10 Grilling Hacks To Show Off At Your Next Cookout
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The heat of summer is on, so it makes sense to move your culinary adventures outdoors. The next time you’re about to fire up your grill, try out some of these genius cookout hacks to show off a little to your family and friends. We’re pretty sure they’re going to be impressed!
1. Clean your grill with a halved onion for flavor (and safety!)
Did you know countless people have rushed to the hospital annually for ingesting shards from wire grill brushes? Yikes! Toss the bristle brush aside! Plus, onion adds flavor to your grillables.
2. Skewer multiple hot dogs and sausages for easy, one-time flipping.
Tired of your dogs and brats rolling around on the grill? Use two metal (or wooden) skewers for even grilling on both sides of the links. Just be sure to soak wooden skewers in water beforehand to prevent burning.
3. Prevent sticking with an oil-soaked paper towel.
Graze a paper towel or kitchen cloth dipped in oil over the grates of the grill (before lighting the grill!) for non-stick slats. This will help create those photo-worthy grill marks, too!
4. Zone your grill for multiple heat levels.
Create two different zones on your grill for direct and indirect heat. Just adjust the dials on a propane grill, or move the coals to one side (or the outer edges) for charcoal cookers. The direct heat will provide the charring effect on meats and vegetables, while the indirect heat will continue to cook the food’s interior.
5. Use your hand to test for doneness.
Truthfully, a meat thermometer will give you the most accurate reading of if meat is cooked to your liking, but, in a pinch, you can use your hand to gauge how done the protein is.
With a clean finger, press into the center of your meat. Compare this feeling to three different areas on your hand— the lower thumb, between thumb and palm, and the center of the palm. Do this by holding your hand out, relaxed, with the palm side up, and press with a finger from the opposite hand.
- If the meat feels like the lower thumb area, it’s likely rare.
- If it feels like the area between your thumb and palm, it’s likely medium.
- If it feels like the center of the palm, it’s likely well done.
6. Ignite coals with an egg carton.
According to Lifehacker, you can skip the lighter fluid and place charcoal briquettes inside the individual holders of a cardboard egg carton (do not use this hack with styrofoam or plastic cartons). Light the carton on fire, and the cardboard will burn off by the time the coals are fully lit.
7. Cook a frozen pizza on the grates.
Photo from Papa Murphy’s
Thanks to this tip from Papa Murphy’s, you can enjoy pizza night without the oven. Place a take-and-bake pizza on a sheet of foil (or a pizza stone) in the center of a hot grill. Rotating frequently, your pizza will cook for roughly 20-30 minutes and should be left to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
8. Check propane levels with water.
No one wants to run out of fuel mid grilling session. For an easy way to check propane levels, detach the tank from the grill and pour hot water over the side. Where the tank feels cold indicates the level of propane (warm areas indicates the portion of the tank that is just air).
9. Faux smoke your meats and veggies.
Love the rich flavor that comes with cooking on a smoker? You can achieve a similar effect by wrapping wood chips in an aluminum foil pouch, poking some holes in the foil to let the aroma through, and placing the packet underneath your grilling grates.
10. Add crushed ice to your burgers for juiciness.
Nobody likes a dry burger. Adding crushed ice to your ground beef helps keep your patties nice and juicy for the ultimate burger. You could also add cold cubes of salted butter for flavor and juiciness.