The Meal Prep delivery services alone have created a $1.5 billion-dollar industry – and it’s still growing. Now, while you may be tempted to subscribe to one of those services, or maybe you have in the past, we are here to help you do it all on your own - and save yourself a stack of cash over time! So gear up #PitBossNation, it’s time to get cookin’ and learn how to meal prep for yourself or your family, right on your Pit Boss grill.
Learn the benefits of meal prepping and how to use a Pit Boss Pellet Grill or Vertical Smoker to cook all that delicious and healthy food.
Meal prepping allows you to cook all the meals you’re going to need during the week at once. This way, you don’t have to worry about food while you are in the middle of a busy day with the kids, at work or at school.
Buy in bulk and save money from having to eat out or buying “one off” meals for lunch or dinner. Hint: you can meal prep breakfast too!
If you’re on a specific diet, meal prepping is a great way to plan and execute your nutritional strategy. Meal prepping can also help you maintain portion control since you can evenly divide up your meals and measure the food out if needed. It will also give you direction during your grocery shopping trips, so you don’t waste time wandering around the store thinking about what to buy. But, more on that later.
Well, the title pretty much says it all! Wood. Fired. Flavor. No extra grease, or carbon, or calories – just good, old fashioned, all-natural wood burning fuel. By using your Pit Boss grill when you prep, you get all the benefits of naturally smoked wood. It lightly layers into your food but doesn’t add anything to it except flavor! Unlike gas or charcoal, where you can have fuel residue on your food, Pit Boss’ all-natural wood pellets burn into less than 1% of ash. Clean, delicious, and efficient, much like the meals you will be making!
Whether you’re new to meal prepping or looking for some advice to enhance your meals, these quick meal prep tips will help make the process much easier:
If you don’t know where to start, there are a bunch of meal prep food blogs you can check out. But all your meals should have three main ingredients (macronutrients): protein, fat, and carbs.
Protein, protein, protein!! That’s what we typically think about when it comes to grilling. Big, thick cut juicy steaks, and bomb burgers for the backyard party – but protein is so much more than that. Protein can also come from lean animal sources like seafood, turkey, and eggs; or veggies such as quinoa and peas.
Whatever your source, getting the right amount of protein is important towards achieving your fitness goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or add muscle, the amount of protein you consume has a direct effect. Did you know eating the right amount of protein can help speed up fat loss? That’s because protein is thermogenic, which basically means it can help speed up your metabolism.
Check out some awesome salmon recipes. Or, grill up some chicken wings, which are basically just protein then because you’re not deep frying them.
Depending on who you ask or whichever diet you are following, carbs (or the lack thereof) play an important role in achieving your fitness goals. For those who are pro-carb, there are numerous benefits to incorporating them into your diet. These include restoring glycogen to your muscles after a hard workout, they can be a natural fiber source, and certain carbs (like leafy green veggies) are nutrient dense.
As far as meal prepping on the grill is concerned, once you’ve decided on a protein, pick a veggie and a starch (or two servings of veggies). POTATOES DO NOT COUNT AS VEGGIES – they are a starch (so is corn, rice, and pasta). Some veggies you can grill directly on the grates, but if you’re worried about them falling through, the Pit Boss Grill Basket is the best tool for grilling veggies. Works great with potatoes too.
Check out this Sweet Potato Medley Recipe for some inspiration on how to pair veggies with carbs – hot off the grill.
If you’re going to include a starch such as a potato, keep in mind that potatoes take longer to cook than most vegetables do. So, you can use two grilling baskets, or add your vegetables to the potatoes when the potatoes are half way, to two thirds of the way, done cooking. Corn is also a great alternative to potatoes – nothing says summertime like grilled corn on the cob.
Check out our Cilantro and Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob Recipe or make your own concoction and share it (please)!
The final macronutrient is of course, fats. Fats are high in calories, but satiating, meaning incorporating fats in your meals can help you feel fuller. But if you are going to follow a high fat diet, such as Keto, you’ll want to limit carbs and moderate your protein if weight loss (ketosis) is your goal.
Not all fats are created equal. Some fats, like vegetable oil and canola oil are highly processed and can be bad for your heart. As a general rule, it’s best to stick with healthy fats if you are going to add fats to your meal instead of solely relying on the fat in your meat and veggies (or nuts) for your macros. Adding healthy fats can be a rich source of vital micronutrients like Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Saturated Fats are important for testosterone production (even for you ladies) and brain development.
Healthy fat sources include but are not limited to:
Lightly sprinkle olive oil, or your oil of choosing, on the veggies – it will help them crisp up without drying out. Lightly toss the vegetables (with the oil) in the grilling basket, and you’re good to go! If you have smaller items, like pine nuts or almonds that you’re adding, just line the Grilling Basket with foil before you add your goodies to it.
Note: If you’re cooking a fattier cut of steak, or a fattier fish like salmon, don’t go crazy on the oil. Everything in moderation.
Here’s a breakdown for you of the three main categories discussed:
Lean protein: lean ground beef, lean ground turkey (3-7% fat), chicken, turkey, mahi, tilapia, halibut, lean steaks (filet).
Fattier protein: tri-tip or ribeye, prime rib, ground beef, salmon, ham.
Oil (coconut oil, almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, etc.), almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, avocado, flax seed, peanut butter.
Potatoes (all kinds), carrots, corn, bread, sweet peas, pasta, rice, fruit (naturally occurring sugars).
Best vegetables to grill:
Onions, peppers (all kinds), broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, squash.
Have you ever gone to the store and meandered around for more than an hour? We have. So we know that grocery shopping can be tedious to say the least. But pre-planning your meals, as discussed above, and making a shopping list before you go to the store will help cut down on the meandering and trying to decide what you think looks, or sounds good.
Granted, if the asparagus looks better than the broccoli, and you had broccoli on your list – go for the switch! But knowing what your plan is ahead of time will make shopping way easier – and faster. Or, most grocery stores are now offering online shopping where you can purchase everything online and they’ll bring it out to your car. TOTALLY worth the convenience fee (in our opinion).
This can also keep you from buying more than you need. Or buying the convenience items that they get you with at the checkout stands – nope, don’t need that energy drink, or candy bar. Trust, they get us good with those too, that’s why they’re there!
You need to prep the item that takes the longest to cook first, i.e. the potatoes before the broccoli.
While you’re prepping make sure your grill is heating up. Turn your grill on to smoke, give it 4-5 minutes for the fire pot to catch, and then crank it up to your desired temperature.
400°F seems to be a happy medium for protein, veggies, and whatever else you may be cooking! From there on out, it is about timing.
However, if you’re looking to do low and slow cooking, you’ll want to go below 250°F - depending on what you are cooking.
Add the food to the grill in order of cooking time needed. So, the potatoes take the longest, they go on first. Then add the protein, then add other veggies to the potatoes for the remainder of the cook, etc.
While some items are cooking, you can be prepping others. It’s a great way to maximize your efficiency and cut down on the time it takes to prep.
In addition to all that good stuff – cleanup is EASY! Crank your Pit Boss grill to 450°F after you’ve finished cooking to let it burn off whatever food ruminants may be left (allow to burn for 5-10 minutes once it’s reached temp). After that, shut her down and let her cool off a bit, then take one of our Pit Boss Grill Brushes and give her a good scrub. Viola!
Not to do’s:
Have some great recipes? Share them with us or tag us on social! We’d love to see what our Fit Bosses are grilling up – and maybe a few meal prep mishaps, perhaps.