10 Hacks for the Perfect Summer BBQ

1. When the grill is still hot, wipe it down with an onion. The oils in the onion take care of all the grease.

2. Grill smarter. Keep one side of the grill at a lower temperature than the other side. Once you sear your meats, move them over to the cooler side of the grill so that they can finish cooking without burning.

3. If your day gives you lemons…smoke (or grill) them before squeezing them over your dish. Bonus: squeeze the lemons in a refreshing mixed drink—whiskey, anyone?—for an exciting twist to your summer cocktails.

4. Smoke without a smoker. Wrap wood chips in foil, poke a few holes, and then toss the entire package below the grate of an electric grill. Voila! No one will know the difference!

5. Know your propane level. Boil water, tilt the propane tank slightly, and pour the water onto the side of the tank. Wherever the tank remains cool after the hot water was poured on it—that’s the propane level.

6. Spritz some apple juice on your meat to improve tenderness, flavor, and color.

7. Marinade! Grilling meat at super high temperatures generates cancer-causing compounds. Marinating your meat in any simple sodium solution can cut down this compound production by 90%. Bonus: use antioxidant-rich spices like turmeric, rosemary, or cumin for an extra healthy boost.

8. Stash some booze! Liquor is an excellent addition to any base sauce when you’re grilling meat or fish. Keep half a cup of bourbon around; paired with a good BBQ sauce, it adds extra flavor to whatever’s cooking.

9. Don’t let anything slip through the cracks. For thin veggies like asparagus, skewer a bunch together for easy, slip-free grilling.

10. Keep your BBQ ant—and chemical—free. An easy food-friendly ant repellent: equal parts white vinegar and water. Cloves in limes also make great homemade, fresh-smelling Citronellas.

Get grilling without leaving your backyard