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BBQ for two, grilling small portions?

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    BBQ for two, grilling small portions?

    I love to BBQ, already own a very nice LYNX Propane Grill and plan on picking up a Pellet Grill.

    My concern is we are empty nesters and while our kids and their significant others visit and we occasionally entertain, most of the time it is just my wife and I and my wife tends to only eat a few bites of meat.

    I see all these recipes using large cuts of meat that look fun and I’m sure would taste great but I hate wasting food.

    Steaks, chicken pieces, ribs, sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers, vegetables etc. are no problem but what works for some of the other, typically larger meats cooked on a pellet grill for two people? I love leftovers but my wife doesn't.

    There are really only two huge cuts: pork butt/shoulder, and brisket. Well, I guess there is shoulder clod, and chuck roast, too, but brisket and butt cover most of it.

    Get a vacuum sealer and freeze what you don’t eat. Freeze some larger portions and some smaller. As long as you eat it within 6 months or so it should taste perfectly fine.


      Agree on the vacuum sealer and would add a sous vide if you don't have one. Make sure you get a bunch of smaller bags too, so you dont waste all that plastic for a huge bag with a single portion of meat in it.

      You can freeze individual (or dual) portions and the quality stays high and then easy to reheat right from frozen with very little loss in quality. I vacuum seal 3-4 rib portions, bigger chunks of unsliced brisket, or fully pulled and sauced pulled pork, etc.

      Only down side if you are like me is that you get on a kick cooking and load up the freeze so its full, and then have to spend weeks not cooking to make some more space in the freezer... which isn't really that bad of a down side. And generally speaking I'm not a big leftovers guy but doing it this way works well and isn't like just nuking last nights lasagna.


        I’m single and have it even worse. What I’ve done for briskets is, I’ll usually try to find the smallest packer cut and then separate the point and flat. I’ll freeze one half for another day and cook one half within the next few days. By the time the brisket is done, it’s lost probably 20% of its size. So it won’t be as big as when you first put it on. Sometimes I’ll just buy a smaller precut and trimmed brisket flat or point. If y’all do have leftovers, remember you can make other dishes with the meat, so it won’t seem like leftovers. Brisket tacos is just one idea. Vacuum seal and freeze any leftovers.

        Or with a pork butt, I’ll try to find the smallest one they have also. You can do the same thing with leftover pork, make other dishes with it. As Mosca mentioned, just take any leftovers and vacuum seal them. I’ll do mine in several individual size bags if needed.

        When I smoke a ham, it’s always way more than one or two people can eat. I’ll slice some of it and give to a few neighbors in Ziplock bags. Save the bone to make a pot of beans, and cut up some of the ham to put into the pot of beans. Again, freeze leftovers for another day and make different dishes with the leftovers.
        Last edited by Panhead John; June 16, 2021, 03:45 PM.


        • Clark
          Clark commented
          Editing a comment
          Panhead John If you could ever get a date, you wouldn't have so much left over.

        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          I have dates all the time. Usually in the $200.-$300. range.

        • GolfGeezer
          GolfGeezer commented
          Editing a comment
          Panhead John I think Clark meant dates with a person, not court dates.

        My wife and I share much the same situation as as y'all do. As Mosca says a vacuum sealer is so handy for leftovers. If you freeze them and wait a week or two it's no so much like leftovers. The other thing we do is repurpose what we've cooked. Brisket can be used for some incredible tacos or burritos. With all the different tastes available in BBQ sauces you can make an almost endless variety of chopped brisket sandwiches. There are several people here that talk about the really good chili that can be made with brisket. My wife makes a good breakfast hash with leftover brisket. As Panhead John says pulled pork can be chopped and used in beans or my favorite, tamales. Pulled pork can make a good fajita too. We are Texans so a lot of our recipes have a Tex-mex flavor profile. There are so many possibilities to try.
        Last edited by Oak Smoke; June 16, 2021, 03:57 PM.


          ...or gain 20 pounds while eating like a king, but I highly recommend getting some gout medicine (that's my solution)


            Thanks all to the great input. I have a sealer but have used it more often for freezing meat. I went to Costco today and brought home 3 packs of Prime Steak, Ribeye, New York and Tenderloin. When I say cooking for two it is closer to cooking for 1. Since the portions I cook are small I justify splurging on prime. As I recently left 60 astern, I don't eat nearly as much as I used to and my wife barely eats anything. A small tenderloin is usually enough for both of us. I could cut each New York and Ribeye in half but I don't. I got some ribs and put them in 3 bags and could have done 6 but I like leftover ribs and always eat the leftover steak and chicken. The two whole chickens were cut up and sealed in eight different bags. I'll be set for awhile.

            I like the idea of sealing and freezing the meat after it is cooked and warming it with a sous vide sounds like a great idea, if that's what was suggested.

            Tonight I do get to BBQ for 6 as we are celebrating my sons birthday. I don't have the pellet grill yet so the LYNX will handle a good sized Prime New York, a large Prime Ribeye, some chicken pieces and some King Crab Legs. I'm sure there will be left overs and hopefully my kids will take some home.

            Thanks again.
            Last edited by Midway; June 16, 2021, 04:16 PM.


              Cook for two for a week.


                You have some good advice. Now here are some ideas on using left over pulled pork.

