Summer is always the season of hot coals, cold drinks, and the sounds and smells of fresh meat sizzling on the grill. You’ll spend hours out in the fresh air, getting some much-needed vitamin D as you prep the food. Your family will help you prop up the lawn chairs, set up the cooler, and start to roll the ground meat as your guests begin arriving. You’re catching up with loved ones and eating some apps as you start to get the burgers going. The warm breeze wafts the mouth-watering smell of seasoned meats all around your backyard. You’ll get the odd family member all up in your grill, but they’ll quickly see you know what you’re doing. With these grilling hacks, you’ll have your whole family congratulating you on a job well done.
1) Clean your grill with an onion
Did you know that, between 2002 and 2014, almost 1,700 Americans visited the emergency room due to injuries from ingesting grill-brush bristles? It might be time to do away with your grill brush and use this grill cleaning hack instead. Rather than scrub with your grill brush, simply cut an onion in half and rub it onto the grill grates. Not only should this help clean your grill, but doing it before you use it will add extra flavor and create a nonstick surface for the meat.
2) Use hot water to check propane levels
It can be difficult to tell how much gas is left in your tank, and the last thing you want is to run out when you’re hosting your friends or family. One way to get this info is to heat up some water and pour it down the side of your propane tank while it’s off. Then you simply slide your hand down the side of the tank- where it’s empty it will feel warm, where there is still propane it will feel cool.
3) Section off your coals
When grilling with coal, temperature control can be challenging. To help with this, start with your set up. When you’re prepping, arrange your coals so that one side of your grill has multiple layers of briquettes while the other side has only one layer. This way, you can start the meat on the side with more layers and then (once you’ve flipped it a few times) you can transfer it to the other side so it can finish cooking more precisely.
4) Grill fish on lemons
Fish fresh off of the grill can be so smoky and delicious, but can cause a headache for the grillers when it comes to sticking. Try slicing up some lemons and grilling your fish on top of them instead. The lemon layer will prevent sticking while also allowing the meat to grill and adding an extra bit of flavor.
5) Use ice cubes/butter in burgers
Although grilled burgers are amazing when done well, it can be heartbreaking when they wind up being dry. To help prevent the interior of the burger from becoming a dry mess, place either an ice cube or bit of butter on the inside when you’re rolling the ground meat. This will help the interior stay moist as the exterior cooks.
6) Use bricks for even cooking
It can be difficult to grill wings or large pork cuts evenly because they’re oddly shaped. To allow them to grill more evenly, wrap a brick in foil and place it on top of the meat as it sits on the grill. The added weight will allow for even cooking without crushing the meat altogether.
7) Apple juice spray
To help keep meat like pork, chicken, and ribs from drying out, one hack can be to have a spray bottle of apple juice or apple cider vinegar nearby. Spritzing this mixture on the meat periodically will both keep the meat moist as well as add a sweet flavor that will complement the savory flavors of the meat very well.
8) Use Rosemary as skewers
Any grill master has had his or her fair share of skewer mishaps. They’ll fall through the grill grates or catch fire causing the meat to cook too quickly. If you’re looking for a new way to skewer your meat, try using fresh Rosemary as skewer substitutes. Sturdier than dried out wooden skewers, they will hold your meat intact and the rosemary will add a little extra flavor as well.
9) All in one tool
Grilling can involve several tools- a spatula, tongs, knife, etc. Well, with this all in one grill tool you’ll not only have all three of those tools in one, but also a bottle opener and LED light for grilling after the sun sets. This will alleviate having to search for one tool or the other as the cooking process progresses and the retractable tongs allow you a grip so you can transfer the meat to plates without spilling.