Food & Recipes

9 Ideas for an Easy BBQ

by Erica Beaulac

9 Ideas for an Easy BBQ

1. Quick fix for a rusty grill
Dip a crumpled-up piece of foil in cola and rub it on the rust. (The phosphoric acid in the soda will dissolve it.)

2. A good rubdown
When you run out of time to marinate the steak but still crave a lively flavor, use this easy spice rub from Cheryl and Bill Jamison, authors of The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking & Entertaining (May 2006). It works on chicken, fish, or beef  — all you have to do is pat some on right before you cook. (Makes enough for three dozen burgers or chicken breasts.)
½ cup coarse salt, either kosher or sea salt
¼ cup coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup smoked paprika (available at some grocery stores or [XREF {} {} {_blank}])

[TOUT_IMAGE “/article/0806_easybbq1_lg.jpg” “150” “200” “BBQ apron tote” “left”]
3. Arm the cook with essentials
If the chef is wearing all the grilling necessities, it’ll save you from trekking in and out of the house to fetch whatever he (or you!) forgot. Check out the BBQ Apron Tote by Picnic Time ($30; [XREF {} {} {_blank}] for stores)

4. Blow off wrinkles
Been a while since your vinyl tablecloth saw the light of day? Use a blow-dryer on low heat to smooth out the creases, says Julie Edelman, author of The Accidental Housewife (May 2006).

[TOUT_IMAGE “/article/0806_easybbq3_lg.jpg” “150” “200” “LumaTong” “right”]
5. Let there be light
Sick of holding a flashlight so the chef can see if the burgers are done? Illuminated tongs by LumaTong have a built-in LED light on the handle, perfect for nighttime cooking. ($20; [XREF {} {} {_blank}] to order)

6. Spot zapper
When your tot drops a blob of ketchup on your picnic-perfect white pants, you don’t have to change  — liquid dish soap and cold water will remove the stain instantly.

7. Enlist the kids
They may not like other tasks as much, but children love to shuck corn. Let them  — they won’t realize you’re getting them to do drudge work (and talk about a time-saver for you!).

8. For speedier cleanup
Line an old cooler, planter, or basket with a heavy-duty garbage bag so people can toss dirty plates right away.

[TOUT_IMAGE “/article/0806_easybbq2_lg.jpg” “150” “200” “LumaTong” “right”]
Nice spice!
This hanging spice rack has four interlocking containers  — great for keeping that little space around your grill clutter-free. Spice Stick by Char-Broil ($13, [XREF {} {} {_blank}] for stores)