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    Jun 27, 2020

    15 Borderline Genius Tricks To Try At Your Next Summer Barbecue

    Your next cook-out just got a whole lot better.

    Summertime is basically synonymous with grilling so we put together a handful of tricks to upgrade your next cookout. From no-mess foil packet dinners to flame-grilled pizza, here are some grilling hacks you'll want to try ASAP.

    1. Shuck corn quickly with no mess by zapping it in the microwave. Then, toss it on the grill.

    Three ears of corn on the cob on the grill.
    Getty Images

    Cook your corn in the microwave for three minutes with the husks on. Then remove from the microwave and cut the bottom end off your corn on the cob (the side without the silk strands). Hold it upside down and the corn will slide right out of the husk.

    2. Add a dollop of sour cream or mayonnaise to your hamburger patties to keep them moist while grilling.

    Hamburger patties cooking on the grill.
    Getty Images

    It may sound weird, but adding a bit of mayo, sour cream, or even Greek yogurt into raw hamburger meat won't alter the flavor of your burger. It's easy to dry out hamburgers while grilling them, but this simple trick keeps your burger moist and delicious.

    3. Cook food in aluminum foil packets in order to eliminate mess and keep food moist and flavorful.

    Shrimp in scampi sauce with fresh parsley and lemon wedges in a foil packet.
    Skinny Taste / Via skinnytaste.com

    Wrap anything from steak or salmon to vegetables in little foil packets and cook them on the grill. Not only does it eliminate any cleanup, but it also keeps moisture in your meat and ensures tons of flavor. Get the recipe for garlic butter herb steak foil packets or shrimp scampi foil packets here.

    4. Place a cast iron-skillet directly on top of your grill to prevent mess and food falling through the grates.

    Chicken a cast iron skillet filled with bell peppers going on a grill.
    Getty Images

    The best thing about cast-iron is that it can withstand very high temperatures. Place your cast-iron skillet right on top of your grill to cook just about anything and say goodbye to pesky cleanup.

    5. Instead of beer can chicken, try grilling a whole chicken over canned wine or cider.

    A whole chicken propped up on a can of wine cooking on the grill.
    Vindulge / Via vindulge.com

    Beer can chicken is a clever way to cook some of the most juicy and flavorful poultry, but you can swap the canned beer for canned wine or cider for a similar result. Try using canned pinot gris or rosé to impart a slightly fruity flavor and a ton of juiciness to your chicken. Get the recipe for grilled wine can chicken here.

    6. To prevent fish from sticking to the grill, cook it on a bed of sliced citrus.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Your fish will have a little hint of citrus once it's cooked, but it will slide off the grill with zero mess.

    7. Or try coating fish in a tiny bit of mayonnaise to prevent sticking and flaking on the grill.

    Salmon steaks cooking on a grill.
    Getty Images

    Next time you're cooking anything from salmon to halibut on the barbecue, try using a small amount of mayonnaise. Mayo sticks to fish better than other fats, so not only does it prevent the fish from sticking to the grates, but it also imparts a delicious, subtle flavor and keeps fish delightfully flaky and tender once cooked.

    8. Clean the grates of your grill using an onion.

    A long grilling fork piercing a halved onion to clean the grates of a grill.
    Getty Images

    Cut an onion in half, pierce it with a long grilling fork, and use the flat side to rub down your heated grill grates. You'll see that the charred stains and leftover grime will disappear. Read more about how to clean your grill with an onion here.

    9. To make perfectly cooked hot dogs or bratwurst, spiralize them with a skewer.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

    Not only does the spiral trick help you grill an evenly charred, crispy-on-the-outside hot dog, but it also gives you more surface area to apply your condiments! Learn exactly how to spiralize your hog dogs, sausages, or bratwursts here.

    10. Use your grill as a pizza oven.

    A margarita pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil on a grill.
    Ambitious Kitchen / Via ambitiouskitchen.com

    Don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a pizza oven? Your grill is the perfect vessel to cook a perfect pie...even without a pizza stone. You'll want to oil a piece of parchment paper, add your pizza dough, then flip the dough onto the grill and carefully peel off the paper. Read all about how to make perfect grilled pizza here.

    11. Or try poaching your hot dogs before grilling them for a seriously juicy, perfectly seared creation.

    Hot dogs being poached in hot water in a sauce pan.
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    After poaching the hot dogs in boiling water, you'll only need to place them on the grill for a few seconds to achieve the ultimate sear. These pre-poached hot dogs are seriously juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

    12. Discover where the hot spots are on your grill by using sliced white bread.

    Four slices of toasted white bread in order or least toasted to burnt.
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    Place sliced white bread in a row to cover the grates of your grill and turn on the heat. Flip the bread after about 90 seconds and you'll see exactly where the hot and cool pockets are on your grill.

    13. To prevent your skewers from burning, soak them in water for 10 minutes before throwing your kebabs on the grill.

    Vegetable skewers with tomato, onion, zucchini, and pepper on the grill.
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    When the skewers burn it can give your food an unpleasant taste. Soak those skewers for a few minutes before making your kebabs to keep them from burning.

    14. Instead of spending money on a cast-iron grill press, use a brick for more evenly cooked meat.

    A plate of grilled bone-in pork chops with barbecue sauce.
    Getty Images

    Because of their shape, things like chicken thighs, pork chops, and steak can cook unevenly. If you don't have a cast-iron press or don't feel like spending the money, just wrap a brick in aluminum foil and place it on top of your meat as it grills. It will weigh the meat down and cook it evenly on all sides.

    15. Rather than using your grill only for savory dishes, try grilling fruit.

    Grilled peaches on a serving platter with cream and cinnamon crumble.
    Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com

    Fruit tastes delicious when it's grilled and you can use it to whip up a crowd-pleasing appetizer, fresh summer salad, or a sweet dessert. Pineapple, peaches, melon, and bananas are all great options for your next summer BBQ. Try making browned butter grilled peaches with cinnamon bread crumbs, grilled watermelon salad with feta and basil, or grilled pineapple with brown sugar and sea salt.