We’re always looking for a good “hack”, a simple trick that makes life easier. This time of year, grilling is our preferred cooking method, and we’ve discovered some nifty ways to master the art – and look cool in the process! Here are 5 favorites we’re using all the time this summer:
Hack #1: Brine Time
We’re big fans of brining and marinating but because they require, at minimum, an hour-long soak we tend to reserve the technique for weekends. But no more! Instead we put the meat in the brine or marinade before we leave for the office in the morning, pop it in the fridge, and then pull the meat out when we get home. Then it’s just grill as usual! Easy!
Hack #2: No-Stick Grilled Fish
Because fish is so lean, it tends to stick to the grill grates. A well-oiled, well-preheated grill helps, but we’ve got a great fix that adds flavor too: Arrange ½-inch-thick slices of lemons or oranges (or a combo) on the grates, close to each other to create a “bed”. Lay the fish filets or steaks on top of the citrus and cook as usual.
Hack #3: Skillet for the Save!
There’s no reason to relegate your cast iron skillet to the kitchen – it’s right at home on the grill, too, and is perfect for grilling vegetables like asparagus, pepper strips, and mushrooms which are prone to falling through the grates. It’s also great for grilling delicate things like whole fish. When using cast iron on the grill, heavy-duty oven mitts or potholders are a must for moving the skillet from the grill.
Hack #4: No Grill Brush? No Problem!
Before you shut the grill down after cooking, crumple a piece of foil into a ball, hold the ball with a pair of tongs, and brush it over the grates. This loosens any stuck-on bits that might be on the grill and leaves you with a clean surface that’s ready to go then next time you cook. Anything stuck to the grill will come off much more easily if it’s hot.
Hack #5: Two Skewers are Better Than One
When making kabobs, use 2 skewers instead of 1 – this prevents the chunks of meat and vegetables from spinning around on the skewer when they’re turned on the grill. And don’t forget to soak the skewers for at least 30 min. before assembling the kabobs. That way they won’t be as likely to catch fire (but you still need to keep an eye on them!).
Remember these tricks the next time you fire up the grill, and if you’re looking for a little recipe inspiration, check out this collection of flame-flavored favorites!