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Grilling 101

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

I find a LOT of people find grilling scary or overwhelming or something they can't do other than grill a hot dog or burger. In reality, grilling is one of my favorite ways to make an easy meal as there's minimal cleanup, you get to be outside in the spring/summer/fall, and everything can be cooked in one place!

This post will give you some overall tips I've found for making grilling easy and successful and tackling a few different things on the grill- chicken breasts, pork chops, and zucchini. All of these can typically be found affordably and at any normal grocery store making this super accessible.


-I find with grilling its best to marinade longer than you think you need to so get this stuff marinating as early in the day as you can both for flavor and also to make dinnertime easier


-Get a meat thermometer!! I put a few suggestions in the Shopping section below. Such a game changer in taking the guessing out of whether something is cooked or not

-Allow your meat/protein to come to room temperature before grilling

-Make sure to oil the grates and have them as clean as possible. Best way to do this would be to rub half an onion with some oil, and brush that over the grates. This will clean and oil the grates simultaneously

-Although in the steps I tell you not to move the meat frequently, make sure to check the temperature of your grill. Each grill is a little different so make sure as you turn the heat up and down you check to make sure the temperature stays where you need it

-Overall, it's easy to let the grill get too cold by opening it all the time. Try not to keep it open for long periods of time and avoid the temptation to check on things

-Continue to add flavor to whatever you are grilling by saving some of the marinade- then when you flip it, brush or spoon more marinade on to glaze your food and turn your marinade into a delicious sauce

-Always let your food rest- don't cut into it right after taking it off the grill. Leaving it on a plate or cutting board tented with tinfoil is my go to


-Leftover pork would be great in a quesadilla- just chop and heat the pork in a sauté pan and then add to your quesadilla

-Leftover chicken would make amazing chicken salad! Add in mayo, mustard of your choice, diced onion, and any flavorings/additions you want- my favorite is curry powder and celery!

-Leftover zucchini would be great in a pasta salad, on a pizza, or on a sandwich


The recipe:

Grilling 101- Chicken Breasts, Pork Chops, and Zucchini

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2-4

For the Chicken

2 cups of Side Dish Honey Dijon

1 cup mayo

2 tablespoons garlic salt

1 lb chicken breasts

For the Pork Chops

2 bone in pork chops

4 tablespoons of your favorite bbq dry rub (see a few options in the Shopping section below)

For the Zucchini

1 medium/large zucchini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon of the same bbq rub


  1. Firstly, pound out the chicken breasts if they are super big (aka more than an inch or two thick). Ideally you are looking for the chicken to be about 1/2 to 3/4 an inch thick for the most even cooking

  2. Marinate the chicken, and rub the dry rub on the pork chops. Let marinate all day at least or overnight (if overnight make sure everything is stored in an airtight container)

  3. 1-2 hours before you are ready to grill, slice the zucchini into thing long strips and toss with all the for the zucchini ingredients

  4. When you are ready to grill, turn on your gas grill and heat to 350 degrees

  5. The chicken will take the longest, so put that on first. If you have extra marinade, reserve it and brush it onto the chicken after you flip it!

  6. The chicken will need anywhere from 6-10 minutes per side depending on how thick your chicken is. You'll know the chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F

  7. The key to grilling chicken is do not mess with it! Once you put it on the grill, let it cook until you get some good grill marks and the chicken is about halfway cooked. You should be able to see that the chicken starts to turn from pink to white as it cooks.

  8. The pork chops will take about 8-10 minutes total, again depending on how thick yours are. You'll know the pork is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F

  9. Bone in pork chops make for the best flavor, but also tend to be a bit thicker. After you have flipped the chicken, that would be a good time to add the pork chops. Same thing goes with the chicken, once you put them on the grill, don't touch them until it's time to flip!

  10. The pork chop and chicken both should rest for a few minutes before serving so once you pull them off the grill, let them rest on a plate or cutting board tented with a piece of tinfoil for at least 2-3 minutes

  11. Lastly, for the zucchini. This will only take about 5 minutes per side so you could really throw this on whenever! At the end of the pork chop and chicken cooking would be great, and it can finish cooking while the proteins rest

  12. Plate everything up with any other sides you like

  13. Serve and enjoy!



*Some of these may be affiliate links- I appreciate your support!

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