Whether it's a makeshift grate cleaner, a cost effective vegetable grilling basket, or a flavorful replacement for traditional skewers, Grillocracy's got 10 hacks to help step up your grilling game.
10 SIMPLE BBQ AND GRILLING HACKS
10. Use part of the charcoal bag and Canola cooking spray to light a chimney starter.
For a no fuss, no mess way to start your Kingsford briquets, Simply tear off a strip from the top of the charcoal bag, spray with oil, then place it under the chimney starter and light.
9. Use tinfoil and tongs to clean your grill grates.
Don't have a grate cleaner handy? Simple ball of a sheet of tinfoil, grasp it with a set of tongs, and start scrubbing away!
8. Use a folded paper towel and tongs to oil your grill grates.
Well oiled grates are essential to avoiding stuck food. Fill a small bowl with cooking oil, grasp 2-3 sheets of paper towel that have been balled up with tongs, dip in the oil, and wipe the grates.
7. Create a quick smoker box with foil.
There's no need to invest in a smoker box when you have tinfoil. Wrap a handful of smoking wood chips in a layer of foil (there is no need to soak them as they will burn slowly in the foil), poke 4-6 holes in the top of the packet, then set it on top of the preheated charcoal or on top of the gas grill's burners directly below the cooking grate and allow it to slowly smoke as you grill.
6. Make an inexpensive grilling basket or jalapeno rack with a disposable aluminum pan.
Unless you cook a lot of jalapeno poppers, a jalapeno rack is an unnecessary investment. Simply turn a disposable aluminum pan over and use a sharp knife to make a series of 1-inch by 1-inch Xs in the bottom of the pan. Push the bottom 1/3 of the peppers through each X so that they stand upright, then place on the grill to cook. For a makeshift vegetable grilling basket, simply poke a series of small holes in the bottom of another aluminum pan then fill with vegetables and grill away!
5. Turn lemongrass stalks, strips of sugarcane, or rosemary stems and leaves into flavorful skewers.
If you want to make kebabs but don't have skewers on hand (or simply want to add some additional flavor to the meat and vegetables), use rosemary, lemongrass or sugarcane to hold everything together.
4. Add flavor to fish and keep it from sticking by grilling it on citrus slices.
Fish can be tricky to cook on the grill, especially if it isn't a firm fish like tuna or swordfish. Avoid sticking while also imparting some great flavor by placing a single layer of sliced oranges, lemons and/or limes on the grill grate then cooking the fish directly on the citrus.
3. Create your own "signature" BBQ sauce using store bought sauce as a base.
Making your own BBQ sauce can not only be time consuming, it can cost a lot of money in ingredients as you try to get it just right. Instead, create a signature sauce by taking a bottle of mass market sauce like KC Masterpiece Original and add ingredients such as fruit juice, fruit jellies or jams, dried spices such as smoked paprika or chipotle, coffee, liquid butter (for richness), etc. Heat the sauce and allow it to reduce to the consistency you like then chill until ready to serve.
2. Create a flavorful basting brush with fresh herbs.
Planning on basting your meat with a flavorful liquid, butter or sauce but don't have brush? Simply take a few sprigs of fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, etc.) and tie them to the handle end of a large wooden or metal spoon with butcher's twine to create a flavorful mop.
1. Turn a cooler into a warmer for keeping large cuts of meat hot while waiting on your guests to arrive.
You've spent all night cooking a brisket or pork butt to perfection but your guests won't arrive for a few more hours. Convert an unused cooler into a warmer by placing a layer of towels on the bottom of the cooler, wrapping your meat in a double layer of foil and setting it on the towels, then adding a top layer of towels before closing the cooler. If undisturbed, the meat should stay nice and warm for up to 5 hours (though to play it safe, insert the probe from a remote thermometer in each meat before closing the lid and watch to make sure the internal temperature doesn't dip below 140 degrees).