Step Your Grill Game Up!
Whether you're having a huge cookout or simply making dinner for the family, we’re providing you with some creative and clever tips that will improve your grilling—and maybe even make you ask yourself why you didn’t think of them first.
Dressed to Grill
Grilling requires a lot of equipment. To keep everything at the ready and easy to find, and keep your hands free at the same time, you can wear a carpenter's tool belt. Slip everything from grill brushes to timer and thermometer into it.
Sharpen Your Own Skewers
While we prefer metal skewers, you can pinch hit by turning to the collection of wooden takeout chopsticks lingering in your kitchen drawer: Transform them into sturdy skewers for meat or veggies by honing one end with a pencil sharpener.
Making a sweet, sticky glaze? Honey, molasses, corn syrup and other sticky fluid ingredients can stubbornly cling to the inside of a measuring cup. To vanquish sticking woes, spray the inside of the measuring cup with vegetable oil spray. The nonstick coating helps sticky ingredients release quickly and cleanly.
Tagging with Toothpicks
When grilling for a crowd, you need a way to tell well-done burgers from medium-rare at a glance. Try assigning each level of doneness a particular number of toothpicks (e.g., one for medium-rare, two for medium, three for well-done) and pegging the proper marker into the patties as they come off the fire.
Double Duty Dishes
Keep your food safe and clean while still saving yourself from having to wash any extra dishes by reusing the same platter to hold meat before and after cooking. Simply cover the dish with plastic wrap or foil before putting the meat on it. Remove the protective layer after all the meat is in the pan or on the grill and voilà—you have a clean platter ready for the cooked food.
Salt Isn’t Just for Seasoning
Cleaning a basting brush can be risky business, with lots of goo and grease clinging stubbornly to its bristles—and the brush just gets worse with every use. Try this clever technique to ensure a thorough cleaning job. After washing the dirty brushes with liquid dish soap and very hot water, rinsing them well, and shaking them dry, place the brushes, bristles pointing down, in a cup and fill the cup with coarse salt until the bristles are covered. The salt draws moisture out of the bristles and keeps them dry and fresh between uses.
When serving condiments at your next backyard barbecue, use a jumbo muffin tin to contain condiments like ketchup, mustard, relish, chopped onion, jalapeños and pickles. The toppings stay together and you have only one container to clean at the end of the party.
Squeaky-Clean Squeeze Tops
Squeeze bottle tops can get caked with ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. Save the cleaned tops from empty bottles and store. When the top of a new bottle gets dirty, unscrew it, throw it in the dishwasher, and replace with a clean one.
Keep it Seasonal
In season produce is not only less expensive to purchase, but it also tastes better. Try incorporating seasonal items into your menu and see if you can find a way make them more than just a side dish. We recommend picking your favorite in-season vegetables and finding ways to substitute them for something you'd usually use as the star of your cookout....think cauliflower steaks, mushroom patties, and more— the possibilities are endless.