10 Home BBQ Hacks on a Budget
We all know a dad that takes on the dictator-like role of the ‘Captain of the USS BBQ’ with a shockingly wholesome apron that he spotted last Winter and thought “that will surely be the funniest thing someone has ever worn” and has since been saving it all year for this very day, right? Maybe we’re oversharing a little on the specifics there… but you know who we mean! With these 10 home budget BBQ hacks, you may finally be able to disturb the waters as the captain sails the seven seas of smoking!
All you need is: A $10k smoker, a professional BBQ chef to hire for the day, and a BBQ license. Okay, have fun.
We’re joking, come back! Just follow these 10 budget hacks and you’ll be well on your way to BBQ heaven before you know it!
Hack #1: Natural Non-stick Grill
Cut a potato in half, poke a fork into the non-cut end, then rub the now exposed center across the grates of a hot grill. This creates a natural non-stick coating for your grill, without having to worry about burning the yard down with oil!
Hack #2: Natural Grill Cleaner
This time we’ve got the same steps, but with a new vegetable entering the arena! Cut a white onion in half, poke a fork into the non-cut end, then rub the now exposed center across the grates of the grill. The anti-bacterial properties within the onion will act as a disinfectant and help you fight against any gross bacteria, and see your grill through many shiny, chrome days to come!
Hack #3: Easy Gas Level Check
We all know that one guy that doesn’t check how much gas is left in the tank with a simple “ah forget about it”, leaving everyone but themselves to forget about it. Now, you can extinguish your cold food fears with this simple hack. Heat up a pot of water (it doesn’t have to be boiling – just hot, so be careful if it does boil!), then pour it down the side of the tank while it’s OFF & COOLED. Next, move the palm of your hand down the outside of the tank. The point where it changes from feeling hot to cold is where the gas starts – the gas will remain cold.
Hack #4 – DIY Fire Starter/Ignitor
Have you ever just come back from the store with your truck-load of BBQ goods to then realize you forgot the one thing you couldn’t do without… fire? Well don’t fret if it happens again, as you can use this quick hack to save the day. Take an empty egg box (make sure that it’s not polystyrene foam!) and fill each section with cotton balls. Then you can go ahead and close the box, and you’re done! Throw it on the coals and light it with a match from the corners.
Hack #5 – The Most Juicy Burgers
When your burger patties are on the grill, place an ice cube in the center of the patty (the size of the ice cube should depend on the size of the patty, so if yours are small, use half an ice cube for each). As the meat cooks, it will absorb the moisture from the ice and produce the most succulent burger you’ve ever had!
Hack #6 – Easy Heat Box
Does it bother you or your guests that the food you spent all day on has gone cold too quickly? Well, be bothered no more! Take two aluminum foil trays and place the cold items inside one of them. With the other, place it upside down on top of the other to create a foil box, then close the BBQ. Then, voila – you don’t have to worry about burning your food and instead you can bring it back to life!
Hack #7 – Consistently Juicy Skewers
Whether you’re meat-friendly or not, we all enjoy a delicious kebab skewer! Next time you make them, try this next hack. Submerge the skewers into a bowl/basin of water for 1 – 2 hours before you use them. That’s it. That’s the quickest way to having the most succulent skewers every time, without risking burned or dried ingredients!
Hack #8 – The Perfect Lemonade
Cut a few lemons in half, dip both ends (flesh-side down) into sugar, and grill them for 8 – 10mins until the sugar is caramelized. Then, collect your lemons and squeeze them into your beakers or pitcher with a healthy hand of ice and now you can enjoy the sun while feeling refreshed!
Hack #9 – Easy Homemade Smoker
Suspend your disbelief just a little longer, because it’s totally possible to get amazing results without the need of a professional smoker! You’ll need: an aluminum foil tray (maybe one from earlier – upcycling at its finest!), aluminum foil, and some hickory wood chips. Start by presoaking the chips in water for a couple of hours before using them. Once that’s done, put them into the aluminum tray, cover it with foil, then use a skewer/knife to poke holes in the top (for the smoke to escape). Then place the smoker on the grill and put the meat on a different rack above the smoker, and simply close the BBQ. Enjoy your gloriously smoked meats!
Hack #10 – The Magic Newspaper
Why should you have to scrub away for hours to clean the grill while everyone else is having fun? Now you won’t have to! Grab some newspaper and wrap around the dirty grill, covering both the top and bottom. Next, soak the newspaper and the grill in water and leave it to sit overnight. The ink and the moisture should remove all of the nasty grime that’s been built up!