Your Guide To Lake Living

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Essential Equipment and Other Tips

In order to prepare your food quickly and without a lot of clean up, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. You may or may not already be familiar with these pieces of cooking equipment.

Here are my recommendations:


Gas Grill

When in doubt, throw steak or marinated chicken on the grill for the main course. You can probably even get your husband or one of the men to tend the grill so you can deal with the rest of the meal. We have found that it pays to get a larger grill Ė the smaller ones donít have enough room to cook for company. At least two levels of cooking surfaces are helpful, so you can move meat between levels to adjust for the cooking variations. We have the side burners on our gas grills, but almost never use them.  I try to stay out of the way, and boil corn or cook whatever side dishes we are having in the house, and let my husband man the grill.


Crock Pot

Great freedom can be realized by putting together a crock pot meal at breakfast time, turning it on and then leaving for a day on the lake.


Cooking Bags

Thank goodness someone finally invented a way to cook in the oven without having to scrub baked-on food off of pans afterwards. They come in plastic or foil types. The foil kind can be used on the grill as well as in the oven. You can cook the whole meal in one bag for up to 8 people.  They tend to make the food cook more quickly as well as making meat more tender.


Rice Cooker/Vegetable Steamer

This is a big labor saver, just throw in the ingredients and turn it on 15-20 minutes before serving. It also doubles as a serving bowl, reducing dishes!


Large Turkey Fryer/Boiling Pot

Large (30 quart) turkey fryer/boiling pot with its own propane gas supply.  Another opportunity to get the men involved and to keep the cooking out of the kitchen.  Be sure to get a fryer with a very sturdy and strong base. Our first fryer was rickety (OK, cheap) and when we tried to use it the tubing caught on fire! Our second one has been wonderful, and we have enjoyed trying different spices and rubs on the turkey to enhance the flavor. My tip for the fryer is - Donít buy whole turkeys, just buy the bone-in turkey breasts.  You can cook 2 turkey breasts instead of one turkey and get more meat as a result.  It is amazing how juicy and tender it is.


Clay Pot

I have been enjoying clay pot cooking for many years. If you have never tried this moist heat cooking method, you should go out and buy one. You can cook at much higher temperatures, while still getting a very moist and tasty result. It also allows you to cook the meat and vegetables together in one pot.  Make sure to get a large enough one to cook a large roast hen or pot roast.


Shot Glass and Measuring Cups

These are two essentials for the drink recipes. Also, I like to pre-mix specialty drinks in a 5-gallon container with a good pour spout that can be kept in the fridge or cooler prior to a party or outing so that I donít have to mix drinks constantly.




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