In a previous article, we showed how we set up the YS640 for multi-zone grilling/cooking. In the process of writing that article, our team was reminded about the power and versatility this setup provides for delivering amazing weeknight meals.
The goal of this article is to show you how to serve an entire meal, piping hot, straight off the grill.
BEHIND THE SCENES: When our team writes this type of article, we set up the grill and cook as we write. Information like time, temperatures, and more is collected as we cook.
What struck us as we were working on the multi-zone grilling setup article was the importance of timing when prepping a meal to serve straight off the grill. Now that’s noteworthy! After all, who wants cold chicken or soggy asparagus?
One of our favorite meals is grilled chicken. We favor thighs, roasted potatoes, and grilled asparagus. This meal appeals to the entire family and it’s quick to prep and cook. By changing the seasonings, we can create a variety of flavor profiles such as Savory Herb, American Barbecue, Asian, Spanish, Indian and more.
We set up the grill with the 2-piece diffuser in and with access door out. The VDD (Variable Displacement Damper) is 6” in from the outer right side. Three GrillGrate panels are installed on left and Yoder standard grill grates are on the right. Setpoint will start at 600, turn down to 450, and then return to 600.
Total cook time for this meal is 1-hour. If you prep and par boil the potatoes ahead of time, your prep and cook time will be reduced to approximately 30-minutes.
Potatoes: 30 – 45 minutes
The potatoes take the longest time to prep and cook, so we will start with them. You can use fingerlings or whole potatoes, cut them to the same size so they will cook evenly. We prefer roughly 1” x 1” pieces.
We boil our potatoes in advance to save time. You want them fork tender so they can finish on the grill. Once the potatoes are boiled, place them in a bowl, toss with oil and add seasoning. Move the potatoes around in the bowl until you see fluffy edges on the pieces.
This accomplishes two goals: one, you are coating the potatoes in oil which helps with browning, and two, those fluffy edges turn into crispy flavor on the grill. This is what makes this dish a house favorite. Lay the potatoes out flat in a cast iron or carbon steel pan and set your grill at 600 degrees. You will want to cook for 20-30 minutes directly over the flame and then finish them off the flame.
Chicken Thighs: 15 – 20 minutes
While the potatoes are cooking, this is the time to trim and season your chicken thighs. You can also prepare them ahead of time and set them aside to let them soak up the seasoning while the potatoes are browning.
When you see browning in the potatoes, move them over to the right to roast further in indirect heat. Now you will turn your YS640 setpoint down to 450 degrees and place the chicken bone side down directly over the flame. Turn as needed to achieve the desired grill marks. The chicken will direct cook here until it reaches 160 -165 degrees, then move it to the top shelf.
While chicken thighs are safe to eat at lower temperatures, dark meat has an abundance of connective tissue, so cooking them to 175º or higher is usually preferred. During this time continue to monitor while they are on the top shelf. They can be pulled from the grill when their internal temperature reaches 170 degrees because the temperature will continue to rise a bit after being removed from the heat.
Asparagus: 10 – 15 minutes
Cut the ends of the stalks off to remove the darker pieces and add a light coating of oil to use as a binder. Season to your preference.
Place on top shelf or the right side of the grill to begin cooking while you are cooking the chicken thighs. Once the thighs are done and moved up to the top shelf for holding, place asparagus on the bottom grate directly over the flame and raise the setpoint of the YS640 up to 600 degrees again.
Because you had started cooking the asparagus earlier, it will take less time to finish over the flame. You will know the asparagus is done when it has some char on it yet is still tender to the bite.
This recipe leverages every aspect of a multi-zone cook. By setting up and using three heat zones at the same time, we have created the ability to cook an entire meal at once to save time and effort.
We are also getting most of our flavor directly from the grill, so there is truly little needed when it comes to ingredients. Go ahead and get the Grill Master apron ready, you’re going to wow the entire family with this one!