40 Grill Hacks That Will Help Fire Up The Grilling ExperienceBy Jo A
Grilling season is one of the most exciting times for many families. It helps to reel in the spirit of togetherness for friends and neighbors, creating a sense of comfort in the atmosphere. But what could even make it even more exceptional is knowing some unique grilling hacks that will make the process easier and give you a delightful experience. There is no doubt that some people are better cooks than others. This is apparent through the taste of their food. This is because they learned special cooking techniques that make their food stand out. And just like those mouth-watering barbecued meals you see on tv, you have the power to recreate them, too. So sit back and take notes while we enlighten you with 40 grilling hacks that will take your skills to the next level.
Don’t cut through immediately
Cutting through your meat straight off the grill is not the best idea. It’s scientifically proven that when the meat cooks, its muscles get firmer, and moisture is pushed to the surface, where it can eventually evaporate, even more so if you cut into it immediately.
This means that when you take it off the grill, the meat needs time to settle so that all the moisture and flavor can be redistributed back through the meat. If you cut through your meat at this stage, it may end up dry.
Try using Briquettes
Briquettes are compressed blocks of coal dust or other combustible biomass materials used as fuel for starting a fire. One major advantage briquettes have is that they contain additives to help them burn, unlike lump wood charcoal ones which do not.
These additives enable them to burn more consistently, maintain a steady temperature for an extended period of time, and also help to give you an even cook. In addition, it makes your grilling experience run smoother and less daunting.
Wait till it Turns Grey
You might become impatient when it comes to heating up the coals, especially when it is barbecue o’ clock. Waiting for your coals to heat up is slightly time-consuming and can give you a hard time as well if you have many mouths to feed.
The good news is that waiting for your coals to heat up is worth it in the end. When the coals turn grey with a bit of glow in them, it signifies that they are at maximum heat, which means you’ll have a smooth cooking all through.
Have the right tools
Having the right cooking tools on hand not only makes your work more accessible, but they also help you become a good chef if you learn how to use them properly. When it comes to grilling, various tools such as tongs, forks, foil, spatulas, and so on are used for different purposes.
Most professional chefs use two tongs when grilling- one to arrange the coals and one for the meat. You can also make use of two spatulas- one for raw meat and the other for cooked meat to make sure health precautions are in place.
Apply the Rub One Hour before Cooking
For optimal taste, you need to apply your rub or marinade to the meat at least an hour before you are ready to cook it. You can make a simple rub by mixing equal parts of pepper, salt, onion powder, and granulated garlic.
When you apply the rub to the meat one hour before cooking, it helps to allow the ingredients to sink into the meat, at least to a reasonable extent. In turn, this method will help make the meat tasty since it will have a rich flavor.
Simplicity is Key
Beef patties do not require many ingredients. Do not make them as you would for meatloaf, even if you want to get fancy. Only mold them to your desired shape and season them with a bit of salt and pepper if necessary.
This is because too much salt dissolves the protein and removes the moisture from the patty, which might make it dry. Also, ensure you make a thumbprint in the middle of your patty to prevent it from bulging up while cooking.
Add Wood Chips
If you look forward to that smoky flavor in barbecued meals, this hack will help you achieve it with minimal effort. Add some wood chips to your coal. The wood chips act as a fuel for the coal, and then smoke is produced to give you the flavor.
You can produce the smokiness you look forward to by performing this simple action. The only thing you need to be sure of is when to add your wood chips. Add them when the initial fire of your coal begins to die down.
Keep Some Marinade
Based on preference, some people marinate their meat overnight, while some do theirs for a couple of hours. Either way, you need to save some marinade so that you can use it to glaze your meat later on during the cooking process.
While you have your meat on the grill, you can now use the marinade you kept aside for glazing. Doing this helps give your meat more flavor and moisture. Nobody wants to chew on dry meat, and this is a simple way to avoid this.
Use an Onion Instead
Wire brushes are the most common tools many people use for cleaning our grills. Sadly, you shouldn’t use them for cleaning grills because wire brushes leave metal particles in your food, which can be very dangerous. However, we have a simple hack to avoid this.
Make use of an onion instead. It sounds crazy, but it works. Take an onion and slice it into two. Take one half and place it faced down on your grill. Stab the onion with a fork and then use it to scrub your grill.
