Summer BBQ Hacks

posted: 07/08/16
by: Katie Morton
Summer Family BBQ
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Summer Family BBQ

What's easier than firing up the BBQ for a savory summer dinner? Summer cookouts and lazy sunny days just seem to be a match made in heaven. Check out our 7 BBQ hacks to make the simplest cooking method even better.

1. Egg Cartons

Blogger Karen Way of Sew Many Ways shows how to start a fire with egg cartons. This is perfect if you're traveling to a campsite, or for your outdoor fire pit. Note: For safety, use only cardboard egg cartons, not Styrofoam cartons.

2. Stick-Free Salmon Steaks

Salmon is delicious on the grill, but sometimes the flaky fish can stick to grill grates. Place slices of lemons under the filets--either right on the grill or on top of a piece of foil -- and your stickage will quickly become a problem of the past.

3. Hands Off!

BBQ pros agree that it's best to step back and let the grill do the work. One flip for each piece of meat is all you need. Flipping more often means that you lose some of that awesome meat juice. So relax and enjoy a cool beverage while the grill does what it does best.

4. Sauce Last, Not First

The less prep you do with your meat, the better it will turn out. That means hold off on any sauces until the meat is almost cooked. The reason: A lot of sauces and marinades have high sugar content and sugar burns easily. Putting sauce on at the last minute avoids an unpleasant char.

5. Pump the Brakes on the Salt

Just as you should wait until the very last minute to douse your meat with sauce, you should also hold off on the salt. Salt leaches the moisture out of the meat, which is not what you want before it's cooked. Reach for the salt grinder once the meat has cooked for a juicier cut.

6. Kid-Pleasing Curly Dogs

If you have kids, odds are good you have a package of hot dogs in the fridge. Take this summer basic up a notch by cutting your dogs into spirals. You'll create a fun food while also ensuring your favorite condiments stay on better. Chili, cheese, onions, mustard? Yes, please!

Check out Chowhound's video tutorial for an explanation of how to spiral cut the hot dogs.

7. Not a Meet Eater? Grill a Pineapple.

If meat on the barbeque isn't your thing, fret not. There's a wide variety of delicious treats you can grill--from pineapples and peaches to mushrooms and corn. For some inspiration, check out 11 Amazing Foods You Never Thought of Grilling.


Try out our summer BBQ hacks at your next cookout, and impress your guests with your outdoor chef expertise. Bon appetite!