Grab your team’s jersey and fire up the grill—it’s football season, and no game day is complete without a full spread of grilled meat and vegetables. Whether you’re rusty on your grill skills or looking to impress your buddies with some new tricks, our grill hacks will punch up your game day experience by saving you time and effort while punching up the flavor of your favorite game day foods.
If you’ve already got the perfect grill for your tailgate, make sure to check your gas level before you start grilling. If you’re not sure how much gas you have, take hot water, tilt the propane tank slightly, and pour the water onto the side of the tank (NOT the top). Place your hand where you estimate the gas level to be, and if you find that it’s cool after the hot water was poured on it, then you’ve found the gas level in the tank.
Spiral cut your hot dogs using a skewer and a knife so that they grill evenly throughout. And rather than have a slew of condiments scattered across your tailgate table, use a muffin tin to separate and place condiments. Bonus – this also cuts down on the number of dishes you have to clean and the amount of waste from your tailgate. Got an empty six-pack? (Sure you do) Use this to hold and carry condiment bottles, napkins, and other essentials. Don’t forget the bottle opener.
Turn your grill into a smoker by placing a tin foil pouch filled with woodchips on top of one of your burners. Spraying apple juice on your meat as it grills or smokes will enhance the flavor appearance, and tenderness of the finished product.
For those of you who don’t use pre-formed patties for burger, A) good for you, and B) hiding a single ice cube in the patty is a great way to ensure that the inside of the burger stays moist while cooking. This trick works best if you are forming the patties immediately before placing them on the grill—that way, the ice cube doesn’t melt and soak the whole burger. To retain that moisture as well as heat, allow the meat to rest for ten minutes under a loose tent of aluminum foil.
Food on a stick just tastes better for some reason, and you can up your kebab game by using two skewers when grilling instead of just one; this prevents accidental rotation of the meat and vegetables while attempting to turn them on the grill, which cuts down the risk of uneven cooking.
Corn can be pretty difficult to husk after grilling. One way to soften the husk and make it easier to take off is to place the corn in a pot of water, stem ends up, with the husk and silk still intact. Bring the water to a slow boil, and leave the corn in the water for 5-7 minutes. Cook the corn on the grill, husk on, over medium heat until the husks turn brown. Take them off the grill and remove the husk down from the tip—the husk and silk should easily come off together.
While your grill is still hot, scrub it with the cut side of a freshly halved onion. Not only will the oils in the onion get rid of most of the residue left over on the grill, but they’ll also season the grill and add flavor for the next time it’s used.
Using these grill hacks, your tailgate or game-viewing party will crush the opposition and be a success—whether or not your team actually wins.