Make use of Lump Wood Charcoal
It is a sure fact that briquettes cook more evenly and consistently, but what many people don’t know is that they contain additives and chemicals. Sometimes, food cooked with briquettes possesses a chemical taste due to these components.
Luckily, lump wood charcoal is a perfect alternative. It is natural, does not contain any chemicals, lights quickly, and burns hotter. In addition, lump wood charcoal provides your food with an original barbecue smoky flavor that will keep you coming back for me.
Take the Meat off before it’s done
Take off your meat from the grill a minute before you think it is ready. This is because the heat trapped inside the meat still continues to cook it even after you take it off from the grill. Remember the moisture we discussed earlier?
This practice is called carry-over cooking. It means that your meat will not get overcooked if you take it off the grill a couple of minutes before it is ready. As a result, you won’t have to worry about burnt, dry, or overcooked meat.
Charcoal Grill, Best Taste
Grilling with gas is so much easier for some people and can be very convenient. But on the other hand, it doesn’t contribute any smoky flavor to food; this is why people prefer charcoal even though it’s harder to work with.
So if you love to taste that authentic barbecue smoky flavor in your food, make sure to get your hands on a charcoal grill. Using one of these makes you confident that your food will end up extraordinary with that barbecue, smoky flavor everyone expects.
Flip your Meat Just Once
Sometimes while cooking, we tend to flip our meat more than once. Unfortunately, flipping the meat multiple times can make the core lose its juice. Some flavors are also lost when the meat loses its fluid, making it become slightly dry.
Only flip your meat once while cooking. When the meat is on the grill, allow one side to cook well before flipping it to the other side to cook. Doing this protects the essential juices in the meat and flavor.
Use Beer to Marinate
At times, trying something new can be beneficial, just like marinating meat with beer. According to research, beer is very effective in tenderizing meat and also helps to add a rich caramel-like flavor to your meat with minimal cooking time.
Beer contains enzymes that help break down fibers in meat, making it more tender and flavorsome. So, it won’t hurt trying this new cooking method. Marinate your meat with beer (add it to the other marinating ingredients) for an hour or more, and enjoy the delicious flavor
Place Ice Cube on your Meat
Prepare some ice cubes from your beef or chick broth, and place them on the top of your meat while it is on your grill. This method will help keep your meat moist throughout the cooking process on the grill.
You can also use other things apart from meat broth to make your ice cubes. For example, water, butter, or water with spices are also suitable ice cube materials for your meat. This method will ensure that the moisture stays intact.
Perfect Grill Marks
Not all food that looks attractive tastes good. With the help of these grill marks, it is sure to achieve both yummy-looking food and a great taste as well. Make one side of your meat point to the 10 o’clock mark.
After some minutes, rotate meat so that the same side points to the 2 o’clock mark. Next, flip your meat and repeat the same procedure. Grill marks contribute to properly cooked and crispy meat, which makes it look appetizing.
Use Two Skewers Instead
When cooking, using one skewer will prevent you from adequately tossing the food on the grill. Also, when you use only one skewer, it makes your food twist around when you flip it while it’s on the grill, causing it to cook unevenly.
That’s why it is best to use two skewers to handle your meat well and toss it properly to ensure you have a grip on the food. This way, the meat will not twist around; rather, it will stay in place and cook evenly.
A Muffin Tin Will Suffice
Different containers in the kitchen serve different purposes. For instance, the salt container is used to store salt, ketchup container for ketchup. You know what we’re trying to say. It can be stressful to open each of them one by one while you’re grilling.
However, the muffin tin has got you covered. You only need to place your ingredients in the tin. The tin has several slots that can contain as many condiments as you need, which saves you from the stress of opening containers while you’re busy grilling.
Defrost Steaks before Grilling
Take your meat out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you start grilling. It allows your meat to defrost and helps it reach room temperature, which is the best temperature to begin cooking the meat to ensure consistency.
Cooking steaks at room temperature enables them to cook to their optimal potential. So, whenever you are about to grill your steaks, always be sure that they are at room temperature, then you are ready to go ahead with the grilling.
