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After Work Supper cooks

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I know there are a million recipes out there, but what are some of your go to supper cooks where time is limited after work? Worst part of getting a Kamado for the first time is wanting to cook on it every day.

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I don't do after work cooking, because my 12 hour schedule means I get home at 7. But things that cook at normal temps would be the ticket. Game hens, chicken, meatloaf. All could be prepped the night before or in the morning. Same for the grill.

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one of my go to meals is pad kra pow (i doubt thats spelt right), which is basil chicken. Its a Tai stirfry, made from scratch and can be prepped and cooked in around 45 mins. extremely tasty.

 

Smash burgers in the cast iron pan can be done in 20 mins on the gas hob 

 

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My go to is boneless skinless chicken thighs or salmon. Easy sides are salad and maybe beans or broccoli. Any left over chicken or salmon tops our salad for lunch at work the next day :)

I'll grill the chicken thighs for lots of things. My family likes them staightup with a good rub, but I will grill them to add to pasta and alfredo sauce, fajitas, add to a quick soup, etc.

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Think about adding a sous vide cooker to your week day cooks. Allot like crockpot cooking where you can start it in the morning before work, but you get precise temps so you can cook anything from rare to well done. Then fire up the Camada to 600 degrees and sear it off to get that smoke and crust. 

 

Works with all cuts of chicken, turkey, pork, beef, lamb, pretty much all mammals and birds and their subsequent recipes. I dont cook fish much but when I do I fry it or cook it over direct heat.

 

The other thing you can do with sous vide is cook your slower bbq style dishes in the traditional method. Slow smoke your pulled pork, brisket, smoked turkey, and vacuum seal it and freeze it. The day you wanna eat it take it out of the freezer and place it in the fridge before you leave for work and then when you get home fire up the sous vide to 140 and drop the bag into the bath. Less than an hour later you got almost pristine whatever you put in the bags.

 

These are things I do weekly. I dont like eating leftovers for a week so sous vide with my kamado and other cooking methods keep my dish variety going so I dont get bored with dinner.

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I work 12 hours a day (5 am - 5 pm). I cook on a grill a lot after work. Regardless of what I'm cooking the very first thing you need to do, as soon as you get home is immediately fire up the Kamado. As long as you start with a full fire box of lump the Kamado can run at your desired temperature until your meal prep is ready. The worst thing is waiting on a weeknight for the Kamado to come to temperature. Every time I end up with a really late meal is when I don't immediately fire up the grill. 

 

 

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I really have to get back to weeknight grilling. I blame my 80-minute commute for not doing it, but the truth is I go in earlier and I still get home at the same time now as I did at my old job, and I grilled 3, 4, or even 5 nights per week back then. Agree with @ckreef: the only real trick is to start the fire as soon as you get home. After that it's easy-peasy. Maybe I'll consider this my New Year's resolution.

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I have a couple favorites.  But time is everything after work and the thing that made my meal prep the quickest was committing recipes to memory and not measuring anything.  Use the same bowl every time and get used to what a cup of this or a tablespoon of that looks like in the bowl.  Or cheat/work smart and prep in a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup.  There are some exceptions like spices that only use 1/8 tsp or similarly small potent amounts.  But most of my cooking is educated guesswork combined with adjusting to taste when safe to do so.  Just dropping measurements on 90% of my ingredients turned meals into 5 minute preps instead of 20 minutes of digging through drawers and cabinets.

 

It doesn't get much quicker than hamburgers, hot dogs, or steaks.  Even frozen hamburgers come alive with a handful of Jack Daniels wood chips on the coals just before the meat hits the grate.  Chicken can be very quick and very good.  I do almost entirely chicken tenderloins in place of full breast meat.  Quickly cooks in 5-7 minutes per side from frozen or maybe 3-4 when thawed.  Marinade chicken tenderloins the night before or cook straight out of the freezer and season after cooking with salt pepper olive oil/butter and an herb like tarragon.  Or make a sauce like frying some thin sliced shallot in butter, throw in some vermouth and tarragon.  Then salt and pepper chicken before tossing in the sauce.  Google chicken with tarragon and vermouth sauce for exact measurements.  That will taste like a $30 plate at a restaurant.  Or pair plain grilled chicken with pasta and alfredo sauce for an easy chicken alfredo.

