The sun is out, we’re spending more time than ever in our gardens, so what better way to relax with loved ones than having a good old fashioned barbecue? We’ve put together a list of ten amazing barbecue hacks that even the most seasoned grilling expert will be surprised by…
1. Use Tortilla Chips to light up
So let’s get started and light up the barbecue… but wait, where has that lighter fluid gone? Never fear- it turns out a great (and fairly organic) way of lighting up your barbecue is to simply shake a few tortilla chips over your coals. Make sure they have a decent fat content as this is what is going to get things ignited, and get the party started!
2. Get those herbs on the charcoal itself
Next up on our list of awesome barbecue hacks, is a real time saver. Rather than arduously marinating your various cuts for the grill, a great way to infuse your meats with extra flavours is to simply chuck some fresh herbs directly on your coals. You’ll get a fab smoky flavour too!
3. Stop your meat from sticking
Just when you thought you’d heard of all its possible culinary uses, it turns out the trusty potato has another claim to fame… Simply cut a potato in half and rub it up and down your griddle before putting your meat down. The high levels of starch that the potato leaves behind will act as a barrier and stop anything sticking to the metal- genius!
4. The citrus-y secret to THE BEST grilled fish
Another member of the fruit and veg world that’s going to help you out on the grill, is the lemon. (Could this possibly be the tastiest of our barbecue hacks? We think so!) Simply place some lemon slices down on the barbecue underneath your fish and voila! Limes also work wonderfully, and either way you’re going to add a fabulous citrus-infused flavour to your meal.
5. Keep your wooden skewers in tip top condition
A firm favourite for most when hitting the barbecue selection is a delicious kebab… the only downside is those pesky wooden skewers often end up a burnt mess… but no longer! All you need to do is place your skewers in a dish of water for a couple of hours before making up your kebabs, and the water they soak up should help protect them from any fire damage. Best of all, rather than having to throw them all away at the end of the meal, you can now wash them up with the rest of your dinnerware and use them again for your next gathering. Alternatively, you could always invest in some more heavy duty metal skewers instead.
6. Double-up on your grilling tools
When it comes to barbecuing, it turns out that it is BOTH the size of your tool collection AND how you use them… Most of us already know that your essential grilling tools are a pair of tongs and a metal spatula, but it turns out that one of each is not enough! You will need at least two pairs of tongs; one for your meat, one for moving your coals, and potentially a third if you have any vegetarians attending who want their food to be kept separate. And the same goes for your spatulas- one for raw meat, one for cooked, and potentially a third for the non-meat eaters too.
7. Condiment space savers
It always seems inevitable that at every barbecue there is never enough room to fit everything out on the table. A great hack to save some space is to a use muffin tin to decant all your condiments and toppings into one handy holder. This is both a great space saver and means everyone can see exactly what is available to top their burgers and hot dogs with. What’s more, it will hopefully make the whole experience just that little bit more fun for any little ones you have at your gathering, and they might be more inclined to try something new because of it.
8. Keep your buns from getting a soggy bottom
As we all know, nobody likes a soggy bottom… of their burger bun. A great way to keep mushy bread at bay is to provide individual ramekins to put anything ‘runny’ in, like beans or coleslaw.
9. Barbecues aren’t just for mains…
Sometimes we all get a bit caught up in the main course element of a barbecue, but it’s also a great way of cooking up a delicious dessert too! A quick, simple (and relatively healthy) finale to your meal that you can throw together easily, is grilled bananas! Simply slice your banana skin down the middle, then poke some toppings like chocolate, marshmallows or jam in there and pop it on the griddle, complete with skin.
10. Half an onion is all you need for a brilliant grill clean-up
The party is at an end and it’s time to clear up… and we’ve saved possibly the best of our barbecue hacks til last! Once your grill has cooled, simply cut an onion in half and run it up and down the metal to scrub any food remnants off… what could be simpler?!
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