Take a grilled dinner party menu to a whole new level using a few unexpected tools
The tool: Large cast-iron skillet ($23/10 in., $34/12 in.; lodgemfg.com) or other ovenproof frying pan or paella pan.
Why it works: In a skillet, the tomatoes caramelize while keeping a soft shape (on the grill grate, they’d just stick).
Recipe: Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta
The tool: Same skillet as for bruschetta; wipe it out before using. Or, use a second one.
Why it works: The skillet browns potatoes on the bottom, while the hot air inside the covered grill cooks the top.
Recipe: Grilled Potato Rosemary Cake
This salad, ready in 15 minutes, is the perfect refreshing accompaniment to your creatively grilled menu.
Recipe: Easy Lettuce and Herb Salad
The tools: Large cast-iron skillet plus a 6- or 12-cup metal muffin pan.
Why it works: The apricots and brown sugar caramelize in the skillet as they would on a stove. And the muffin pan produces puffs that look like mini Dutch babies.
Recipe: Grilled Apricot Puffs with Honey Crème Fraîche
How to prep
You’ll look like a superchef (and have more bandwidth for guests) if you do all your prep for this meal before you fire up the grill. We’re assuming you’ll be using a standard gas grill—with a cooking grate about 1 1/2 by 2 ft.—or a 21-in. charcoal grill. If you have a bigger gas grill, you can cook some foods together to save time.