Nothing says summer like the mouthwatering smell of a flaming barbecue filled with delicious food. Are you ready for the season? CTFCU has 13 genius grilling hacks that will make your backyard the place to be this summer!

  1. 1. Use a muffin tray for condiments

This grilling season, skip the condiment chaos by keeping all your barbecue trimmings in one neat place: a muffin tray! The 12 sections of the tray are perfectly suited for housing your ketchup, mustard, relish, BBQ sauces, pickles, tomatoes, and any other toppings.  This is also a great way to house any basting sauces in use. With this method, guests will know exactly where to find everything they need, and best of all, there will only be one condiment serving dish to wash!

  1. 2. Clean with an onion

Grill cleanup is finally hassle-free with this hack! The next time you use your grill, clean it while it’s still hot. Slice an onion in half, and use it to scrub the drippings and other gunk off of the grates. It should come off easily. As a bonus, you’ll be giving the grill a tasty seasoning for your next barbecue.

  1. 3. Layer your grate for veggies

Grilled greens are delicious, but fishing out those slippery peppers and zucchini slices from the bottom of the grill isn’t all that fun. Use an old barbecue grate or purchase a spare one and place it across the existing grate before grilling vegetables. The grid should keep the veggies from slipping, while still giving a charred flavor. Be sure to pre-heat the extra grate along with the grill.

  1. 4. Vegetable parcels

If you prefer to cut your vegetables in chunks rather than slices, try this hack. Wrap the vegetables in foil and place it on the grill while you cook the entrees. After 10 minutes or so, you’ll have a delicious, healthy side dish!

  1. 5. Use two skewers

Kebabs are fun to eat, but turning them can be tricky. Make it easier with this tip! Double your skewers per kebab so individual pieces of meat or chicken don’t rotate on their own as you flip the entire kebab.  Also, remember to soak wood skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling!

  1. 6. Add a smoker to an electric grill

Purchasing a smoker for that sensational smoky flavor can be expensive. Turn your grill into a smoker by wrapping some wood chips in foil, poking holes in the parcel, and tossing it on top of the grill’s burner and underneath the grate. The wood chips will apply a hint of delicious smoked flavor to the food!

  1. 7. Check the propane before you start

For those with a gas grill, running out of propane while you are still cooking is a pain. Check the level in the tank with this hack: Tilt the tank a bit and use a coffee mug to pour boiling water on its side – but not on its top. Now feel the tank. The area where there is propane inside the tank will feel cool to the touch. When possible, always keep a spare propane tank handy just in case!

  1. 8. Smoke lemons

For an easy burst of flavor, halve lemons and grill them on low heat for a few minutes, peel-side down. The grill grate will pick up a terrific, citrusy flavor!

  1. 9. Spiral your hot dogs

Give your hot dogs a gourmet touch by cutting them into spirals. Skewer a hot dog and rotate it slowly as you cut it along its length. Spiraled hot dogs cook more evenly, giving you lots of places for holding condiments, and most importantly, look really cool!

  1. 10. Use a foil tent

To help the cooked meat retain its moisture and to distribute its juices evenly, let it rest under a loose foil tent for 10 minutes after cooking and before serving.

  1. 11. Get your grill flaming fast

To get the heat going, use a chimney starter with your charcoal grill. You’ll be rewarded with a flaming hot fire – and fast!

  1. 12. One tong

Don’t bother with an assortment of grilling tools. All you need is one extra-long pair of tongs. They’ll allow you to flip your food without poking holes in it (which also dries it out). They can also be used to shift the coals around and/or lift hot grates.

  1. 13. Use all the heat!

Grills will usually stay warm for a while after the cooking has been done. Don’t let that heat go to waste! Instead, place foods that need to stay warm on the grill, toast any hamburger or hotdog buns over the fire, or even throw on some foil-wrapped s’mores for a delectable dessert!

Warm weather means it’s time to get grilling! Whether you use charcoal, propane or electricity, we hope these hacks make your barbeque sizzle!

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