Backyard grilling is one of the best ways to celebrate the summer season. But you never want to spend your whole barbecue stuck behind a hot grill or running in and out of the house as you grab condiments and refills. Summertime parties are meant to be chill and low-stress.
Check out our best shortcuts for simplifying and streamlining your next grilling session. Because the grill master also deserves the chance to relax with a cold one!
1. Make Watermelon Sticks In A Flash
We love this hack from Simply Sated for making handheld watermelon sticks in a flash. Plus, this cutting method preserves a bit of the rind, making it easy to carry the spears without getting your fingers all sticky. Simply cut your melon down the middle, then place each half flesh-down on a cutting board. Slice 2-inch strips going one direction, then turn 90 degrees and slice 2-inch strips in the other direction. Voila! Watermelon sticks that are cheaper than the ones you’d buy at the grocery store and much easier to eat with your hands.
You can watch how it’s done in this video that The Watermelon Board tweeted out.
As a bonus watermelon hack, try this “watermelon tapping” technique. Scoop out most of a watermelon, add a refreshing drink, stick the tap in and suddenly there’s a cute watermelon-shaped drink dispenser at the party!
2. Use A Muffin Tin For Condiments
We love this idea for keeping condiments organized. Get a regular muffin tin (or an extra-large muffin tin if you’re having lots of guests over) and fill the wells of the tin with relish, onions, tomatoes, pickles or whatever else you may want for burger and hot dog fixings. This saves tabletop space because instead of having a zillion jars and bowls scattered about, you’ll just have the one muffin tin. Plus, you won’t have to deal with things blowing away or getting knocked over.
3. Keep Cold Dishes Cool In A Kiddie Pool Of Ice
No barbecue would be complete without fan-favorites like pasta salad, deviled eggs and seasonal fruit … but these things can quickly become gross from sitting out in the hot sun. That’s why we love this idea of using a baby pool filled with ice as a convenient way to keep multiple dishes cool and fresh, even during a summer heat wave.
Simply fill up a kiddie pool with a few bags of ice, then place the dishes you want to keep chilled on top of the ice. Just don’t be surprised if a few jokesters start putting ice down people’s shirts by the end of the party!
4. Serve Ice Cream Easily To Many Guests At Once
No summer party would be complete without ice cream. But who wants to deal with scooping out a million servings while kids (and adults, let’s be real!) demand their dessert right away? Luckily, with this genius ice cream serving hack from Kojo Designs, you can hand out dishes and nix the whining before it begins.
Simply pre-scoop ice cream into muffin tins (again with the muffin tins!) and pop the tins into the freezer. Then, when it’s time for dessert, pull out the tray and pop the servings into bowls. Guests can add their own sprinkles and whipped cream and go to town on their customized sweet treats!
5. Clean Your Grill With An Onion
If you’re anything like us, you dread scrubbing the grill after a barbecue. Here’s the good news: You can slash cleaning time by rubbing an onion on your grill while it’s still warm. Simply slice an onion in half and rub the cut side of the onion across the grill’s grates with force, using tongs or a fork. For stuck-on gunk, you can also spritz your grill with lemon juice or vinegar. The acidity will help clean off old grime without any nasty chemicals.
Oh, and here’s another handy use for veggies: Rub a sliced potato on the grill before cooking. The starches of the potato help to prevent all your grill goodies from sticking.
We love these all-natural solutions to common barbecue woes!