Food & Drinks

5 Clever Tips For Your Next Cookout

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5 Clever Tips For Your Next Cookout
Photo Greg & Stacie Humpherys/Flickr

Is your grilling game up to par? It better be now that grilling season is upon us! Here are five clever tricks that will help make your next cookout a success. Whether you are gearing up for a relaxed barbecue with the family or a fancy affair with the boss, you'll find these handy tips useful for every occasion. They'll enhance the flavor of your food, save space in your cooler, prevent fires and make your day less stressful. Check them out:

1. Make Flavored Butters

Whether you'd prefer the spicy kick of a jalapeño, the smokiness of paprika or a touch of  lime, making flavored butter takes just minutes. It's an effortless way to boost the flavor of things like corn on the cob, burger buns or steaks. Just blend a teaspoon or two of your ingredient of choice with a stick of softened butter. Wrap in plastic and shape into a cylinder then refrigerate until needed.

2. Freeze Water Bottles

Save space in your cooler by swapping ice for frozen water bottles. Freeze a handful of water bottles the night before your big cookout then pop them into a cooler along with beer and other beverages you need to keep cold. As the ice melts you'll be able to cool off with a sip of ice water.

3. Marinade Meats Overnight

The easiest way of adding loads of flavor to your meats is to let them sit in a marinade overnight. That's the secret to making this amazing jerk chicken. Here are five quick and easy marinades you can try at home. Toss the meat and marinade in a plastic bag for easy clean up.

4. Dress Up Your Water

If you haven't tried making your own flavored water, you've been missing out on a refreshing drink that's ridiculously easy to make. Just add a few slices of oranges, lemons or limes to a pitcher of filtered water and...voilà!. Cucumber and mint are also a killer combo. It's best if you allow the water to sit for at least an hour before serving.

5. Soak Wooden Skewers

Are kabobs on the menu? If you will be using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water at  least 30 minutes before cooking. This ensures the skewers won't catch on fire or burn while they are on the grill. You wouldn't want to ruin the flavor of your food! 

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Tell us in the comments below.

PLUS: 6 Tips For Grilling Like A Pro

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