9 Barbecue Hacks That Will Completely Transform Your Next Outdoor Get-Together

Although summer is starting to come to a close, there are still plenty of warm days left this year.

Sure, kids are heading back to school, people are finishing up their summer vacations, and work hours are going back to normal, but that doesn’t mean the lovely summer weather is leaving us just yet.

What does that mean? There’s still lots of time left for barbecuing!

One of the best parts about the warm weather of summer is that it allows us to eat and cook outside — and even though fall is swiftly approaching, barbecue season is far from over.

Here at LittleThings, we think everyone deserves to have a good barbecue, which is why everybody needs to know about what not to do during a barbecue.

But apart from things you shouldn’t do, there are also some things you should do: specifically, you should learn these nine incredible hacks that will transform your next barbecue!

Barbecue Hack #1: Label Burger Buns Using Ketchup

label burger buns

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

This might be the most brilliant hack of all — instead of trying to remember who wants their burgers done medium and who wants them well-done, just label the buns with ketchup!

You can also do this to keep track of who wants cheese on their burgers and who doesn’t, and you can label with mustard if people aren’t ketchup fans.

Barbecue Hack #2: Clean Your Grill With An Onion

clean grill with onion

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Cleaning off your grill can be difficult — burned on pieces of meat and veggies seem to get stuck forever.

Instead of buying some fancy grill cleaner, just use half an onion.

After you’re done grilling, rub a cut onion on the still-hot metal — it will clean it off better than some of those expensive cleaners, and season the grill for next time!

Barbecue Hack #3: Use An Egg Carton To Light Coals

egg carton coals

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting everything ready for a barbecue and then not being able to light the coals and get the grill going.

Instead of stuffing newspaper and bits of cardboard into your pile of coals, put twelve pieces of coal into an egg carton, then light the carton to get the fire started.

Barbecue Hack #4: Spray Apple Juice On Meat As You Cook

spray apple juice

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

This hack might surprise you, but apple juice can actually keep meat juicy while you cook it.

The best way to use apple juice on your meat is to pour it into a spray bottle and spritz it over your meat as it’s cooking.

Barbecue Hack #5: Tie A Bottle Opener To The Drink Tub

tie bottle opener

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

No barbecue is complete without some nice cold drinks.

And anytime you have beverages in glass bottles, you need a bottle opener. Somehow, these always go missing within ten minutes — make sure your bottle opener doesn’t get lost by tying it to your drink tub or cooler!

Barbecue Hack #6: Make Chip Bags Into Bowls

make chip bowls

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

The best way barbecues are better than dinner parties is that they’re so much more casual.

You don’t have to use real plates, you can toss everything into the garbage and recycling, and it’s just a lot easier on everyone.

If you hate getting chip dust all over your hands, though, just turn your chip bags into bowls by pushing the bottom of the bag inward.

Barbecue Hack #7: Use A Muffin Tray For Condiments/Toppings

condiments muffin tray

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Muffin trays are some of the most underrated kitchen items around.

Not only can they serve as drink-holders, they’re also perfect for serving condiments and toppings!

This is especially handy for stuff like sliced onion and sauerkraut that you can’t squeeze from a bottle.

Barbecue Hack #8: Put A Foil Tent Over Finished Food To Keep It From Drying Out

tin foil tent

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

If you’re barbecuing for a lot of people, it’s easy for the food to dry out and get cold after you pull it off the grill.

Keep it moist and warm (and keep bugs away) by putting an aluminum foil tent over freshly-cooked meat.

Barbecue Hack #9: Clean Off Your Grill With Aluminum Foil Ball

grill aluminum foil

Janine Ngai for LittleThings

If the onion hack didn’t totally clean off your grill, try balling up some aluminum foil and scrubbing down your grill with that!

The metal on metal will help to scrape off anything still stuck on.