When we say comfort food, what do you think of? Do you crave something hearty like chicken and dumplings? Maybe you loved your mom’s meatloaf growing up, or the cheese fries at the annual fair! Whether you turn to burgers and wings, or a home-cooked dinner that’s been simmering all day, a feel-good, favorite meal is always fulfilling, especially as colder weather sets in. Who doesn’t love a bowl of spicy chili gathered around their propane-powered fire table? Throw in some marshmallows for roasting, and you’ve got yourself a cozy evening filled with warm, happy memories!
No matter what food you turn to for comfort, there’s always room for improvement. Read on to learn how you can use your grill to make some of your favorite comfort food!
Making Comfort Food on the Grill
Winter is almost here, and no matter what state you live in, that means cooler temperatures. You may think it’s not possible to get a propane-powered grill going during the winter months, but our partners at AmazingRibs.com say that simply isn’t true. You can absolutely use a gas grill during the winter! The key is to preheat it a little longer or crank up the temperature a little more. You’ll also want to keep the lid closed as much as you can to really seal in that heat. And be sure to have an extra Blue Rhino tank on hand in case you run out of fuel. Remember, your grill may use more fuel to stay at the optimal temperature during the winter months, so you may run out of propane quicker. By swapping out the empty tank quickly, you’ll help ensure that your grill doesn’t cool off. Not sure where you can find a fresh Blue Rhino? Click here to use our handy propane finder tool.
Now that you’ve got the knowledge you need for winter grilling, consider what you’re going to make. The easiest comfort foods are simple yet satisfying. Plus, the simplest recipes are usually crowd pleasers. They also open the door for customization using sauces and spices. By adding new ingredients or trying new cooking techniques, you can add extra layers of flavor to your favorite dishes.
Let’s Get Grilling!
|Looking for some recipe inspiration? We’ve got you covered. Let’s start with side dishes. Our partners at Operation BBQ Relief (OBR) came up with this recipe for Grilled Herb Biscuits. The recipe is easy to put together, and they cook up quickly in a cast iron skillet. Fresh garlic, thyme, rosemary, and extra virgin olive oil give these biscuits an earthy quality that is sure to be a hit!
|You could also try OBR’s recipe for Grilled Cream Corn. In this recipe, you char the ears of corn before cutting off the kernels and adding in the rest of the ingredients. A touch of sugar gives this recipe a hint of sweetness, and cream cheese adds some tang. Be sure to make extra, because your family and friends will want seconds!
|You can always make ooey, gooey Grilled Mac-n-Cheese, too. It has all the flavors you love and crave. This recipe calls for five – yes five – different types of cheese and fresh jalapeño and cayenne peppers for an extra kick. This dish’s salty, spicy goodness will keep you coming back for more!
|Now, let’s move on to the main course. Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich? This Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich only has four ingredients, but it packs a big punch of flavor. The charred goodness you get from grilling it just can’t be beat.
|Remember Mom’s meatloaf that we mentioned earlier? You’ll definitely want to try this Athenian Beef Meatloaf with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce. Hearty ground beef contrasts nicely with the cooling, Greek yogurt, and diced cucumber. You’ll be convinced that you’re eating a Greek gyro, complete with a tzatziki-style topping.
|And who could say no to pizza? This BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe will really hit the spot. Hot BBQ sauce and thinly sliced red onion give it some zip, while finely chopped fresh cilantro brings in some fresh flavor. You can even add crumbled bacon, sliced peppers, feta cheese, or corn to customize your creation.
|Let’s talk desserts. There is no better way to wrap up a deliciously grilled meal than with something sweet. This rich, warm Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookie cooks on a pizza stone on the grill. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can also use a metal baking sheet or cake pan. These cookies come out slightly crispy with a gently charred flavor. Plus, they’re filled with chocolate chips. What’s not to love?
|Who wants apple pie? I do, I do! This one has a fun new twist. It’s a BBQ Apple Pie. The secret that sets this recipe apart is the cooking technique. It browns nicely over indirect heat on the grill – without a pie pan! Instead, heavy duty aluminum foil helps the crust keep its shape. It’ll come off the grill piping hot with sweet, cinnamon-flavored steam wafting out of the pie. We know it’s hard to wait, but let it cool down before you dig in. It’ll help the juices settle, which results in a better presentation.
|You could also try these Raspberry Puff Pastries. They’re a bit like individual “hand pies” as they call it in some regions of the country – a portable treat that’s the perfect end to a meal. Grand Marnier, freshly grated orange zest, and milk chocolate really bring out the flavors of the raspberries in this recipe. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a fresh mint sprig as a garnish!
Amp Up the Flavor
Another way to add some new flavors to your meal is by incorporating spices. Try this special, secret spice combination to really wow your friends and family. This video has some tips on how to finish your food with spices to really bring out the flavors. You can also play around with new sauces to customize the flavor profile. Consider setting out a spice or sauce buffet for guests so they can try some new flavors, too!
Make Your Meal More Comfortable by Focusing on Your Surroundings
A great meal is one thing, but a great setting takes dinner to a whole new level. There’s a reason why romantic restaurants typically feature low lighting and candles on the tables. It creates a mood and a certain ambiance.
Give some thought to how you want your guests to feel when they visit. Are you aiming for cozy? Casual? Full of energy before the big game? No matter what mood you’re going for, consider adding a propane-powered fire table, some patio heaters, and comfortable outdoor furniture to your yard or deck before your next gathering. You can also add a few baskets of blankets or warm sweatshirts in case your guests start to get chilly. Remember, if you’re serving comfort food, you want your guests to be comfortable, too.
Don’t Forget About the Grill!
Finally, make sure your grill is prepped and ready to go! Whether you’re new to grilling or a seasoned professional, making sure you prepare your grill is key to cooking a good meal. As we said, be sure to have a fresh Blue Rhino handy in case you run out of propane. You can use our propane finder to locate a retailer near you. We also offer Home Delivery in select markets. Click here to see if we’ll deliver a fresh propane tank to your neighborhood!
No matter what type of comfort food you decide to grill, Blue Rhino is proud to be a part of your backyard memories. Here’s to an extended grilling season, all winter long!