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Ten Simple BBQ and Grilling Hacks for your summer cookout

Grilling tips to help your summer cookout.

Grilling season is in full swing and in an effort to help our residents and guests take their outdoor cooking to a new level, we’re offering up “10 Simple BBQ and Grilling Hacks” as developed by grillmaster Clint Cantwell.

10. Use part of the charcoal bag and Canola cooking spray to light a chimney starter. For a no fuss, no mess way to start your Kingsford briquets, simply tear off a strip from the top of the charcoal bag, spray with oil, then place it under the chimney starter and light.

9. Use tin foil and tongs to clean your grill grates. Don’t have a grate cleaner handy? Simply ball up a sheet of tin foil, grasp it with a set of tongs, and start scrubbing away!

8. Use a folded paper towel and tongs to oil your grill grates. Fill a small bowl with cooking oil, grasp 2-3 sheets of paper towels that have been balled up with tongs, dip in the oil, and wipe the grates.

7. Create a quick smoker box with foil. Wrap a handful of smoking wood chips in a layer of foil, poke 4-6 holes in the top of the packet, then set it on top of the preheated charcoal or on top of the gas grill’s burners directly below the cooking grate and allow it to slowly smoke as you grill.

6. Make an inexpensive grilling basket or jalapeno rack. Simply turn a disposable aluminum pan over and use a sharp knife to make a series of 1-inch by 1-inch Xs in the bottom of the pan. Push the bottom 1/3 of the peppers through each X so that they stand upright, then place on the grill to cook. For a makeshift vegetable grilling basket, poke a series of small holes in the bottom of another aluminum pan then fill with vegetables and grill away!

Read our blog for more tips on grilling5. Create flavorful grilling skewers. If you want to make kebabs but don’t have skewers on hand (or simply want to add some additional flavor to the meat and vegetables), use rosemary, lemongrass or sugarcane to hold everything together.

4. Add flavor to fish and keep it from sticking by grilling it on citrus slices. Fish can be tricky to cook on the grill, especially if it isn’t a firm fish like tuna or swordfish. Avoid sticking while also imparting some great flavor by placing a single layer of sliced oranges, lemons, and/or limes on the grill grate then cooking the fish directly on the citrus.

3. Create your own “signature” BBQ sauce using store-bought sauce as a base. Take a bottle of mass-market sauce like KC Masterpiece Original and add ingredients such as fruit juice, fruit jellies or jams, dried spices such as smoked paprika or chipotle, coffee, liquid butter (for richness), etc. Heat the sauce and allow it to reduce to the consistency you like then chill until ready to serve.

2. Create a flavorful basting brush with fresh herbs. Simply take a few sprigs of fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, etc.) and tie them to the handle end of a large wooden or metal spoon with butcher’s twine to create a flavorful mop.

1. Turn a cooler into a warmer for keeping large cuts of meat hot while waiting on your guests to arrive. Wrap your meat in a double layer of foil and set it on a towel at the bottom of a cooler. Add a top layer of towels then close the cooler. If undisturbed, the meat should stay nice and warm for up to 5 hours.

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