Like picnics and other outdoor food eating activities, grilling is not something single diners often think to do. But the truth is, grilled food is delicious and if there's just one solo dining rule it's this: even single diners deserve delicious. Here are a few hints to help you get your single grill going.
1. Get a small, cute grill. Small because then your small meal won't look so lost and cute because cute (or snazzy, or cool, or well-designed) means you'll just want to use it more often. It doesn't have to be as fancy as the one pictured above. A simple hibachi can also do.
2. Think ahead. Even a small grill will have a little extra room on it. Think ahead to your lunches and dinners to come. Roast a few red peppers for sandwiches or add a chicken breast/thigh for chicken salad. Throw on a few ears of corn to eat cold in tomorrow's lunch or for corn salad. After you're done cooking, wrap a few potatoes or sweet potatoes in foil and nestle them in the coals. You get the picture.
3. Don't forget dessert. Make s'mores, or throw a few clusters of grapes on the grate. Stone fruit is also good grilled, especially peaches, nectarines and plums.
4. Anticipate company. There are few things that smell as wonderful as something cooking on a grill. So if you're grilling solo, be prepared for neighbors or even complete strangers poking their heads around the corner and saying "Howdy! That sure smells good!"
5. Be worth it. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to cooking solo is not feeling it's worth the effort to put out a decent meal for just yourself. This is very commonplace, especially for those who frequently eat alone. So it's important to cultivate the Oil of Olay attitude of solo cooking. Say to yourself (out loud of you dare) "I'm going to grill up an awesome meal tonight just for me! Because I'm awesome!" And then grab your Fyrkat and a bag of charcoal and get going!
A Small Selection of Small Grills
• Stylish: Fyrkat Green, $59.96 at Crate&Barrel
• Classic: Smokey Joe, $32.96 at Amazon
• Serious: Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Grill $79.00 at Amazon
• Classic2: Marsh Allen Cast Iron Hibachi, $29.99 at Amazon
• Cheap and Cheerful: BBQ Bucket Grill $19.99 (on sale!) at West Elm