Hosting a BBQ party is a lot of work. You have all the pressure of throwing a fun party, with the addition of being responsible for the food. Wowing your guests can take your party to the next level. That doesn’t mean breaking the bank, or spending hours at the grill. You can wow guests with a little ingenuity and the grilling hacks.
Below are 27 grilling hacks to wow guests and be the ultimate host. Be sure to read the article as it goes into detail about each step.
Be a Good Host
Nothing will impress better than being a welcoming and friendly host. If you are inviting people with dietary restrictions be sure to include them in the food options. If you are expecting a varied guest list then the food should reflect that. Also, know that a good host goes beyond the food. You need to have your party adequately stocked, cups, drinks, silverware, and napkins.
Thinking and planning ahead and relieve some of the host stress you will be facing. Don’t leave all your shopping for the last minute. A well-planned party will go smoother than one thrown together last minute.
Another good tip to be a good host is to decorate! You can use stuff around the house to spruce up your party. One of my go-to decors is menus. I will usually place an old chalkboard with some silly doodles on it, along with the food options for the day. Simple decor can turn your party into an event to remember.
This isn’t really a hack as much as it’s a tip. Get a head count. Even if you use all these hacks, if you fail to know how many people will show up you will be left ill-prepared. Your party will suffer, no matter how much work you try to make it special. Know an estimate of people attending.
If I you plan to use these hacks to impress you better plan ahead. Be sure to purchase all the necessary tools, ingredients and nicknacks before beginning to grill.
You should also plan your cooking times, as you must be prepared. A lot of these hacks require ample planning.
Making sure everything is prepped and ready should save you a lot of stress. Be sure to prepare all your ingredients prior to grilling. Trim, cut, marinate, all before you start the heat.
Make sure to clean your grill, make sure you have gas, and that you have everything. Even with the addition of these hacks a lack of planning can ruin everything.
Practice Some of These Grilling Hacks Beforehand
It’s very easy to execute some of these hacks. Though I suggest you practice anything you plan to try. It is no use trying to impress guests only to fail on your first attempt. Let’s be honest first attempts are reserved for failure or for improvement as I like to say.
Don’t be shy! Practice what you plan to use prior to the party. This will give you some insight into any issues that might arise as you are grilling. Nothing helps more than knowing what might happen prior to it happening.
Don’t let your failure slow down your party. If you fail to practice you fail to prepare. A perfect example would be a blooming onion. It is very easy to prepare a grilled blooming onion. Unlike its’ fried counterpart, it doesn’t have an extreme crunch. Yet it does have a lot of good qualities. The cuts required to open the onion without slicing through the onion, need some practice.
I would suggest that you practice any of the hacks you plan to use prior to your party.
27 Grilling hacks Sure to Impress
1. Spiral Cut Hot Dogs
A very easy tip, insert a skewer into the middle of the hot dog. Cut the dog spirally and grill. It opens the dogs up and crisps parts that are usually just mush.
2. Use Ingenious condiment holders
Having condiment bottles is the norm. Spice up your party by placing your condiments into cool containers, muffin tins, jars, anything to add some life to your condiments.
3. Design Decor
Trust me! Adding some good decor to your space can elevate your party. A few tablecloths, a few lights, and bam! Your party is now next level, watercooler material!
4. Add Butter to Meats
If you are scared of your meats drying out, you can either hope for the best or add a quick fix! Either some ice chips or a nice hunk of butter right on top of your cooking meats.
The fat and liquid will keep the meat moist. If you use butter it also infuses flavor into the meat!
5. Boil Meats Prior to Cooking
Boiling the meat does not do it any justice. If you plan to grill the cooked meats it will add a ton of flavor, as well as shortening the cooking times. If it is an extremely hot day those few minutes not cooking can really be a lifesaver.
6. Use Pans You Already Have
If you are one of the people without a Cast Iron pan, I suggest you invest in one. I Love my pan, I use it to bake, saute, broil, smoke, steam, and grill. It can really help cooking more delicate foods, as it holds the heat and distributes it easily.
Foods such as Salmon, or other light fishes. The skin will crisp nicely, but the fish won’t fall apart.
7. Grill Lemons
If you are making a lemon infused dish, Grill some of the leftover lemons. It is a very eye-catching garnish, that some people do enjoy to eat.
8. Use a Heating Rack
If you have a cooling rack and some empty metal cans, you have a heating rack. Heating racks are perfect for buns and bread.
Place the cans on the grate, and the cooling rack on top of the cans. Now you have a cooling rack. The elevated buns are at a lower risk of burning. A warm Bun beats a cold bun any day, and is sure to impress.
