8 Top Tips for Masterful Summer Grilling

lassedesignen / Shutterstock.com

One of my favorite things about summer is enjoying our family meals hot off the grill. Not only do I love the flavor of barbecued foods, but I also love to hand off cooking responsibilities to my husband, the grill king.

If you’re looking for some tricks to take your outdoor grilling from fabulous to phenomenal, check out these 8 clever grilling hacks:

  • Use a chimney starter: A chimney starter makes starting a charcoal fire super easy. You need to “place crumpled paper in the bottom of the chimney, fill it with charcoal and light the paper,” explains Eating Well. “In about 20 minutes the coals will be ready to spread evenly in the bottom of the grill — no kindling, no lighter fluid, no perfect pyramid required.”
  • Use an onion to clean your grill: This sounds odd, but you can use an onion to get your grill nice and clean. Once your grill grates are really hot, you can jab a fork into an onion that’s been cut in half, then rub the onion face down on the grill until the grill’s grates are wiped clean of that black grime and gunk.
  • Get it hot: Eating Well recommends preheating your grill 15 to 25 minutes before you plan on cooking on it. For high heat, your grill should be at 400 to 450 degrees (Fahrenheit); medium-high is 350 to 400 degrees; medium heat is 250 to 300 degrees; and low heat is 250 to 300 degrees.
  • Oil it up: Lean foods can stick on a grill, even if it’s clean. To reduce sticking, you can soak a paper towel in vegetable oil and use it – holding it with tongs – to rub oil over the grill rack.
  • Marinate your meat: Not only does marinating your meat infuse it with lots of flavor, but according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, it also can help reduce potentially carcinogenic HCAs from forming on meat by as much as 92 to 99 percent.

  • Use bricks to flatten meat: If you’re looking for a way to weigh down Cornish hens, T-bone steaks, chicken or other meats, try using bricks wrapped in foil. It will help crisp up your meat’s skin and also give your meat grill lines.
  • Invest in a good meat thermometer: The Thermapen Mk4 ($99) and Classic Thermapen ($69-$79) by Thermoworks are the top rated instant-read thermometers by Cook’s Illustrated. We use the Classic Thermapen at our house (though my husband really wants to upgrade to the Mk4), and we love it. It’s quick, accurate and easy to use and clean. “A properly heated grill sears foods on contact, keeps the insides moist and helps prevent sticking,” Eating Well explains.
  • Make corn on the cob irresistible: The Chicago Tribune recommends barbecuing your corn on the cob, then using mayonnaise, chili powder, lime and cheese to really dress it up and wow your taste buds. We do this little trick often, and the result is absolutely mouthwateringly delicious.

Do you grill a lot? Share your grilling experiences and any tips below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

21 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On
21 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On

With some items, it makes sense to pay a little more rather than hopping on the lowest price.

5 Surveys For Money Sites To Get Paid For Your Opinion
5 Surveys For Money Sites To Get Paid For Your Opinion

Yes, you can earn extra cash by taking online surveys. But some websites are better than others for this. Here are a few of our favorites.

5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’
5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’

Here is why some seniors’ brains work as well as those of people who are decades younger.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

The 10 Worst States for Retirees in 2021
The 10 Worst States for Retirees in 2021

Based on factors like affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.