Your BBQ grill is your summertime go to: it’s the most quintessential outdoor cooking vessel in the yard, and yet it can be so much more. From cleaning your grill to upgrading its features, here are some of the best tips and hacks we’ve seen to maintain your grill and take it to the next level.
1. Get Your Grill Flaming Hot - Add a chimney starter to your grill and you can achieve the blazing heat required for proper wok cooking on your grill. Lava rocks can also give your grill a boost, retaining more of the heat under the rack for better browned meats and vegetables.
By the way, if you ever have trouble getting the charcoal to catch fire, try igniting an egg carton with the charcoal inside, using waxed cotton fire starters, or maybe even Doritos or other chips. Or ditch the charcoal and try awood fire technique for potentially more flavorful results.
2. Turn Your Grill into a Pizza Oven - Did you know your Weber grill might also double as a pizza oven? There’s some serious modification involved (fireproof blocks and a cement roof), but the homemade pizza might well be worth it. (And if you don’t care to hack your grill for this, grilled pizza is still pretty awesome.)
3. Turn Your Grill into a Smoker - The typical charcoal grill can do more than just char meat. It can take the place of a separate meat smoker. All you might need is an aluminum pan filled with water and careful tending or, for a cold smoker setup, a soldering iron and aluminum can.
4. Add Side Tables to Your Grill - As with cooking indoors, the more surface space you have around the cooking area, the better. Upgrade your grill easily with some wooden TV trays. Bolt these on so that even if you have a very basic (or cheap) grill, you can give it the side tables that make grilling easier—complete with built-in holders for your grilling tools.
5. Quickly or Deeply Clean the Grill - Of course, maybe your grill just needs a good cleaning. We recommend deep cleaning your grill at least once a year, disassembling and cleaning each part. In between those more intensive cleanings, though, quick and easy cleaning hacks include using an onion or a simple coffee bath to get your grill ready for whatever you’re going to throw on it.