Whether you and the family are just enjoying your outdoor kitchen this weekend or you’re hosting a summer soiree, it always helps to have some grilling tricks up your sleeve. From ways to simplify the overall process to making more of grill time, here are some of the best tips and hacks for summer grilling.
1. Marinate your meat in the morning.
Save yourself some time, and make grilling a summer staple, by eliminating some of the prep work. One of the reasons we put off firing up the grill is that we’re simply not prepared. If you marinate or brine your meat in the morning, you’ll be more likely to grill up dinner in your outdoor kitchen than if you try to start from scratch at 5PM.
2. Butter your dinner guests up.
The difference between an out-of-this-world burger and a great burger is the bun. Get a reputation for putting together some seriously superior hamburgers by buttering up your buns and letting them toast on the grill. Is your mouth watering yet?
3. You can grill more than you think.
Most of us have this idea of what is and isn’t proper grilling food. It’s time to throw what we know out and experiment with something new. Brie wrapped in foil or edamame for an appetizer, fire-roasted tomatoes for salsa, or bananas and pineapple for dessert. Don’t limit your grilling to chicken and burgers.
4. All you need is tongs.
If you’ve got more grilling tools in your outdoor kitchen than fireworks on the Fourth of July, this one is for you. Don’t overcomplicate the simple joy of a BBQ by bogging yourself down with unnecessary cooking accessories. Get yourself an extra long set of tongs that is sturdy and you can survive the summer without all the extra goodies.
5. Forget it, just skillet.
If you’re trying to arrange vegetables, shrimp, fruit and other smaller eats on the grill hoping they won’t fall in — just forget it. That is a waste of time (and food). There are plenty of easier ways to grill veggies and other small but flavorful bites. Want to know one of our favorites? Just put your skillet right on the grill. If you have a cast-iron skillet, you have a flame-tolerant, evenly heated, nonstick surface to grill on.
6. Boil before you grill.
If you want to grill but also want to get the job done fast, boil your meat before you throw it on the grill. Brine boiling is a lot simpler than it sounds. Here is what you need:
- A pot of boiling water
- One cup of sugar
- One cup of salt
- Peeled, smashed garlic
How long you boil your meat will depend on what you’re cooking. For example, chicken should boil about 20 minutes while beef ribs will need 40 minutes. After you’ve boiled the meat, throw it on the grill for a few minutes to achieve that smoky, delicious flavor.
7. Don’t cook for how many people you have, cook for how much food you want.
Another reason grilling can seem grueling is you take all of that time and effort and then only get four chicken breasts out of it. Make more of your time at the grill by cooking enough food for a second or third meal. From a chicken cobb salad for lunch the next day or tomorrow’s taco dinner, you’ll find a way to make good use of that extra meat.
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