Grilling is a complicated art form, often requiring a lot of balance and precision to create the best flavors. Whether you’re someone who is an experienced cook or simply a newcomer looking to learn, it is important to always keep your approach fresh and learn about new techniques.
However, a lot of the useful grilling hacks won’t be found in cookbooks. For this reason, we’ve scoured the internet for hacks to make grilling easier and have compiled a list of our favorites.
Before we begin, it is important to note that all of these hacks should only be executed by an adult who is familiar with how to safely operate a grill. If you are not familiar with how to properly operate a grill, you risk causing injury to yourself and others around you.
Grilling Hacks for Better Flavor
Using advanced grilling techniques to focus in on flavor is one of the most efficient ways to bring your meals to the next level. An important term to know is “flavor creation,” the professional description of being creative with flavor profiles. In a similar way to a painter mixing paints to form new colors, you can use ingredients to take your food to new heights!
Here are a few grilling hacks to enhance your flavor creation process:
#1. Grill Food with Herbs
Using herbs while grilling is a great way to impart more complex flavors onto meat or vegetables. To know which herbs are best to use, though, it’s important to learn about burning temperatures. For example, cilantro and basil are not very effective for cooking due to their ability to burn easily.
In contrast, rosemary and thyme can sustain high temperatures and also add stronger flavors to your food over time. No matter which herbs you choose to grill with, you should always soak them in water before putting them on the grill. By soaking them beforehand, you’ll make sure that they don’t burn! If you can’t know the temperatures, you can use the food thermometer to help you.
In order to make sure that you are putting sufficient amounts of herbs on the grill, we recommend that you put a little bit more than you would estimate is necessary. Those looking to get a wide variety of flavors out of their herbs should be focused on creating a bed underneath the vegetables or meat.
#2. Grill Fish on a Bed of Lemons
In a similar way to grilling with herbs, putting your fish on a bed of lemons is a wonderful way to pump flavor into your food. It’s important to clarify that when we say lemons we are referring to slices of lemons (each one about one centimeter thick) and not putting whole lemons onto a grill.
Grilling fish on a bed of lemons also has a utilitarian aspect to it. For example, lemons will help keep your fish off of the grill itself and subsequently keep it from sticking. Not only will you create some delicious flavors in your grilling, but you will also make the process of grilling fish more convenient!
#3. Turn Your Grill into a Smoker
It’s no secret that everybody likes the flavor of smoke! After all, it is one of the most iconic elements of traditional barbeque. Not everyone has access to a smoker, though, making it difficult to incorporate that into your cooking.
However, if you have access to a grill, there are many ways in which you can use it as a smoker and achieve that classic barbeque flavor. If you want to learn more, we recommend checking out this guide from All Recipes on how to use your grill as a smoker.
#4. Use Ice Cubes or Butter for Juicy Burgers
It seems that everybody has their own technique for making burgers that are just as flavorful as they are tender. If you want to make your burgers especially tender and moist on the inside, we recommend putting a pad of butter or an ice cube on each patty. As the burgers cook, they will also retain the moisture from the butter or ice, causing them to not be too dry when the process is finished.
Grilling Hacks for Cleaning
Being able to stay consistent with your grilling means understanding how to properly clean your grill. If you are not diligent about the cleaning process, there is the possibility that the flavor of one meal will infiltrate the next thing you make! Many people might assume that cleaning your grill properly takes a lot of time and money, but there are actually quite affordable ways you can get the job done. Here are some tips for cleaning your grill:
#1. Clean Your Grill with a Ball of Aluminum
Aluminum is an incredibly strong metal, allowing you to really scrape surfaces clean. You don’t have to search far and wide to find aluminum for cleaning your grill, though! In fact, simply taking a bit of aluminium foil and folding it into a ball will do the trick. Because the aluminum is able to easily polish surfaces, you’ll be able to get all of the grime and residue off of your grill in no time. Aluminum also costs significantly less money than steel wool products, saving you more in the long run!
#2. Clean Your Grill with Onion
In the event that you don’t have any aluminum foil in your house, it is also possible to clean your grill with an onion. This method is less safe due to the fact that you have to have the grill hot while you’re doing it, but it can still be helpful if proper precautions are taken.
But how to clean with onion? That’s easy. Simply cut an onion in half, put it on a grilling fork and rub it on the grill to remove the residue! The onion will also make it easier for you to grill meat and vegetables without them sticking!
Grilling Hacks for Temperature Control
While grilling, it’s essential to know how hot your food is. This is one of the aspects of grilling that can’t necessarily be evaluated by looks or tastes, so you should be familiar with different hacks that help you control your grill’s temperature.
#1. Check the Propane Level in Your Grill Tank
In order to make sure that the heat of your grill does not decrease suddenly, you should check on the propane level in your grill tank. To do this hack, all you have to do is bring a cup of water to a boil and then dump it on the side of your propane tank. After this, check your tank for the moment where it goes cold. The cold means that it is filled with propane, so you can gauge how much propane there is in your tank based on which percentage of the tank feels cold!
#2. Create Hot Zones
This is the temperature control hack that is deceptively simple. All you have to do is divide your grill into two separate sections with one section being directly over the coals and the other not. By doing this, you will be able to have two temperatures going at the same time so you can have complete control over how fast your food cooks. This also makes it easier to multitask!
#3. Use a Digital Food Thermometer
Though you can use any of the aforementioned methods to regulate the temperature of your food, there is no way to know the exact temperature without using some type of digital food thermometer. Knowing the temperature of your food can often be the difference between something being cooked perfectly and the same food being overdone, so you should know the difference. Products such as the ThermoPro Food Thermometer make checking the temperature of your food an intuitive process!
At the end of the day, creating the best flavor profiles is a matter of personal preference. Even when you’re using these tasty grilling hacks, we recommend that you follow your personal instinct to decide what is best for your grilling. By doing this, you’ll be able to make sure that the food you are grilling tastes exactly the way that you want it to. We hope this guide has been helpful so that you can grill away with these clever grilling hacks!