Wish you Could Grill Like an Expert?
Here are a few tricks to keep that backyard barbecue as beautiful and hassle-free as possible.
Clean Your Grill With An Onion
Believe it or not, an onion is a great way to clean your grill's grates of all that black grime.
Fire up the grill to get that grates super hot and stick a fork into half an onion. Then rub the onion facedown across the grill until all the gunk is wiped off.
Not only does the onion naturally kill the bacteria, it smells great when it hits the grill and it's a very green way to clean.
Light Your Grill With A Chimney Starter
The handy chimney starter is one of the best tools to have in your grill arsenal.
It evenly heats your charcoal (the superior way to grill, by the way) and gets the bricks extremely hot in a matter of minutes.
Or Use The Chimney As The Grill Itself
Even better, as Cooks Illustrated demonstrates, a chimney starter can be a perfect way to grill a steak.
Doritos Make Great Kindling
If you're in a bind and can't find any good dry fire starter, Doritos (or any kind of chips) make great kindling -- provided you have the fire to get them lit.
Use Bricks To Flatten Meat
Wrap a brick in foil and use it to weigh down chicken, cornish hens, T-bone steaks or most other meats as it will sear in the juices, give it crisp skin and embed those coveted grill lines.
Use Ice Cubes In Your Burgers
To keep your burgers crisp on the outside, yet moist inside, make your patties with a little ice cube in the middle of each.
(Best to make the patties right before you put them on the grill so the ice doesn't melt prematurely.)
Get Crazy With Herbs
Herbs and grills are soul mates. Skewer meats and fruit with rosemary (or cinnamon sticks) to infuse them with flavor from the inside out, and throw herbs and wood chips from different trees directly on the charcoal to play with your meat's flavor.
The Oregonian has a good list of herbs to use, adding the caveat that you should avoid anything that's been sprayed with pesticides.
Measure Your Propane With Water
Gas grillers would be smart to check the level of their propane tank before any big barbecue, just in case you might run out midway through.
This trick from Chow.com shows how water is a good indicator of how much propane is left in the tank.