9. Display a Menu
Having a Menu cannot only impress guests, it also clearly displays what they can expect to eat. Creating one is super easy, an old chalkboard makes a great menu!
10. Use Two Skewers Instead of One
Everyone should know about this hack! Ever try to grill a kabob but the foods spin on the skewer? Add another skewer! It stops the food from moving and makes cooking them evenly so much easier.
11. Create a Makeshift Smoker
If you have a charcoal grill you have a smoker! Google how to smoke in a charcoal grill! If you don’t create a smoker is very simple, requiring a few key components. Smoked foods are some of the best foods ever!
12. Grill on a Bed of Lemons
Grill your delicate foods on a bed of lemon, or any citrus for that matter. It not only keeps the food moist and together, it adds some flavor to the foods. A Quick note, doing this removes grill marks. Sear the food before to compensate.
13. Blooming Onions!
The “correct” way to prepare this requires 16 even cuts around an onion. But you can simply cut one end away. Placing the onion on the cut side, you start cutting equal portions around the onion, without slicing all the way through! After you have reached the desired amount just simply start to separate.
You can stuff your onion with anything!
14. Easy Desserts
A few bananas, some chocolate, and nuts. In a metal sheet pan, grilled. You now have a delicious dessert. You can prepare some amazing desserts very simply on the grill.
15. Grilled Lemonade
Have some fun! Push the versatility of your grill, grill a beverage. Cut about 18 lemons in half and coat with sugar. Grill till caramelized. Press through a mesh strainer and combined with sugar or simple syrup to taste.
16. Use a Greasy Chip Instead of a Lighter
Lacking a grill lighter? Use a tortilla chip! Any chip that has a high grease content burns very nicely. You can use a couple to start a hot flame, to light a stick on fire or to light your grill.
17. Place Herbs Directly on the Charcoal
Didn’t have time to marinate your foods? Or want to add some extra flavors? Throw some herbs onto the coals. The infused smoke will add some extra notes of flavor.
18. Use Herbs as a Brush
Sprig herbs such as Rosemary make ok brushes. Using a sprig as a brush not only has the added bonus of brushed oils, but also some of the herb infuses with the food.
19. Use Different heating zones
Foods require different heats. Give them what they want and they will be good in return. Don’t have all your burners at high, use the cooking space wisely. Overcooked or burned foods are sure to unimpress.
20. Give Meats a Quick Cure
Brining and curing allows salt to get into the meat. When you add salt it only stays on the surface. A quick dip in a brine could salt the meat even for a short time. Cures can get very complex, look up a few recipes!
21. Mix Mayonnaise Into Ground Beef
Mixing a little mayo into the mince can add flavor, and keep the meat together. Perfect for meatballs, and hamburgers. Using mayo is sure to impress with some juicy burgers. Combined with other hacks, you can be known as the burger pro.
22. Grilled Pizza!
Super easy, very delicious. Either buy a frozen dough, or get adventurous and make your own. Sure to impress, you could even through a pizza themed party!
23. Grease your Grill
A quick brush of oil on a warm grill and keep foods from sticking, and makes cleaning easier. Foods ripped apart by being stuck are not something people want to eat. Perfectly served foods are what they want.
24. 10 and 2
If you wonder how steakhouses get those perfect grill marks, here’s the secret. 10 and 2! No, not hand placements for driving, keep your meats at 10 and 2. Imagine a clock, on the first sear you place the meat pointing at 10 o’clock. On the second sear, same side, you spin the meat to 2 o’clock.
The perfect grill marks will wow even the pickiest foodies.
25. Spray Meats with Apple Juice
Spraying with apple juice keeps meats wet. It doesn’t add to much flavor but it does add some sugar. Meats such as pork and beef to really well with this tip.
26. Pre Scoop Ice Into Cups and Keep Frozen
If you are using disposable cups, fill them with ice and keep the cup cold. If you happen to be using glass or other reusable, the same practice is even better. On a hot day, a cold cup and a cold drink can really elevate one’s mood. Your guests will thank you!
27. Learn to Quickly Chill Drinks.
I can’t tell you the open of times this hack has come in handy.
Hot TipMake sure you do this in an area which can get wet.
Fill a bucket with ice, cover the ice with water. Salt the ice water heavily. Place the bottle in the ice, depending on the drink times vary. Water takes about 10 minutes to get ice cold.
Some of these grilling hacks have really added to the parties I’ve thrown. My favorite hacks being add decor, and the quick chill. The two I have used most frequently. I hope you use these hacks not only to gain fame in the neighborhood, but to throw parties that people genuinely look forward to attending.