If you’re not fortunate enough to live in a climate that is warm all-year round, you likely spend most of your time cooking indoors. When it warms up and you have the opportunity to cook outside, the easier the work and the more time you can spend enjoying good weather and good friends.
We’ve put together a list of 10 BBQ Hacks that will not only inspire you, but your friends will be impressed with your ingenuity and grilling skills.
1. MORE THAN JUST FOR FRENCH FRIES
It’s inevitable, food is going to get stuck on the grill – it just happens. Taking the time to clean all that off can slow you down. Did you know that rubbing a potato on the grill will create a non-stick surface to eliminate the built-up food particles on the grates?
Make sure you preheat the grill so it’s hot, cut a raw potato in half and pierce the non-cut side with a fork to use it as a handle. Rub the cut side of the potato over the grill. The starch from the potato will form a barrier between the food and the grill.
2. DON’T BRUSH ME OFF
So you’re at a party or a tailgate and think you’ve remembered everything. But the one thing you forgot is a baster. Really?! You don’t even have a spoon because it’s a tailgate party and of course you’re traveling light. Not to worry, if you’ve got toppings for your burgers such as lettuce you can MacGyver that into a basting brush substitute.
Take one or two leaves (go for the sturdiest) and dip the end into your favorite sauce. Use the lettuce leaves to spread the marinade or sauce on your meat or vegetables. An added bonus? No fussy basting brush to clean.
3. SPICE IT UP
Want a unique flavor when using your charcoal grill? Grab some fresh rosemary and sprinkle it throughout the charcoal. The aroma is wonderful, and the thick, woody stems will burn longer than more delicate herbs. Added bonus – rosemary is a natural repellent for mosquitoes, so your yard will smell good and be mosquito-free!
4. MUFFIN TINS DOUBLE AS CONDIMENT TRAYS
There are a lot of choices in condiments today. And while choice is good, lugging each bottle or plate out individually is a lot unnecessary work. Instead of doing that, use a muffin tin. Pour ketchup, mustard and relishes or place cut up vegetables in individual muffin centers and use one tin to carry everything out at once.
5. EGGACTLY RIGHT – USE AN EGG CARTON TO LIGHT COALS
Need to start your charcoal grill? Use an egg carton. Take a typical cardboard (DO NOT USE STYROFOAM) egg carton and place a charcoal briquette in each slot. This handy hack puts kindling and coals close together. Planning a camping trip or tailgate party? Make up several cartons ahead of time and keep them on hand in a safe place for a quick grab-and-go solution.
6. TWO SKEWERS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Kebabs are sometimes a little tricky to grill. A good hack is to use two skewers per kebab. This will keep meat and veggies from rotating and loosening when you grill. Don’t forget if you are using wooden skewers to pre-soak them in water for 30 minutes prior to use to prevent them from burning.
7. SPIRALING WITH CONTROL
This is a seriously simple hack to impress the crowds and it’s so simple and adds extra flavor to an everyday hot dog. Spiral your hot dog. The spiral cut basically creates a greater surface area on the frankfurter. That, in turn, lets the meat get caramelized and crunchy and creates little pockets for sauces and condiments.
- Insert a wooden skewer through the center of the dog. With a knife held at a slight angle, cut down to the skewer as you roll the hot dog away from you.
- Remove the wooden skewer and put your newly spiral-cut hot dogs directly onto the grill. Once they get browned, baste them with BBQ sauce and you’ll be a backyard hero
8. USE A BED OF LEMON SLICES TO GRILL YOUR FISH
Fish sticks to grills. It’s basically unavoidable, and a pity because the flavor of grilled fish is incredible. There are a couple of hacks to overcome this and one of the best is a very clever technique using food to protect food. Slice up lemons and place them on the heated grill before you place the fish on the grill. Using the lemon slices as a barrier also has the added bonus of adding a nice citrus flavor and helps to add moisture to a protein that quickly loses moisture through the grilling process.
9. SPRAY APPLE JUICE AS YOU GRILL
Using 100% apple juice during the cooking process will increase color, flavor, and tenderness of meat. Don’t overdo the spray and do it periodically and you’ll yield excellent results.
10. USE A TIN FOIL TENT FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS
We all know that letting meat rest allows the juices to circulate through the cooked meat making it tastier. Let meat rest for approximately 10 minutes under a loose foil tent and you’ll notice an even higher level of taste. Using a foil tent will keep the meat warm and moist and allow the cut to soak its juices evenly.
Check out Crown Verity’s website to learn more grilling techniques and to get some great grilling recipes for Spring and Summer! If you’d like more information, please reach out to Jimmy Velotas, our Crown Verity expert and Brand Champion.
Written by Jimmy Velotas