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Summer has arrived and it is time to roll out your grills and start making some amazing meals for your family.  Read on – I have compiled some hacks and tips to help you with this task.

   Check your Propane Level

Pour a cup of hot water down the side of the tank.  Because propane absorbs heat, feel the tank, sensing the point that there is a change from hot to cold.  This will be your propane level.

    Clean the Grill

Crumble up a piece of aluminum foil and use it to scour the grill – works great!!!




 Hacks for Starting the Grill

According to Karen Way on her blog Sew Many Ways, place charcoal in an egg carton to start the fire.  It works really well for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.  Make sure you use a paper or cardboard carton, not styrofoam.

If you have run out of charcoal lighter, open a bag of chips (any kind will do) and place it on the coals and light it up.

    Keep Food from Sticking to the Grill

 Lightly rub meats and vegetables with oil.

 Cut slices of lemon or onion and place directly on the grill.  Meat or fish can be placed on top and will not stick.  The lemon and onion will also add flavor to whatever you are grilling.

Consider brining.  According to Chef Brian Voltaggio of Top Chef fame, this will keep fish from falling apart while grilling. Just mix 1 tablespoonful of salt with 4 cups of water and soak the fish in the mixture for 10 minutes, pat dry and toss on the grill.

     Be Sure to Use the Residual Heat

 Burgers and dogs can be kept warm on the grill after it is turned off.

 Cover the cooking grate with foil and make S’mores and other desserts.

     Use the Grill as a Pizza Oven

Place your pizza stone on high heat for at least 30 minutes, and use it to cook the pizza.

     Add Ice to your Burgers

Make a small indention in your uncooked burger and bury a small ice cube to make them extra juicy.

     Use Fresh Herbs for Aroma and Flavor

Place whole cloves in lemon halves and place them around the grilling area to repel flies and other pests.


Throw a bundle of fresh sage on to the coals after grilling.  The smoke and aroma will help to keep mosquitos away.

Add fresh herbs to the water when soaking wooden skewers to add flavor.


      Adding Smoke to a Gas Grill

 Soak wood chips in water for 15-20 minutes, drain and place in an aluminum foil pouch.  Poke holes in the top of the pouch and place on the grill to get some gentle smoky flavor in your food.  Good choices are cherry and apple wood chips.

Use Wood Planks for Extra Flavor

 Wood planks have been traditionally used to grill fish, but they can also add wonderful flavor to vegetables and firm cheeses like brie. 

Keep your Food Safe

Fill a kiddie pool with ice and arrange food on top to keep the temperature cool and safe in the summer heat.

And most important of all – HAVE FUN!!!