Grilling is the best thing about summer. Don’t let haters tell you otherwise.
One, it revolves around food. Two, it revolves around food. Need I say more? But the fact of the matter is that I’m no Bobby Flay, and I screw up burgers more often than I make patties that are worthy of Food Network admiration.
If you’re a regular human being like me and you can’t get a handle on Flay’s wizardry, these tips and tricks will at least help you make something edible without setting your whole body on fire.
1. Grill citrus fruits for a few minutes to up the favor factor. They’re great for squeezing over the fish that you definitely didn’t mess up and get stuck to the grill!
2. No Pam? No problem. Warm the grill, cut an onion in half, and rub that over the grate to make sure your dinner doesn’t stick.
3. Stuff your spatula, tongs, and all the other stuff you never use but have anyway in an oven mitt and hang it on the grill for easy access.
4. Slay the camping cookout game by transporting charcoal in an empty egg carton.
5. Add sage on top of charcoal to keep bugs at bay, because screw bugs.
6. Cover your grill with tinfoil, warm it up, crumple the foil, and use it to scrub off stubborn messes.
7. Poach sausages for a few minutes to ensure that they stay tender and develop a char of epic proportions when it’s time to grill.
8. Because life is horrible, everyone at your cookout will request burgers in varying degrees of doneness. Keep your head on straight by labeling buns with ketchup while the patties are cooking.
9. Double up on skewers to keep your shrimp, veggies, and whatever else from spinning when you flip!
10. Use an aluminum bread pan, hickory chips, foil, and a skewer to create your own smoker for under a buck.
11. Seafood and lemons are a match made in heaven, but it’s no secret that grilling fish can be a pain. Slice lemons, lay them on the grill, and put the fish on top. The bed of fruit will keep it from sticking! GENIUS.
12. Make a shallow well in the middle of all those patties with your thumb and place them on the grill. Put a small ice cube in each well to help the burgers retain their shape and keep them nice and juicy.
13. Spiral cut your hot dogs to create awesome texture and give people the perfect pockets for condiments!
14. Don’t leave your vegetarian buds out. Have large portobello mushroom caps on hand so you can grill them up if need be. They’re great because guests can add all the same fixings to those as they would to regular burgers.
15. If your propane tank doesn’t have a gauge, use this clever hack to make sure you have enough juice to keep the barbecue going.
(via One Crazy House)
Sure, we might still be embarrassments to everything Bobby Flay stands for, but at least we’re trying! Which one of these tricks will you use first to impress your guests this summer?