Roast your Veggies
Put your veggies right on the hot coals to blacken the skin. You may be wondering why vegetables need roasting in the first place, but doing so gives you the best and most delicious-tasting smoky flavor that you can’t achieve in the oven.
Roasting vegetables brings out the authentic taste that is in them. As you chew them, there is an outburst of sweetness and flavor that spreads all over your tongue and makes you want more. They may be even more of a hit than the meat!
How to Check your Propane Level
Are you aware that you can be aware of your tank’s propane level in just a few simple steps? Here is how to go about it. First, pour a cup of boiling water on the side of your propane tank.
You will notice that the top of the tank will be hot, and the bottom will become cool. The difference between the hot and the cold parts will help you quickly determine the propane level in your tank in no time.
Add Mayo in the Mix
Moisture is an essential factor when it comes to meat, especially barbecued meat. Mayo acts as an excellent ingredient to help add moisture back into the meat. Add in a dollop of Mayo when mixing the raw meat and other ingredients.
Then mold it in the form of a patty and place it on the grill. While the meat cooks, you can assure that it will remain moist. If moisture is vital to you (which it should be when you are grilling), do not hesitate to try this out.
Keep Track of Orders Using Condiments
“Difficult” is the word to use when you work in a restaurant. Taking orders means preparing food in a particular way, whether that be more or less condiments and toppings or how the meat is cooked. It’s your job to keep track. So what is an easy way to keep up with the orders?
A good way of keeping track of all these demands is writing them on the bun with a desired condiment. For instance, if you have many orders of burgers, just write sparingly spiced, medium, well with mustard, etc., on the bun. This way, you’re sure you won’t mess up.
Keep your Pork Moist and Sweet
Do you want an extra sweetness added to your pork or meat to make it delicious? Fill up a spray bottle with apple juice and then spray it on the pork cuts. You can also use it for other kinds of meat.
The apple juice gives your pork a touch of sweetness and helps to keep it moist throughout the cooking process. It enhances the taste of the pork and provides it with extra juice. Try using apple juice when you’re ready to start grilling.
Easier and Better Method
You don’t have to worry about lighting up your coal or briquettes. This method will be easier for you. Pour some lighter fluid inside an egg carton and place your coal inside them. Then, use a lighter to set the egg carton on fire.
As the egg carton burns, your coal will light up as well. This is because the egg carton serves as fuel for the coal and makes it heat up easily. So lighting up your coals doesn’t have to be a hectic experience any longer.
Keep Fish Intact
When grilling fish, it tends to fall apart or break off into smaller pieces. To prevent this, use lemon slices to hold fillets in place. Lemons are very good at holding the fillets firmly while adding in some flavor, all while keeping them together.
Put enough lemons on the grill and place your fish on top of the lemons. As soon as it’s time to flip the fish, pick up the lemons and put it on the other side of the fish to keep them intact.
You Can Use Chips
If you do not like the idea of lighter fluids, then this next grill hack is undoubtedly for you. Believe it or not, chips are an alternative to lighter fluids. Use a lighter to light up your chips and place them on your charcoal.
In no time, the chips will eventually light up your charcoal. This method of lighting up coals is a good advantage because it reduces the use of lighter fuels. The chips serve as a source of energy for the coals since they have oil in them.
Foil wrapping paper is an excellent grilling material and method. Due to the kind of materials used to make the foil, it has the ability to conduct or trap heat which is distributed into the food and helps to grill it evenly.
Another advantage of foil papers is that they help keep food warm and lock in the moisture, thereby preventing the dish from being dry. Foil papers ensure that food is adequately cooked and prevents one part from getting brown before the others.
Get Fancy with your Hot Dog
Spiral cutting your hot dog helps them to cook better. Here’s how to achieve the spiral cut, in case you’re wondering. Skewer the hot dog and run a knife down it as you spin it to get a fancy-looking hot dog.
This spiral cut does not just help the hot dogs cook well, it but also makes them better and juicier. The only slightly different feature is that it is crispy, but at the same time, all the condiments stick to the meat better.
Let One Side of the Barbecue Have a Lower Temperature
Differentiate your grill into two sections or parts. Heat up coals on only one part of the grill and leave the other part empty. Then, use the hot region of the grill for the cooking process while the other half remains cooler.
