12 Genius Grilling Tips and Tricks You Never Thought Of

buttered corn

These ideas will add flavor to your summer meals and make the process of preparing them so easy.

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grilled spatchcocked chicken

Grilling is fun and freeing. You can escape the kitchen and explore different foods and recipes to add to your usual dinner repertoire. And, as we all know, it's a great way to entertain. Whether you need some new inspiration for grilling or some handy tricks to take your skills to the next level, we are here for you.

Let's start with cheese; while a cheese board can be a wonderful way to start (or end) a meal, have you ever thought about grilling a cheese? Not a grilled cheese sandwich, but rather a whole grilled cheese like a Camembert. Grill slices of baguette at the same time and you've got an impressive and tasty appetizer everyone will enjoy.

Grilled fish is delicious, but it's more delicate than a steak or chops, which means it's more likely to break if it sticks to the grill. Our inspired workaround is to grill fish on top of slices of citrus which prevent sticking and also add flavor. As for grilled chicken, we're advocating for cooking a whole bird at once, but using the spatchcocking method, as pictured here, so that it cooks faster and more evenly. Have you only ever spatchcocked a chicken before roasting, not grilling? Then it's important to note that the technique works just as well on the grill as it does in the over. What about meat? We know that grilling larger pieces of meat can be time consuming, and that's why we recommend brine boiling ribs or chicken legs before they hit the grill. It adds flavor and cuts down on cook time.

Our tips and helpful hints also include advice on cleaning the grill and why we think it's time you start to grill dessert and even breakfast.

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Grilled Cheese—Literally

Raymond Hom

It may seem counterintuitive to put a wheel of cheese directly on the grill, but just wait until everyone dives into the luscious pool of smoky, gooey Camembert scooped up with grilled baguette slices.

This hors d'oeuvre gives a whole new meaning to the term "grilled cheese." Choose a wheel of cheese with a thick rind and an inside that's soft but not runny, such as Camembert. Brush rind with olive oil, and grill cheese directly on oiled grates over indirect heat until warmed, about two minutes per side. Serve immediately with grilled baguette slices.

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Grill Fish Over Citrus Slices


Strewing citrus slices over a grill keeps fish from sticking to the rack and infuses it with flavor at the same time. Slice oranges, lemons, and limes about 1/4 inch thick, then spread the fruit generously over a hot grill.

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Flavor Packets

buttered corn

Grilling vegetables in foil packets seals in moisture for tasty, tender sides hot off the grill. Unlike grilling directly on the grates, the vegetables are steaming inside the package so don't expect to see grill marks. Try this technique for corn, small potatoes, or mushrooms.

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Elevate Your Buns


A good bun is more than just an edible meat holder. Prepared with love, it will take your burger or dog to the next level. Simply spread that bread with a generous layer of softened butter and lay it on the grill to get browned and a little crispy on the edges before piling on the toppings.

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Invest in Quality Tongs


An extra-long pair of tongs are (almost) the only grilling tool you need. Not only do they allow you to easily maneuver food over the fire without singeing off your arm hair, but you can use them to lift up hot grates and move around glowing coals to create a perfect two-tier fire.

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Brine Boil to Save Time

Jason Varney

In the mood for tender grilled ribs or chicken legs but not in the mood to stand over the grill for hours? Instead, speed up the cooking time by boiling the meat in sweet-salty-garlicky brine. Then, just grill for a few minutes to give your food a smoky char. See our step-by-step guide for how to brine boil.

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Plan for Leftovers

Marcus Nilsson

Once the grill is lit, don't waste a bit of that precious smoke and sizzle. Grill some food for tomorrow, too. Nobody will complain about leftovers when they take the form of a grilled chicken burrito bowl for lunch or a dinner of steak quesadillas or salmon Niçoise salad.

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Grill with a Skillet

Tara Donne

Cast-iron skillets are perfect for cooking over the fire. They can withstand the flames, they hold and distribute heat beautifully, and a properly seasoned skillet is nonstick, too. This is an ideal way to cook vegetables, especially potatoes, so they don't fall through the grill, as well as delicate items such as fish, like the trout shown here.

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S'mores, No Campfire Needed


Keep the grill hot while you eat dinner, then warm up graham crackers and chocolate and get the marshmallows melty for tasty, smoky s'mores.

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Easy Cleaning


As soon as the last burger comes off the grill, clean those grates while they're still warm. Simply wad up a ball of aluminum foil, grab it with your grilling tongs, and rub it across the grill. The burnt-on food will slide right off.

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Fire Up Your Mornings

Campfire Fried Eggs with Potato-and-Bacon Hash
Tara Donne

The grill isn't just for preparing dinner. Try cooking your breakfast (or brunch) over the flames. Sizzle up a skillet full of potato-and-bacon hash and eggs, or grill some homemade sausage patties alongside some skillet honey cornbread.

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