Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: When your grilling plans go awry

I've been so not online lately, but I'm back this week. I'll share about our blackberry harvest tomorrow, along with one of my favorite recipes for using our freshly-picked or frozen blackberries! :)

We have a gas grill, and we sure do love it! It's quick and convenient and Joshua makes the best grilled food ever. Of course I'm not biased. Anyone who tries his food agrees! ;)

Until recently, we had just one propane tank for the grill. Every number of months, the tank would run empty, sometimes surprising us when we would open the lid of the grill that we thought was pre-heating, only to find a cold grill with no fuel.

My solution for times when grilling goes awry: 

Oven-grilled chicken breast on a wire rack

Use a baking sheet (with sides) and wire cooling rack and place meat in the oven (top rack or near the top is best). Roast uncovered at 425-450 degrees until meat is done, turning once during baking if desired. I usually use a meat thermometer unless I'm really familiar with the cut of meat.

I even have an old, worn-out baking sheet on hand to use for this purpose, so I don't need to worry about harming one of my "good" pans.

The finished chicken breast...

Yay! Dinner was rescued, and while my oven "grilled" chicken breast wasn't quite as good as "the real thing", it was definitely better than any other baked chicken breast I've made. :)

Oven-grilled chicken breast on a wire rack

A few tips for determining when meat is done (although I still recommend using a thermometer if you're really unsure when it comes to chicken!):

Chicken: Chicken should feel firm, not soft, when you press down on it.

Beef: For beef, one comparison I've read is that a rare steak will feel like your cheek when you press it, a medium steak will feel like your nose when you press it, and a well-done steak will feel like your forehead when you press it. Elise from Simply Recipes has a similar method shown in pictures here.

Fish: Fish should flake easily with a fork. Fish also cooks really quickly! When I first started cooking with fish, I would usually over-cook it because it just didn't seem possible that it could be done after just ~15 minutes. One day, I tested some salmon that truly wasn't done yet -- and it didn't flake. I finally SAW the difference and could believe that my flaking fish really was fully cooked. (Fish should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Tip for not wasting fruit (Willa at Armstrong Family Fare)
2. Sweetened condensed milk substitute (The Local Cook)
3. Reduce splatters when frying food (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
4. What to do when you're out of coffee filters (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
5. Tips for using less disposables in the kitchen (Purposely Frugal)
6. Weigh ingredients for easier baking (Robin at Happily Home After)
7. How to make perfect wavy bacon (JessieLeigh at Parenting Miracles)
8. Keep apples from browning (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
9. Spaghetti sauce tip (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
10. Freezing lemon zest (Living So Abundantly)
11. Instant mixes for bread machine (Centsable Dining)
12. How and why to soak grains (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
13. Keeping cookies soft (Carrie at My Favorite Finds)
14. Shopping/pantry supplies tip (Donna at Moms Frugal)
15. Tips for cooking real food with little ones (Blessed Roots)


Good morning, Tammy!
Up a bit too early here, but sharing lots of info on

How to Soak Grains (and Why)

If you have a recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk, this substitute can be a frugal alternative.

We've had our propane tank run out mid-grilling. It always makes me a little disappointed as the flavors in the oven just aren't quite the same. Great tip!

My kitchen tip this week is a some advice on how to make your fruit accessible so that you don't waste it by letting it spoil! Here's the link:


Your Joshua must be a master griller. :-) I just kill things on the grill. Thanks for the tip!

This week I'm sharing how to keep splatters to a minimum when frying food.

Thank you Tammy!

~Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents

Our grill stopped working half-way through the summer. I have done something similar in the oven, but I never put the oven that high. I will have to try that. I also use my stove top grill. I have so missed our grill. We are hoping for an end of the season clearance for a new one.

The tip I would like to share today is what to do if you find yourself out of coffee filters. Thanks so much for hosting!

Thanks for the great tip Tammy!

My tip is how to use less disposable items in the kitchen:


My tip, along with recipe for healthier Fudge Brownies, is using a kitchen scale to measure ingredients. Instead of dirtying many measuring spoons and cups, I use one large measuring cup as my mixing bowl, and a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients. Clean up is a breeze! So I can easily add these brownies to just about any day of the week even if it is a super busy crazy day. I've included the gram weights of my ingredients in the recipe.

Also, this recipe uses whole wheat flour but a gluten-free flour mix could certainly be substituted. You'll see I also use other healthier ingredients than traditionally are found in a brownie.

Here's my link:

Thanks for hosting this party!

Oh, that's a great tip-- and looks so delicious, even at 8-something in the morning! :)

My tip is how to make perfect, wavy bacon like the kind you always see in the restaurant ads:


Hi Tammy!

We grill late into the season. In fact, we've grilled our Thanksgiving Turkey here in MN in chilly weather :)

here's my tip today:


I find even an "instant read" thermometer takes fooooorevvvver to read the temp, and it is NEVER where it is supposed to get to, so I generally slice it open. Sure, that releases juices and such, but it's better safe than sorry, especially with kids. Instead of using your face, I have read about using the heel of your hand (squishy part below your thumb) and how you tense your hand are different levels of doneness for steak.

My tip today includes a recipe that I posted on my site yesterday which I then tried for dinner last night. I discovered that the directions weren't explicit enough, and I had to make a last minute adjustment to cooking the chicken.

Updated: Ginger Mustard Chicken Breasts (

Barb @ A Life in Balance

what a great idea!!! our grill recently quit working :0( we haven't had the money to replace and I really miss it!! will have to give this a try!!!

Here is my tip:

We've never had a grill but this sounds like a great alternative!!!

Here is my tip:

My tip for making your own bread mixes for your bread machine, a real time saver !

I love learning from all these ideas! My tip can be found here:

Thanks Tammy!

There have been several times when my plans to grill have been thwarted, whether it was because we were out of fuel or because of a sudden downpour. Your suggestion will be put into practice the next time I'm planning to grill but end up having to make a last minute change of plans.

Our charcoal grill is cheapo and after only two year with it, it is in pretty bad shape - plus we are not even really supposed to use it where we live now. So instead we use a cast iron grill pan. It works pretty well and we use it all the time. I love cast iron, just keep it well seasoned and it works awesome!


Your chicken looks delicious!! That is a great tip since we do not own a grill.

I just posted several of my strategies for dealing with spending lots of time in the kitchen making real food with lots of little people in the house.

Can you give a link of this chicken recipe you have in the photos above please? For both grilled and oven would be superb! Don't have a grill at home but I'll save that for those days when I am visiting my folks in the country. Thanks!

The chicken in these photos was brushed with oil and seasoned with a rub that was a gift to us (it's called "Dillo Dust" and is from a place in Texas; my in-laws gave it to us and it was SO good, it was gone in a couple weeks!).

I think Joshua goes mostly by the grilling times in the manual that came with his Weber Q gas grill, which is medium heat (after pre-heating) for 6 minutes on each side or until done. (And we always grill with the lid closed.)

As far as the oven method, I would bake at 425 or 450 degrees for probably 20 minutes or until done (just check meat).

We keep our grilled chicken pretty simple. I like to brush with oil, sprinkle with salt, and splash Tapatio hot sauce over it before grilling. Joshua usually uses a little oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Here's one of Joshua's basic grilled chicken recipes. :)

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