4 creative ways to grill Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta 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 Pinterest Lemon and Thyme Grilled Pork Chops The tool: Large cast-iron griddle ($46/10 by 17 in., $72/11 by 20 in.; lodgemfg.com). Why it works: The flat surface gives the chops an impressively even sear. Recipe: Lemon and Thyme Grilled Pork Chops Grilled Potato Rosemary Cake 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 Easy Lettuce and Herb Salad This salad, ready in 15 minutes, is the perfect refreshing accompaniment to your creatively grilled menu. Recipe: Easy Lettuce and Herb Salad Grilled Apricot Puffs with Honey Crème Fraîche 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 Prep & cooking tips 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. 2 hours before dinner is served: Start the bruschetta; serve it grill-side while you’re working on the next courses. 1 hour and 15 minutes before dinner: Make the potato cake; when it’s done, keep it warm in the oven. 20 minutes before dinner: Start grilling the chops. While they’re on, toss the salad. After dinner, cook dessert. If you're using a charcoal grill Here are a few tips for making these recipes work over a charcoal fire, which, of course, is trickier to control than a gas grill. We recommend using a grill thermometer (Dual Purpose Thermometer, $13; weber.com), so you can monitor the heat. Cook the bruschetta on your first batch of coals. Before you put the potatoes on, add 10 to 12 briquets; add another 10 to 12 halfway through cooking. To cook the chops, build up the fire with about 30 briquets, then put the meat on. When you sit down to eat the main course, add another 30 briquets to the fire—they’ll be the perfect temperature for dessert, which you can grill when everyone gets up to stretch their legs.