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Tips for the Best Home BBQ

One of the best parts of summer is the smell of dinner smoking on the grill. Burgers and hot dogs are a classic, but are you ready to take your grill master level from intermediate to expert? Here are some tips for the BEST home BBQ.

Lighter Fluid is Not a Good Flavor Addition

One of the perks of using a gas grill is how easy it is to light. But some recipes are just tastier when they’re cooked on a charcoal grill. If you have to douse your charcoal in half a bottle of lighter fluid before the fire really flames up, it’s probably going to affect the taste of your meal. There are a couple of easy tricks to avoid lighter fluid flavoring your food. 

  1. Don’t put food on the grill until all the flames are out. If you let the lighter fluid fully burn away, it won’t affect the flavor. When the charcoal is all ashy-white, you’re ready to cook. It’s okay if you see some glowing red on some of the coals, too.
  2. Light the fire with less fluid. When you stack the coals, you really only need a layer of lighter fluid near the bottom. If you stack a pyramid of coals and then douse the whole thing with lighter fluid, it might burn off before the charcoal at the bottom of the stack catches fire. Instead, spread out a layer of coals, add a little lighter fluid, and then stack the rest of the charcoal on top. Start the fire by lighting the fluid-soaked coals at the bottom. Not only will you use less lighter fluid, but your stack of coals should reach the ashy-white stage quicker. 
  3. Skip the lighter fluid altogether. A chimney starter is easy-to-use, inexpensive, and will efficiently get your charcoal ready to cook.

Amp Up the Flavor with Wood Chips

When you’re cooking meat, whatever type of grill you’re using, the addition of wood chips will make a big impact. Experiment to find the flavors you like best. Maple chips add a mild, almost sweet smoke flavor. Hickory adds a bold smoke flavor. Wood chips from fruit trees, like cherry and peach, add a sweet, smoky kick to poultry and pork.

BBQ All the Things

People often grill the meaty main course but cook the sides and dessert in the kitchen. We think you’re missing out! Smoky mushrooms, charred peppers, grilled zucchini … these are the flavors of summer. But don’t stop there. As long as your pan is cast iron or sturdy stainless steel (check the manufacturer’s instructions to be safe), you can use it to cook on the grill. This means you can add a smoky flavor to rice, polenta, quinoa, succotash… you name it!  And of course, don’t forget dessert. Grilled pineapple, peaches, or apples with a dollop of whipped cream will be a crowd-pleaser.

Excited to fire up the grill tonight? Follow these tips, think outside the burgers, and your family will soon be crowning you the reigning grill master! And if it’s time to upgrade your grill, come see us! One of our Weber® or Lynx® Grills is just what your outdoor space needs.