- June 30th, 2010
- in Yachting
Swap the Galley for the Grill this Summer
It’s the peak of summertime, and island life is even more relaxed than usual. Sultry days inevitably lead to more time spent sipping cool drinks and less desire to cook big meals. The lazy days of summer beg for leisurely outdoor gatherings with minimal work – and the easiest dinner preparation is to fire up the barbeque grill.
A BBQ meal is particularly convenient on a boat, as grilling makes for easy clean-up. Cooking outdoors also creates a more social atmosphere, allowing everyone to gather in the cockpit. This is especially nice on a monohull, where the chef is otherwise “downstairs” in the galley and everyone else is up in the cockpit.
As with nearly everything on a boat, give yourself extra time when grilling a meal. Trade winds are lovely—unless you’re trying to start a fire on your charcoal BBQ. In addition, grilling anything on a small standard-issue boat grill will take longer than you’re accustomed to on a full-size Weber grill on land.
If you’re chartering a boat, check with your charter company in advance to see if there’s a grill, which is present on most charter boats, and whether the grill uses propane or charcoal. Be sure to buy charcoal that contains lighter fluid, such as MatchLight, along with a stick lighter for easier ignition. Also, you may need to make a few adjustments when provisioning to account for small grill size. For example, choose items that cook quickly and do not plan to barbeque items that take up lots of grill space, such as full racks or ribs or other large cuts of meat. Most BVI restaurants serve excellent ribs, so enjoy them during a shore dinner.
Although standard barbeque fare such as burgers and chicken are quick, easy and tasty on the grill, you might want to mix things up this summer. Consider grilling seafood and fish, which are generally healthier and lighter for summertime. Here are a few ideas:
• Shrimp skewers: Shrimp skewers: Skewers are one of the most grill-friendly accessories and perfect for threading individual shrimp. (Soak the skewers in water so they won’t burn on the grill.)
• Seafood steaks: Instead of traditional beef steaks, try something new like calamari steaks.
• Lobster tails: A deliciously decadent treat when served with drawn butter. Since whole lobster would likely take up too much grill space, save whole lobster for visits to BVI restaurants, which prepare excellent lobster in season.
• Fresh fish: Select thicker cuts of meats such as steaks or whole fish for grilling. Small fillets will cook quickly but can easily stick to the grill. Oil the grill grates prior to cooking any fish.
You certainly don’t have to limit your grilling to entrées. Almost any food can be “grillable.” Potatoes make an excellent side dish, especially when diced and placed in foil to reduce cooking time. Or slice a variety of vegetables—bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant—and brush them with balsamic vinaigrette before grilling for a few minutes. Even dessert can be grilled. If you’ve never had grilled bananas or grilled pineapple, you’re in for a treat. Brush both with a little bit of rum before grilling, then sprinkle with brown sugar and top with whipped cream once cooked.
After dinner, refresh your cool drink, kick your feet up and enjoy the final hours of a lazy summer evening.