 

Another favorite of mine if you want more of a bbq taste but quick is pork tenderloin.  I treat them like a beef steak as far as seasoning- salt, pepper, Montreal seasoning, etc.  Anything salty.  No sugary rubs (that was a mistake the one time I tried to cook it like a pork roast).  I smoke them at a normal grilling temp 350ish.  I just get some grill marks with my cast iron grate, then switch to the other side where I keep a deflector, throw a chunk of apple or some Jack Daniel's chips in, and cook indirect at 300-400 until it hits about 150.  Rest in foil for 5-10 minutes while you get everything else done.  Nice juicy piggy equivalent of filet mignon cooked medium well in about 20-30 minutes with a great smoke ring.  Normally I would call medium well a travesty, but the sight of medium pork at 145 is a mental hurdle I won't be crossing this lifetime.

 

You can smoke a meatloaf at 350 and be eating in about 30 minutes if it is thin enough.  Keep it under 2 inches thick and it will cook in no time.  Top with bbq sauce instead of the usual ketchup/brown sugar sauce for added flavor.

 

I just got an air fryer for X-mas.  That thing is awesome for fluffy baked potatoes with crispy skin in about 30-40 minutes= about the same time it takes me to get the grill going and throw something on it.  Just olive oil and salt, then in they go.  No need to do anything else other than wash them first.  Or cube them into 1 inch pieces, toss in olive oil, air fry for 20-30 minutes, toss with more olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence and enjoy herb potatoes with your chicken or steak.

 

I totally agree with sous vide-ing anything, but I don't think it's quick enough for an after-work quick meal.  If I have the time, sous vide is the only way I make steaks.  But I let them go 2 hours in the water for a better breakdown of tough tissue.  Obviously I can grill much quicker than that. 

 

Getting the grill started as soon as you walk in the door is half the battle.  I hope some this is what you are looking for.

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Totally agree with the marinated pork Tenderloin B)

 

 

Had that last night after work. Two choices, grill whole on the Kamado or cut into medallions and sear the medallions on the Blackstone griddle? Me and Mrs skreef actually discussed the two options. 

 

Medallions on the Blackstone griddle every time for a super fast meal. 

 

 

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Between work and my commute i leave at 4:15am and return anywhere between 4:30 pm and 5:30  and I cook on my Kamado's at least 3 weekdays a week, What I do is have my kamado filled and ready the night before and have my wife lite it while im on the road so its good and hot when I get home, What makes this possible is having multiple Kamado's (Big Joe, Classic and Jr.) I try to keep cocks under an hour so Im usually cooking things like Burgers, Brats, Tri-Tips, Chops, Steaks or Taco's

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14 hours ago, ckreef said:

Medallions on the Blackstone griddle every time for a super fast meal. 

That's probably best for super fast, it usually takes about an hour for a decent chunk of tenderloin to reach temp indirect cooking.  If you slice into medallions you can probably cook them in about 10 - 15 minutes if you indirect then do a quick sear.

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8 hours ago, Tarnation said:

That's probably best for super fast, it usually takes about an hour for a decent chunk of tenderloin to reach temp indirect cooking.  If you slice into medallions you can probably cook them in about 10 - 15 minutes if you indirect then do a quick sear.

We're talking tenderloin, not a pork loin, right. I follow Alton Browns method of grilling a tenderloin and its up to 140 and ready to pull in 15 minutes or so:  link

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Yes, I was talking pork tenderloin.  They take a couple minutes a side to get some color and grill marks and another 10-15 minutes indirect to finish.

 

A pork loin is a whole different cut of meat for me.

 

In the interest of clarity and enlightenment for anyone who isn't familiar with all the parts of a pig, I found a diagram showing the cuts.  Tenderloin and loin come from the same general area, but there's a big difference in texture and cooking options.  Pork loin can still be done quickly if you butcher into pork chops.

 

know-your-cuts.png

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Pork Tenderloin - cut into medallions, marinated, then cooked on high, on a griddle. 8 minutes to heat the griddle up, 3 1/2 minutes per side for MD. 

 

Tender and juicy, no need to reverse sear, no need to low-n-slow. 

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, willys1 said:

We're talking tenderloin, not a pork loin, right. I follow Alton Browns method of grilling a tenderloin and its up to 140 and ready to pull in 15 minutes or so:  link

Right for grilling , tenderloin is usually about the size of sub, I like to low and slow tenderloin whole for about an hour to get good smoke flavor. Grilling its fine, I just don't think it comes out quite as tender and smokey.  Once it hits 140-145 pull, rest, slice, serve.  Tenderloin can usually be cut with a fork.  Pork loin is a different cut, bought one recently from Costco about 8lbs for $13.  You can cut chops off of that, or what I did was cut it into 3 sections that I'll cook as a roast.

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