                Think outside the bun.
                1. Mix it in your macaroni and cheese.
                2. Crown your baked potato with a scoop.
                3. Make a batch of pulled pork nachos.
                4. Try some pulled pork enchiladas.
                5. Stir some into your next batch of chili.
                6. Top your salad with some bbq goodness.
                7. Dollop the pork into baby lettuce cups or endive for a gluten-free treat.
                8. Wrap them in gyoza and make some pulled pork won tons or dumplings.
                9. Go one-step further and roll them with cabbage to make pulled pork egg rolls.
                10. Or, wrap them in dough to make empañadas.
                11. Stuff it in an omelette for a cowboy breakfast.
                12. Combine it with queso for a game-day dip.
                13. Go Cajun and serve it over rice and beans use it in jambalaya.
                14. Go Asian and serve it with noodles, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and snap peas.
                15. Enjoy it in a savory crêpe.
                16. Smother some over your french fries and top with cheese.
                17. Bake your pulled pork into a quiche.
                18. Stuff it in an Anaheim chile, jalepeño or bell pepper!
                19. Still eat as a sandwich, but switch out the bread. Try tortillas, lavash, pretzel rolls, focaccia or challah.
                20. Heard of fried chicken and waffles? Why not pulled pork and waffles!
                21. Hello – pulled pork pizza!
                22. Bake it in phyllo to make crunchy hand pies.
                Last edited by LA Pork Butt; June 17, 2021, 05:07 AM.


                  I cook a lot of food for my neighbors and bring leftovers in to work 2-3 times a week to feed snacks for the guys and gal. I'll cook for a few smaller events (<100) every year so that helps keep my cooking energy in check...HA.
                  If I need to cook small portions, I'll cut them down and freeze what I don't use.


                    So, the problem is that his wife doesnt like leftovers. If she's in the "no, never eating those" OP is kind of screwed especially since they only eat 'a few bites of meat'.

                    I don't think there's a solution to this if both things are strictly true. I mean, there are smaller cuts you can do if you don't want to do a brisket - smoke a 2-3lb chuck roast and you have something you can use for pulled beef, tacos, chili, etc but not so much that it feels silly.

                    If your wife is open to that, then I'd simply do things in smaller amounts - a 3-4lb pork butt vs something in the 9lb range, chuck roast vs brisket (or the separate point vs flat thing above). But if she simply refuses to eat leftovers in any form then a lot of things are going to be offlimits unless you have them at a party etc.

                    Also consider smaller things - chicken, but also game hens. Fish. Etc etc.
                    Last edited by rickgregory; June 17, 2021, 11:24 AM.


                    • Murdy
                      Murdy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Chuck roasts are a great option. Much smaller than a brisket, but you still get that beef flavor and they are amenable to low & slow cooking. We do them several times a year on the weber kettle (it's just my wife and I too). We also break down leftovers into smaller portions, vacuum seal, and freeze.

                    Invite friends over for a nice BBQ meal


                      All of my 20-something kids are into what they like to call "meal prepping", and cook a bunch of stuff on Sunday to eat during the week. I call it "leftovers", and the wife ALWAYS likes me to grill or smoke enough to feed us for several days.

                      That said, I've had great success vacuum sealing pulled pork, and tend to do that and freeze it in 1 pound portions (I have a food scale). That is the perfect amount to pull out of the freezer and reheat right in the Foodsaver bag. I've also done the same with sliced brisket, freezing meal sized portions. You just gotta hit "seal" and stop the vacuum before it starts sucking the juice out of the brisket you want to save. Better yet, only vacuum seal it while its already cold from the fridge and the juices are not flowing.

                      We find lots of uses for leftover pulled pork or chuck roast. You can eat it as is, you can make a sandwich, salad, use as a baked potato topping, and make tacos. With the Foodsaver bags I've pulled BBQ out of the deep freeze after 6 months or more, warmed it up, opened the bag, and you could smell the smoke just like the day it went into the freezer.

                      If your wife is like my sister-in-law, who won't touch ANYTHING left over, i.e. she only eats it the day it was made, then my condolences to you. If its frozen and still tastes fresh, maybe you can convince her otherwise...

                      Anyway, I've got to start cooking for 2 more than I cook for 8-10, with the kids all gone and living their own lives. To that end, even though its a waste of Foodsaver bags, I'll likely keep buying the same 2 or 3 packs of ribs that I've bought in the past, but I'll repack and freeze the slabs, maybe even half slabs of ribs, so that I don't have to cook all the ribs at once. For pork though, I'll still smoke whole butts, and just freeze the pulled pork. And I will likely do chuck roasts instead of brisket if I am not feeding a crowd.
                      Last edited by jfmorris; June 17, 2021, 12:29 PM.


                        The pellet grill will give you a thrill. love pellet grilling. Actually more of a smoking oven but you can produce some amazing food.
                        It seems the pellet grill and a shorter learning curve.


                          Here are typical portions for when it is just my wife and I. She wanted me to grill so the oven didn't add more work for our Heat Pump inside the house during this 100+ F weather. She didn't seem to consider the part where I worked harder outside. You don't see the artichoke. Simple, quick, easy and always good. Looking forward to getting my Pellet grill and trying different methods and meats and adding twists to our staples. My wife will eat the leftover chicken breast by the way.

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