Nothing exemplifies summer more than grilling your favorite foods and enjoying the company of friends and family at summertime parties. Grilling can be an easy way to prepare lots of different foods, so here are some great grill hacks to make your grilling experience even easier!
1. Easy Non-Stick Grill Prep
If you’re adventurous, there really isn’t much that can’t be cooked on the grill or over fire. One problem many people run into when cooking on the grill is that the food can stick if the grill hasn’t been prepared properly. Many stores carry cooking sprays that are made for the grill, but they are overpriced and don’t work any better than traditional cooking oil.
Applying cooking oil to a grill can be tricky, but we’ve made it super simple and inexpensive! You can purchase a plastic spray bottle for $1 at a dollar store. You can also purchase a large bottle of vegetable oil for less than a few dollars at most grocery stores. Fill the spray bottle with the vegetable oil and keep it handy near the grill for keeping your grates non-stick all summer long.
Not only will this hack keep your foods from sticking, this tip, along with a grill that’s heated to the right temp, will give your meats and other foods those perfect grill marks! You can also spray your clean grill down after cooking to keep your grates from rusting. This works much the same as seasoning a cast iron pan.
2. Zone Grilling
Sometimes when you are grilling for lots of people, you have lots of different tastes and preferences to satisfy. Whether you are grilling hot dogs for the kids and burgers for the adults, steaks rare to well done, or meat and veggies – if you’re cooking with charcoal, it is especially important to know how to bring the grill to at least two different temperature zones. Being able to grill food over different temperatures will allow you to be a true grill master!
If you are cooking on charcoal, you will want to spread more of your coals to one side, a bit heavier, and less coals a bit thinner on the other side of your grill. You can also allow the coals on one side to die down a bit more before you begin cooking over them. This is a little trickier than setting different temperature zones on a gas grill, where it is only a matter of turning a knob up and down.
Creating two different temperature zones is also a great way to keep certain grill foods warm while other foods continue to cook.
3. Easy-to-Husk Grilled Corn on the Cob
I am not sure that there is one particular food that says summertime more than corn on the cob! While it is delicious to eat, it’s usually not so much fun to husk. The process is time consuming, especially if you’re feeding lots of people. It’s also nearly impossible to remove all of the silk from the corn. This husking trick is one you can use when grilling or simply boiling. It is also comes in handy when you’re canning corn.
Simply place your ears of corn into a large stock pot with the stem ends up, husk and silk intact. Fill the pot with water and bring the water to a slow boil. Continue boiling the corn for 5-7 minutes.
Remove the corn from the water and place on preheated grill over medium to high heat until husks begin to brown, turning frequently.
When the corn husks have turned brown, remove them from the grill. Pull the husk apart at the tip of the cob and pull downward. All of the husk and silk will come loose and can easily be removed from the corn in one motion. No picking silk from the corn!
4. Serve Condiments and Toppings in an Oversized Muffin Tin
This is an easy, convenient, and cute way to serve all the toppings for burgers! Simply prep the lettuce, tomato, pickle and other toppings as you normally would. Fill the large cups of an oversized muffin tin with the toppings and condiments. This puts everything in one easy to transport, easy to serve and easy to clean serving piece. It’s colorful and appealing!
5. Know How Done Your Meat Is without Cutting into It
Earlier, you learned how to create temperature zones so you can prepare some steaks well done, some rare, and others medium. If you’re grilling for yourself, you may not care about cutting into your steak to see if it is medium or medium well. If you are grilling for guests or a crowd, you’ll need to learn how to tell if the meat is properly cooked without cutting into everyone’s steak.
Rare – Lightly touch your thumb to your pointer finger and the fingertip of your opposite pointer finger just below your thumb to feel the consistency. This is how a steak that is rare should feel to your fingertips.
Medium Rare – Touch your thumb to your middle finger to show you how a medium rare steak should feel.
Medium Well – Touching your thumb to your ring finger will feel similar to how a medium well steak should feel.
Well Done – A well done steak is similar to touching your thumb to your pinky.
There are a lot of great tips for making grilling easy. If you don’t want to spend money on expensive grill brushes for cleaning your grill, spray your grill down with white vinegar and use a ball of crumpled tin foil to scrub the grill down. Not sure what temperature your coals are at or if they are ready for grilling? Hold your hand approximately 6″ above the coals and slowly count to 3. If by 3, it’s too hot to handle the heat, your grill is ready!
For more grilling tips, check out the Red, White and BBQ Entertainment Guide today!