Two minutes before the meat gets ready, take it off the hot part and place it on the cold part. The heat is already trapped in the core, which will cook it for the remaining few minutes and help the juices to settle.
Smoke Those Lemons
Another excellent way to add smoky flavor to your meals is by using smoked lemons. Take lemons and cut them into halves. Place the lemons facing down on your grill and leave them for a few minutes.
When the lemons have smoked up enough, take them off the grill and squeeze them on top of your dishes. The lemon flavor gives your meat a very subtle but unique taste and provides your food with a smoky flavor.
Use Electric Grill to Smoke Food
Despite the fact that charcoal grills are the best to use because of their original barbecue smoky flavor, some people still do not buy the idea of using them. Well, electric grills can give you a smoky effect as well if you know how to use them properly.
All you need to do is make a simple smoking pouch. You can make the pouch by wrapping some wood chips inside a foil envelope. Then, create holes in the pouch and place it beneath the grate on top of the top burner.
Do This When You Need Your Meat Right Away
A family member or some close friends could show up in your home to pay you a surprise visit, and it would be a great idea if you offer them good barbecued meat. Preparing the food really wouldn’t take as much time as you think, especially with this next hack.
A quick way to get your meat done is by cooking it most of the way through in the microwave. Then you can finish it up on the grill. Doing this saves you a whole lot of time and energy.
A Good Way to Keep Meat Warm
Exposing your meat after grilling can make the meat cool off quickly. Keeping your meat warm is very important because it helps it stay moist and allows its juice to settle well in it even when it is off the grill.
Put the meat under a foil tent. Take out a piece of aluminum foil that is big enough to cover the meat and place it loosely over the meat for about 10 minutes. It will help keep your meat warm.
Use Aluminum Foil to Clean Your Grill
In a bid to avoid using wire brushes to clean grills, aluminum foil serves as a good tool for cleaning grills. First, cut out a piece heft piece and squeeze it up to form a ball. Make sure it is thick enough so it won’t rip.
Use this ball to scrub your grill. This aluminum foil paper cleans away the gunk present on the grill. It is easy to do, and at the same time, it is also a safe and easy method to use for cleaning grills.
Poach Before Grilling
Sausages will turn out better if you poach them before cooking them on the grill. This is because poaching your sausages makes them juicy and brings out the flavor more. Also, it will help them cook evenly while on the grill.
Apart from making the sausages juicy, poaching also enables them to get rid of unwanted fat. Of course, you want your sausages to be juicy and delicious, which means next time you grill sausage, be sure to poach them before grilling.
Make Dessert on the Grill
Grilling does not have to be boring; you can express yourself, get creative and try out some pretty creative dishes right there on your grill. For example, this one we are about to show you is a banana dessert that tastes delicious when grilled.
The dessert comprises grilled banana and other delightful ingredients such as marshmallows, all placed in a banana peel. The biscuit enables you to scoop those fantastic flavors into your mouth. Try out this dessert once you are done eating your meal.
Don’t Burn Those Buns
Burnt buns do not make your food enjoyable. A way to avoid burning the buns is by keeping them toasty. You can do this by picking up a separate rack to use only for warming them. Get a few cans and a rack.
Place the few cans on the top of your grill and put the rack on top of the cans. Then, you can place your buns on the top of your rack. Doing this prevents the buns from getting burnt while toasting them at the same time.
Brine and Boil your Meat
The heat from the grill can make you feel uncomfortable, especially when you have to stand over it for an extended period of time. This can make grilling stressful when it should be enjoyable. Fortunately, there is a hack to helo you avoid such inconvenience.
Brine and boil the meat before cooking them on the grill. Doing this helps slightly cook the meat and makes it easier to grill. Boiling your meat before grilling makes you spend less time over the grill, which makes the experience more comfortable.
Put the Cheese on the Grill
Putting cheese on the grill is an exceptional hack. Simply put a cheese that has a rind on it on your grill. When the cheese has stayed on the grill for some time, take it off and use a knife to cut through it.
You will notice that the inside of the cheese will be very gooey, all thanks to the grill. This nature of the grill makes a good dip for your bread or any food you prefer to dip in it.