prop stylist Charlotte L. Autry

A mountain of burgers

“Season meat liberally. Spritz cool grates with olive oil. Space burgers an inch apart on hot grill. Flip once edges brown.

Add crumbled leftover burgers to pasta, stuffed peppers or sloppy joes.”

—Executive chef Chris Curren, The Graceful Ordinary in St. Charles, Illinois

a plate of barbecue spiced pork shoulder in a quesadilla

Johnny Autry; Food and prop stylist Charlotte L. Autry

Pork shoulder

"For barbecue-spiced pork ideal for pulled pork sandwiches, use a mix of cumin, paprika, brown sugar and dry mustard.

Use leftovers in salads, sandwiches, tacos, quesadillas, soups, omelets, or with grilled vegetables.”

—Head grill master Kevin Kolman, Weber Grills


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Assorted veggies

Broccoli also grills well, Kolman says. Season a whole head with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill over indirect heat for about 20 minutes (or put florets into a grilling basket and turn frequently until soft and lightly charred). Top with a Carolina mustard sauce or a sweet-and-spicy sauce.

Or try eggplant, cut into slices 3/4 to 1 inch thick and seasoned and oiled before grilling for 6 to 8 minutes on each side.

Also great: red peppers, asparagus, zucchini, baby potatoes, brussels sprouts or baby bok choy. Just oil, season and grill in a basket, turning frequently.